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November 09, 2010


Jeanne Maciejewski

Julie - what you are feeling now is absolutely normal! You may already realize this if you have somebody that has been through it to talk to. But, if not, I wanted you to know that. I always say that it hits you really hard a couple of weeks after you lose that special person. All the busyiness of the funeral, etc., is over and other people go back to their normal lives - while WE realize that our lives will never be "normal" again! It is also perfectly normal to experience more physical symptoms like headaches, and other illnesses. Grief is VERY HARD WORK and it is often the case for your immunme system to be worn out, your sleep to be less restful, your eating habits can be poor and your stress level is high! Even if you don't really realize it, that is the case and you become suseptible to a variety of things. I'm continuing to pray for you and would consider it a privilege if you ever want to contact me as somebody that has been through it before talk, ask questions, etc. I also had two little boys when my husband died - so we are sisters in this painful journey! Hang in there - continue to surround yourself with positive people, music, readings, etc. Here are some quotes that I have used in the past when I did seminars on grief for church groups. "If only somebody had sat me down after my husband died and said: I want you to know that bereavement is a wound. It is like being very, very badly hurt. But you are healthy. You are strong. You will recover. But know that your recovery will be slow. You will grieve, and that is painful. You grief will have many, many stages, but all of them will be healing. Little by little, you will be whole again. And you will be a stronger person. Just as a broken bone knits and becomes stronger than before, so will you."

"Grief is like a cut finger. It is numb before it bleeds; it bleeds before it hurts, and it hurts as it heals. It forms a scab and bothers you, until finally, the scab is gone and a small scar is left where once there was a wound. Grief is the deepest wound you’ve ever had. It starts out as a raw, gaping and weeping physical injury. But, just like a cut, it goes through stages and while it does leaves a scar that will always remain, it will fade and you will be able to get on with your life."


You've made the right choice, Julie. We aren't asked to understand, but we must keep our faith. Continued prayers to you and your family. Psalm 116:15--"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." Hugs!

Linda L

Hi Julie,
What a beautiful song! Isn't it amazing how God brings things into our lives that speak to the depths of our hearts? You have an amazing ability to put your heart into words,and I'm sure God is using your words and your faith in Him to help others. I know what you mean about the hole and the pain, but I assure you that God will comfort you and strengthen you. Remember to rest in His loving arms and allow Him to heal your broken heart. I continue to keep you in my prayers and look forward to "hearing from you" each time you post an update. Thanks for keeping your on-line family in the loop.


Thank-you for reminding the rest of us how lucky we are to still be able to share with our best friends - I will keep you and the boys in my prayers forever.

Glenda Jones

Julie, you are amazing and an inspriation for me and others. I lost my husband 5 months ago and while I understand the pain, I know it is different for each of us. I hope your family and friends can help you in the days and weeks ahead as much as you are helping others with your strength and sharing your faith in God. Your sons are fortunate that they have such a loving Mother who is sharing God's messages and love with them. You're in my thoughts and prayers. May God Bless you and surround you all with his love.

Laura Isham


I continue to think about you and pray for you. I am sick over your loss. My heart hurts for you and your boys.

I am so glad that you share your feelings with us. Please continue to do so.

Janice Webb

Julie, Yes you are so right that it takes a different type of strength when your loved one has died.

A wonderful book that helped me...and still does... is
Death without Denial, Grief without Apology: A Guide for Facing Death and Loss
(Barbara K. Roberts)

A friend gave me this book after my dad died. It has been of tremendous help and comfort to me and I hope you'll grab a copy of this book too.


Julie, I am so very sorry for your loss. You and your husband and children look like one great, happy family. I just can't imagine your pain and emptiness now. I will pray for you and your boys as you work through this difficult time. It's so sad for the children to lose a parent at such a young age. It brings back my pain as a little girl of 9 when my dad died. My prayers are with you and the boys.


Julie, I am in shock. I have been out of town and just learned of Russ' death. Aren't we so lucky to have our faith to get us through these hard times and the promise to reunite with our loved ones again! Will continue prayer for you and your boys. Lean on those around you who are offering to help during this hard time and be so glad that you have so many friends!


Hi Julie, I too lost my husband to cancer, it has been 2 years and I still feel that emptiness, the pain and I mean real pain, maybe things will get easier, that is what everyone says, but I am still struggling with the emptiness and the loneliness. My crafts and scrapbooking and my kids and grandkids keep me going.


I started following your blog because of your gifts as a paper crafter. I fell in love with your blog and your family because of your faith. Thank you for being an amazing example of a Godly woman for so many of us. I'll keep praying for you and the boys!

