Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Heart just aches for you to come home, Jilli

Today was Jilli's funeral. I have cried so much today. My heart just aches and my eyes, so swollen from tears. My friend Jenny and I wore leopard for Jillibean, today. Leopard was her FAV0RITE! EVERYTHING was leopard. We had to wear it.

Here's just a little taste of Jill's impact on people: There were over 800 people at this funeral. 800. And being one of the first to come in, I was overwhelmed with warmth, seeing everyone from near and far.

As I walked up to the family, I saw Jilli's brother's, Andy and Rob, her Grandma, "Grandma" (ha), her Mommy, Nancy, and her Dad, Phil. Guys, Nancy saw me and fell into my arms. "0h Julz," she cried. She held me so tight. I just said, "Nance, I'm just so sorry, I'm just so sorry," and I held her. And in her hand that had held mine so, I placed this Golden Pocket Angel.


And took my seat. My heart hurt so. It was like I couldn't cry hard enough. It felt so wrong, so cruel, so mean. It was absolutely horrible, and for Jilli's mommy, her worst nightmare.

I was heartbroken. Nancy's heart sang for her daughter. Jill was her everything and I mean, everything.

After about an hour or so, the Rabbi came to a pause. "And now... We will hear from Nancy." I swear you heard the angel's weeping. I couldn't believe she was going to do this. How could she do this?

But how could she not do this.

"I wrote my daughter a letter, because, it was what I needed to do... My Jilli..."

She told Jill that she'll never forget the first time she ever saw her, and how perfect she was. How Jilli never judged or hurt anyone. And if she ever said anything that made another feel pain, she was plagued with such regret so shortly after. She said that she'll never forget when Jilli took her last breath in Nancy's arms, and the doctors took her away from her. She told her that she was sorry to be such a selfish mother, because even though Jilli was in pain, she wanted her back in her arms, from that moment on, and that she longed to touch her soft face, to hold her precious body, and to have her baby with her.

Nancy cried so during this letter, as we all did. As I looked on, I felt so much grief, so much sadness for Nance. This was so unfair. So horrible for her. Just so g-ddamn WR0NG. And I felt selfish, too, because, more than anything, I want my Jilli back. I pray that I'll just wake up already. It is such a frightening feeling. I want to see her there in front of me, holding her hands in mine. I just want to see her smiling eyes again. Not only once more, but thousands of times more. Is that too much to ask?

I found myself overcome with so many why's and how's and WHEN's it going to be over so I can wake the hell up already. Please G-d just let me wake the hell up, already, I can't bare it any longer. It's starting to become real, and it makes my skin crawl, and my hair stand on end. If there's anyone up there just please wake me up, already, I prayed, over and over and over again.

There was somebody there with me, but more on that in a minute.

As the time came near for the casket to be taken, Jilli's brothers Andy and Rob, along with two men from the synagogue, approached the task, with such truth. They were with her and she with them. As they went to lift it, I felt a twinge in my spine and quickly turned to my Mom, "Mom, I have something I need to give to her." She gave me that motherly look of guidance and trust that read, "It's okay." And I reached over to touch Andy's shoulder as he passed us. "Andy," I whispered as he quickly turned to me, "Please give this to her, for me." And in his hand, I placed this Silver Pocket Angel.

pocket angel_w151h174.jpg

He gave me a nod, with the squint of his nose, and off they went.

After the service, a few of us went back to Jenny's house to sit on the couch and be together. At around 2:15 I texted my Mom: "Hi Mommy, I love you so much how are you?" She texted me back: "Hi baby, I'm okay, I love you too." Followed by: "Jill wanted to come?"

I paused, and responded with "What?"

Then she called me: "Why did you write that?" She asked me. "What?"

"My phone only vibrated once but when I went to check your text it had two from you, the first reading, 'Jilli wanted to come.' "

"I never wrote that," I told her, as my voice started shaking. My friends all stopped their chatter and turned to me, as my eyes welled up with tears. "It said, 'Jilli wanted to come?!' "

"I'll show you tonight. Julzybabe, she's gear with you. Hang on a second."


