Nine Months

About a week after Julianna died, I saw her in a dream. It wasn’t anything profound or tender….the girl was shopping.

In the dream, we were visiting relatives in South Korea. I was at my aunt’s house and Julianna dropped in. She was seven, maybe eight years old and was dressed in jeans and sneakers. She was clearly busy — she looked stylish, but was ready to move. Sunglasses were perched on top of her head and some cute cross bodies were slung over her left hip. She didn’t say a word, but I understood somehow that she wanted to show me her new bags – weren’t they great ?! She appeared for just a moment and was gone – presumably to do some more shopping.



I’m pretty sure that my dream was inspired by this picture, taken on Thanksgiving day, 2011. She is fifteen months here. We didn’t know about CMT yet and hoped that she was just a late walker


I have dreamed almost every night since she left us – dreams with all kinds of weird plots and random people – but nothing more with Julianna . And I have wanted it so badly, to see Julianna again in a dream, in a sign., something, (And not a subtle little something, please – something big and undeniable. )



23 Jan 2017. Biggest rainbow I’ve ever seen — but it’s not her. 


Let’s face it: dreams and signs aren’t enough. I want her. I want Julianna back. I want to kiss her forehead and bring her new toys and see her eyes light up with delight. I want to be astonished by her insight and double over with laughter when she says something outrageous. (Did you know that she once threatened to fire one of her nurses for working on chart notes while “Brave” was on? Watching the movie together was important. Paperwork, not so much. Once again, she was right on.)

It doesn’t seem like too much to ask for, does it? Such a reasonable request, a mother wanting her daughter, but I’m living in a world where nothing makes sense, a world that is less bright and not nearly as fun as the one I inhabited with her. There have been moments of joy (what would I do without Alex?), but always under a heavy blanket of sadness. They say it will be different one day, but right now, it’s hard to even care.

If she were here, she’d give me a good talking-to. She would fix me with those beautiful eyes and say “But Mom! You have to try. You have to be happy!” (And she is the only one who could say those words to me – truly).

I would say, “Yes, but I miss you so much. So, so much…”

She already gave me part of the answer, years before I would need it: I don’t have to worry because God is taking care of her. 

So maybe the big sign has already happened. I know she’s OK, and I know I will see her again. With all of my heart and soul and mind, I know this.

But I was right too.  I miss her. So, so much.

Nine months today, my sweet child.  I will try to be happy — for you and for Alex, I will try.


J: When you die, will I come to get you?

M: I don’t really know how it works, Julianna. But I think you will be the first person I see when I get to heaven. And I’ll be so happy.

J: Do you want me to stand in front of the house, and in front of all the people so you can see me first?

M: Yes. I’ll be so happy to see you.

J: Will you run to me?

M: Yes. And I think you will run to me too.

J: I’ll run fast! (then she shook her head back and forth to show me how fast she will run).

M: Yes, I think you will run so fast.

18 thoughts on “Nine Months

  1. 💜💖💗 Hugs and kisses for your momma heart. We think of you of you often. May you receive what you seek, and peace from the Almighty. 🙏🙏🙏🙌


  2. Your words of pain are palpable and I thank you for sharing yourself and your family. And I agree with your friends, that one day, the unlimited depths of your pain will not feel like a vacuum as much as an additional sense, or dimension of consciousness. The hurt won’t be as sharp. And maybe that is where you will know God’s presence remains with you, in a new way. This is your Passion. This is your season of Lent. And Julianna is right of course. God is taking care of both of you; every step of the way – through your wilderness, and with her in her glory. I do believe that one day, perhaps when you least expect it, you’ll find yourself aware of her presence, in both, your pain, and in a renewed joy of life, tasting all of the colorful spectrum again and she’ll be right there in God’s kingdom – on earth as it is in heaven.


  3. :’)

    I haven’t been as active in leaving comments on your posts now, not because I don’t care, or have forgotten your story. No, that’s not true. But it’s because – you’re right. When someone dies, there are no new pictures, no new words. & I suppose, from the outside – what more can I say, how many more “I’m sorry”s, or “we miss her too!”s, etc? It feels like to keep saying these things (true as they are, !!!) feels a little empty, also because they’d lose their meaning if I kept parroting them over and over.

    But just to share, my personal memories of J (whom I never even met & whom I wish I could make more memories with, definitely) that I treasure, include the autographed copy of her book (thank you J & A!), & the letter I wrote her. Which you replied, saying that she suggested making a stable for my parrot, hahaha! Feels like even these will become old, repetitive memories in time to come with nothing new ..