Kerry Andres

Hi Julie many thoughtful and kind words spoken here ~ Hugs and Prayers going your way!!


Thank you once again for your wonderful post. I am keeping you and your boys in my prayers. I ask that God make His loving presence felt in your home and that your boys may know Him as their Father who is always near. I want to you to know that the thoughts and songs and al that you post have ministered to me greatly and that I am sure you are a blessing to many many people in your time of pain.- thank you.


I don't know you....but follow your blog & have been thinking about you alot lately....just want you to know others are thinking & Praying for your family. I admire your strength through this tough time!

Natalie S

I thank God for how He reminds me (a stranger to you) of your situation so often. I will continue to pray for you and the boys. Thank you so much for sharing this great song today. I hadn't heard of Kerrie Roberts and loved it. No matter what, God will comfort you and remind you to hang on. God Bless you!

Linda Q

Russ is looking after you. He is waiting for the day when you will all be reunited. Until then, live the life he would have wanted for you. The boys too! They will make their Daddy proud! I bet they can imagine him in heaven smiling down upon them!


Even in your pain you are still a blessing to others. You are walking the path that is ahead of you. It is hard but God is close. Let yourself and the boys grieve. Also don't be afraid to check out a grief counselor. They are available and a good resource. A sounding board for how to help yourself and the boys.
Keep looking for comfort from music, a great way to express feeling that you can't put into words. You have found some great song that have ministered to yourself and everyone who check your blog. Praying for you and the boys.


Assuring you of my prayers through you and your family's pain Julie. Thank you for the video. There is a time to mourn, which is now, but in time, you will dance again. May God give you peace and strength.
Love, hugs and blessings,


I had tears streaming down my face as I read your post, Julie. My heart breaks for you and to know the hurt in a child's heart is sooo hard to hear and have to deal with. The great news is they are crying and letting the grief out - much better than holding it in.

It somehow seems easier to "be strong" in the midst of things but when the issue is over, that is when the emotions will flood in and the tears flow. Let them flow :) They are healing for the soul. Being a "strong" woman myself it is hard to let others in at times and switch out of that role. Praying God would bring people your way to touch your heart and the heart of your kids in very special ways.

As a side note, I know someone wrote a great book on grieving/death for kids. Can't remember who it was but heard them speaking about it on Focus on the Family or Family Life a few years back. Sure you can search their websites. They had some great information in it and how to help kids.

My prayers are with you and I pray the Lord would continue to stand in the middle of your grief and pour His love, peace and strength into you (((hugs)))


I'm still praying for you and the boys and I just want to encourage you to be ever so, so gentle with yourself. It's a long road this greiving &^%$ and there are no shortcuts unfortunately for you or the boys. The hole will never go away but the edges won't be so raw someday for all of you. Be gentle, let people help (it's good for them too if you need a reason outside of your own needs) and keep that amazing faith you have front and center. Many long hugs!


I have 2 boys (ages 8&10)and I can't stop thinking about you and your kids. Just as you are praying for others, please know that there are TONS of people praying for you too. You have given so much of yourself to this community and I hope that you can feel the love back to you ten-fold. BIG ((((HUGS))).


Hi Julie, I heard about your loss through a Stampin' Sister in Christ, Patti. That is a lovely video . . . wow, I have been in that place of pain but for a different reason. God is so faithful. It doesn't take away the pain right away, but in time it DOES get better . . . here I am 17 years past the event that shook my world and new events come along but I can look back and see HE was faithful and brought me through, me and the kids. Many hugs coming cyberly to you from a total stranger, but a sister in Christ.

Anne S

Julie - you have been such a pillar of strength all throughout Russ' illness! It is A-OK to give yourself time to grieve - it's what makes us human. Just remember that God will always be there for you - even through your darkest hours. Please don't be afraid to ask for help - from previous posts, it sounds as though there is a considerable support group for you. You are in my prayers as you try to figure everything out and start moving on. I know that your strength in God will help you find a way forward and will help you to help your boys as they transition through this extraordinarily difficult time! God bless!

Adele are amazing and such an inspiration to us all. God is truly walking beside you, if not carrying you at times. Trust in Him. We are all keeping you in our prayers. I so admire your strength and how at the worst time in your life, you are turning in around to a positive, Faith based experience and there for, inspiring us! Take time for YOU....CRY. Get it all out once in awhile. I LOVED the video! Thanks for sharing. I love and pray for you daily my friend!

Queen Mary

Julie, you are an inspiration to so many -- your openness about your pain AND your faith, the struggles of faith. I have been most mindful of your young sons, I confess. I think of them and pray for them constantly -- my husband lost his father young and those scars are not gone still. The best advice he got from a priest was that it was OK to be mad -- and even a little angry with God -- that "permission" freed him from years of unnecessary pain (the necessary pain will always be part of him).
I saw that Sarah wrote "God does not give us more than we can handle..." It is written that Mother Theresa added, "I just wish He didn't trust me so much!" I have no idea if she really said that or not, but it has helped me. God really, really trusts you lady!
Love, Mary


I can't even imagine being in your place, we lost our first baby a week before my due date, he was stillborn, but with God's help I got through that time, but I keep thinking if I would have the strength you have shown through all of this if my husband went through the same thing, you always pray that your faith will get you through anything but I really don't want to be put to the test. I pray that your boys can find healing through all this too, it must be so hard for them to understand.
Hugs, Connie


Lean on God and your family and friends. There is no healer of this pain you feel except that time will make it less, but it will never go away. Keep your faith and remember that one day you will be with our Lord and Russ. Continue to reach out to your cyber friends who will always be here to comfort through our words.

Chris Olsen

Oh Julie...I am so sorry for your pain. I am praying for you and your family. May God continue to be your strength no matter what! I really admire the testimony you share.

Raquel B

Julie, You and your boys are often in my thoughts and prayers. Your faith and your passion is so inspiring. Please take care and continue to lean on family, friends, and faith for the support and guidance that you need at this time.

You'll continue to be in my thoughts and prayers! {{HUGS}}

Lisa H

you are truly amazing girl! Keep trusting in God, and he will heal those pains.

Liz Rempel

Oh Julie, I cry with you, I know the feelings that you are experiencing right now. There are so many stages to grief. I wish that I could remember the name of a book that a pastor gave to me about the stages of grief, but it was pretty much exactly the way my life was going and the way your life will go. Take baby steps, if you need to cry or take a nap or just do nothing - that is okay. You can't be strong all the time. Just hold those little ones close and try to answer their questions the best you can. When I read your blog, I truly believe that you have the prayers of thousands with you. Take care because we care.

Monica Weaver


I have not lost a spouse, but I did lose my daughter. I understand that feeling of emptiness that can't be explained. I felt like somebody had stabbed me in the heart and it wouldn't go away. I had never felt such horrible pain such as the emptiness of losing her. I can't explain it but I know God's strength was stronger in me during this time. It was nothing I did. Honestly, I wanted to be mad at God but I couldn't because first I knew it wouldn't change anything and because it would only make things worst for me. I remember the day after she died sitting in church and I couldn't sing or anything but I knew that is where I had to be. The elders from the church came and took my husband and I to the altar and cried with us for 2 or more hours. At that moment, that is what I needed. At this moment, I am before God's altar with you crying with you through your pain. That is all I can give you but please know I am hurting and crying with you.

My husband lost his previous wife to cancer and he too is crying with you through this time. He truly feels your pain.

Give yourself time to go through this process. Don't rush yourself and give yourself the time you need.

We love you,

Michael and Monica Weaver


You are in my prayers, Julie. SO many great encouraging words here. Just wanted you to know that God is working now in this situation to speak to me hundreds of miles away going through a trial but something entirely different. ((hugs))


wish i could comfort you somehow...just know we all love you and are praying for God to provide what Christian sisters can not...right now.

bonnie weiss

My heart is heavy for you Julie, as I read your post from today. Time, faith and love will see you through this part of your journey but it doesn't mean that you have to do it alone. Maybe counselling will help you find the next path on your journey and eventually provide you with renewed strength so that you can help your boys through this as well. Sending you hugs.


Prayers surrounding you and your boys. Such a difficult spot and your faith is so strong. Without it you would be unable to type or move. I will share with you my favorite quote from a student, who was nine, when my died passed. He said, " Mrs. Carol, it never goes away but each day gets easier." Truer words were never spoken and out of the mouth of a child. I still believe it was God talking to me. Just take it a moment at a time and find time for some laughter. It will help although it may seem impossible. Hugs!!!


julie...altho we dont know one another personally...i have left comments to you here on your blog in the past...most recently to let you know that i have taken the journey that you are taking now...
i could fill pages and pages here "talking" to you...but today i will simply say...keep your faith...and believe in your heart that as time passes...the pain and sadness do lessen.
my daughter was 7 yrs old when my husband died..
my sadness for her loss was greater than the sadness of my own loss...this is part of being a mother.
you and your boys NEED to grieve...
be kind to yourself.
being strong can be a wonderful thing...but not if we suppress other feelings...
I'll post to you here again soon...but until then I will be thinking of keeping you...your boys..and your husband in my prayers..
(if you would like to email...i'd welcome your email)

Ellen Roth

You need to download Nicol Sponberg's new album, "On Our Way Home". The way they deal with the grief of losing their son, yet still praising God is so awesome, and will give you hope. It's not available on cd yet, but is at itunes. Well worth it. Prayers are with you.