    But ..! We will get there in time to come, I will get to meet Julianna & we can sit on the steps of Heaven talking about the best kind of stable for an African Grey Parrot (?!?!) & yes – for now, God will take care of both you & her, so chin up momma & keep on keeping on. 🙂 (& Julianna, say hi & be nice to my grandpa! Thanks haha.)


  4. Thank you for posting and love the conversation about meeting in heaven. As someone who has also had close ones pass on, I also know in my heart we’ll see them all again soon. God Bless You and your family.


  5. Dear Michelle,
    I remember Easter of last year, which happen to be my Birthday on Easter Sunday, coming back from out of town and receiving an email from you, wishing me a Happy Birthday. To say that was “very special to me “is an understatement! You and your entire Family are very special to my heart! As, I turn 60 this year on March 27th. I can count with my two hands the people who have impacted my life. And Julianna would be number 1. As most of us will attest to, we have never known anyone as “Gracious” and “Selfless” as her, thanks to your writings. You are not alone precious dear friend, like you we too know that we will see her again and she’s OK. And believe this with all our heart, soul and mind too! It’s just a plain fact to us, because we believe in eternal life! But it’s also TRUE that life is just not the same and as delightful, as when she was here with us! So, we can genuinely understand, and identify with your pain. For right now, my only consolation is that I had “The Opportunity and Honor of my lifetime” to KNOW of her, and some of the most precious people (Alex, Steve, Grandpa and Grandma Snow, Homie, and your entire family) on this planet!
    I don’t know how it works either, though I have read many books about when people are united in Heaven. I can only image and believe, “what a day of rejoicing that will be- Day of ALL days”, when you and Julianna reunite. I believe you both will be (running as fast as you) can toward each other!


  6. Although not Native American myself I live in a community strongly influenced by several tribes. In one of these tribes it is the custom for the bereaved to not say their loved ones name for a year after they leave this earth so that their spirits can be free. Our own grief can pull them back. I truly believe your daughter, your dear Julianna, is running free. She will come back to you when she is ready. Until then I hope peace visits your heart.


  7. I am certain Julianna would tell you to try to be happy. Try but don’t fault yourself when it doesn’t work that way. Focus on today, the moments… not what tomorrow might bring. I am also certain Julianna will come to you in your dreams again. I love that your only dream of her so far is about the simplicity of her happiness. The message there is bigger than it appears.

    My heart still aches for you. How will we ever stop mourning the loss of such a beautiful soul? I don’t think that will happen. I think as the years pass it will just become a part of you that doesn’t feel so difficult because you will have had time to know what works best for you to process those feelings ~ getting to the happiness in them more quickly.

    One day you will certainly meet again.

    Praying for you to have as many peace filled moments as possible,


  8. Just because you can not see someone….it doesn’t mean that they are not there. Wanting a big sign is natural… and comes in an urgency as you need to know she is still there- after so many months…you just need to know that she is still there. Hugs and deepest respect to you, Steve, Alex and J.
    사랑은 초강대국이다.


  9. I too wish to see my loved ones in dreams, especially my mum. I hope Julianna comes to you again through your dreams. Thank you for sharing the Heaven conversation with us all … your beautiful girl was really quite amazing wasn’t she? Please know you and your family are thought about often by those of us who you have never met. With love and long distance hugs from Australia.


  10. When my grandfather passed away , (he raised me) my heart was so broken, I had a dream of him the night he passed away, he had no more oxygen, looked super healthy, he hugged me and told me he was OK. It felt so good to see him to hug him, but since then (2008) he has not came back in a dream to me. I have begged him to come to me in a dream, and I still wait for it to happen. I would like to see him again, at least in dreams, so I truly feel your hurt, frustration, and sadness. J is always in your heart, and around you in rainbows and pink flowers ! so Although she doesn’t come to you in dreams, her spirit is with you all day every day ! That is so awesome. My grandpa comes to me in the summer through my garden, he was a gardener, so when a new flower or vegetable blooms in the summer, I know its him saying he’s in a better place and he is looking out for me 🙂


  11. Thank you so much for sharing. Again your writing is beautiful. I can feel your sadness and heavy heart. I do believe one day you will meet Julianna again. God bless you and your Family. Stay strong for Alex!💕


  12. Hello MMM,
    It brought tears to my eyes reading this. I hope with time with make it easier to deal with your lost.
    I have met a lot of people in my life but none smarter, more amazing or more inspiring than Julianna.
    I think of her every day, pray for her every night and she is one person I will never ever forget.
    Best wishes as always,


  13. Thank you for sharing. Your words I read could’ve been my own. My daughter passed in 2010. I pray you find peace and comfort. This is not an easy journey.


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