Rita R

Hello Julie!

Thank you for sharing your heart with us! You and your boys are often in my prayers, Julie! I listened to the Kerrie Roberts' music video that you shared today and it immediately brought to mind a favorite Old Testament scripture passage I want to share with you. I believe you and Russ were following the truth of this scripture during his illness (and I know you are still doing so, Julie):

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.


~ Rita


I think of you and the boys each day and keep you in my prayers. I know that God and Russ are watching over you all always. I too say that Hospice has a great support system for families. I have been a hospice volunteer and there is even a support group for children in our area,hopefully the hospice has let you know about their aftercare services for you and the boys. They are for the family after the death of their loved one. Sending you a big hug!

Patti J.

I agree with everything that Connie has expressed. It would also be helpful for the boys to have some Christian counseling if you can find someone who works with children. It's never easy losing a parent, but to lose one at such young ages would understandably raise so many questions for them. There are some books also, that you might look for that help you know what to say when they ask "how could God let this happen to us". Check out your local Christian bookstore. As for you, Julie, I cannot even imagine how you have done as well as you have done. You are an amazing woman, but you must remember to find time to cry and to grieve for your loss. You are in my prayers. If I were closer, you would be in my arms too! Hugs, dear girl, and thanks for a great video!


God does not give us more than we can handle..take it one day/minute/second at a time. God Bless

I feel for your boys, I lost my father when I was a senior in HS. That has been 22 years ago--The "hole" is still there, the pain, I assure you, is not as acute.

 Joyce Stewart

It is heart rending to share your grief with are so graphic in the telling of how you feel....hard for those on this side of your kind of grief to really take it in. We are still praying for you and the boys particularly that they will get the right answers for them from you (or someone else) when they need it....we just need to pray that God gives you the answers for them when possible....

Cheryl M

I am in my 44th year of marriage and could not imagine what I would do without my loving husband. Faith in God is so very important. May you and your family continue to heal through this difficult time.


Praying for you.....

Terry Molineux

Oh Julie you have brought tears to my eyes once again! I feel for you and do not know if I can be as strong as YOU!!! As said above you think of yourself #1 so you can help those darling little boys....the school must have some counseling, what about your church! My father died when I was 5 months pregnant to my younger daughter and I could not cry for fear I would lose her father was a HUGE Frank Sinatra fan in fact when he sang and you closed your eyes you would think Mr. Sinatra was in the rooom! Every time I hear his songs I cry for the loss of my father and he is gone 26 years the hole is gone but I still cry for the memories we have. I promise you it will get better. You are in my thoughts and prayers well as the boys I cannot imagine what they are going through!!!

Love & Kisses to all,

Linda Henry

I have been married for 36 years now and I couldn't imagine losing Brian. We have lost both of our parents, cousins, aunts and uncles and there is a different kind of pain for each that You go through. However I have been with Brian longer than I haven't been with him, and to loose Him would be so devastating! I only have prayers and good thoughts for You and the boys and hope someday You will be able to think of Russ and all the good times and hopefully the pain will lessen and become great memories for You three! Hugs to all of You!


Julie, my heart bleeds for you. I wish you strength but remember you need to be weak and to let yourself mourn too, to shed tears.
I cannot imagine going through what you are going through. (((hugs))) Connie above gave great advice..look after yourself #1. If you are well your boys will also be well.


Julie, there will be many more tears yet to be shed, by you and the boys. I can't imagine what it is like, to try and stay strong in front of the boys so that they CAN ask questions. In the states,we have Grieving Support groups, and Hospice also have meetings. You need to talk with someone, either a professional, or someone @ your age, with children, that has loss their spouse, to guide you through this part of your journey. Does the school where the boys go, have a counselor there? You need to take care of yourself first, so that you can help the boys. In time, you could think of getting the boys involved in the Big Brothers program. You ARE a very strong lady. Please ask for help. Just remember that God has not left you, and truly has some kind of big plans in your future. He picked someone super strong in faith, to walk this road. Allow people to HELP YOU. Prayers are continually being lifted for you and your family.


Aloha, Julie... You and your 2 boys are in my prayers. I know you know that plenty of us are praying for family. I so do admire your strenght and your faith. Please do take care always.

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