"I just got a text from no number reading, 'Julzie' " She quietly murmured.

Chills rushed up and down my spine, as she told me. That was what Jilli called me - "Julzie". It was Jilli. She was there and I had felt her there so strongly. My heart felt alive, my body, free from the constrictions of mourning. She was telling me that she still WAS here. She always would be. She'd always be my Jilli, and I, always her Julzie.

I just wished I could hug her at that moment. It was just so hard.

Later on this evening, we went to be with the family, to sit Shiva . I told Nancy how I wanted to be here for her, That I wanted to have her in my life, and be in hers. I wanted her to still come to my performances and experience things with her, and she with me. I just want Nance to have a daughter again, and while I know I could never be that for her, I want her to be able to watch me grow, see, and do all that Jillian would have. I just love her so much and care about her, endlessly.

But it was just so hard. I didn't want to leave that house. It frightened me to leave. I didn't want to leave My Jilli behind. I am so afraid of losing her. It is an anxiety that I am not sure, will ever heal...

As my mom and I were leaving, Andy approached me. He whispered in my ear, "I just want you to know, I gave it to her."

And with that, I had her with me.

I miss Jill so much. I can't even tell you. I've cried so much, and for so long, I'm afraid I'll never stop. What if my heart just gets so tired, that it breaks? Everything reminds me of her and I don't want anything ever not to. I am afraid to go to sleep. Tomorrow will be another day, gone, without her here. I don't want that. What do I do? How do I just go on? Go to class? Listen to lectures? Hold discussions? How can I when she isn't here anymore???

I need someone to just tell me how to wake up from this...


Anonymous said...

Wow. I don't even know what to say because I just spent the last few minutes crying my eyes out. That story about the text messages was truly beautiful and just reading about your thoughts and emotions during this difficult time...there are no words.

I <3 you, Julz. I am still here for you and am glad you are letting all of your emotions out. I am so sorry.

VeggieGirl said...

Such powerful, touching words. Hang in there, Julz - you already know you can contact me more about this.

Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) said...

Sweet Julz, I know I don't even know you, but please know that I'm sending you a huge big strong hug from Nashville right now. Your post made me cry, made me smile...gave me chills...

Things WILL get easier, even though I know it does not seem like that is possible now. Jilli will always be with you...always. You will experience ups and downs. The pain will always be there because you lost someone you truly loved, but it will lessen. Focus on the fun times you shared with Jilli. I didn't know her, but she sounds like such an amazing person, and she obviously touched many lives...I know her heart must be breaking seeing you so for Jilli. Love others likes she did...and love yourself. Breathe - you WILL get through this. Remember - BIG HUG!
Love, Heather

Meghann said...

Oh Julz! All I can say is I <3 you and am hear for you if you need me! Sister Blog Love!

aussirish said...

wow,this post is something i cant even put into words. filled with so much emotion. im so so sad for everyone that knew her and has had to go through this pain your going through. that story of the text message is beautiful and heart breaking at the same time.
your in my thoughts and prayers, take care hun.
were all here for you always

amy. said...

i love your passionate and caring words you have for jilli. i know this is the hardest thing for you to go through, but your friend is looking down on you to guide and inspire JULZIE!

all of my love, support, sympathy, condolences, and strength.

love you.

lauren said...

The story about the text msgs gave me chills. I just dont know what to say...I am SO sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry, Julz. I lost my brother 4 years ago, I promise you that you will find the strength to keep living. It will take time but you will. Your dear friend lives in your heart and her beautiful spirit shines through in every word that you write. {{{HUGS}}}


Anonymous said...

I love you so much Julz. Andrea does too. We will do anything for you. I'll call you tonight. I'm so glad you're getting your feelings and thoughts "on paper" so to speak. And remember, just as Jilli has touched your life, so too have you touched the lives of everyone lucky enough to know you. I love you sissie!

ttfn300 said...

Oh Julz, reading your powerful words, I hope it is helping to get out your thoughts. Big hugs, we love you, and one day at a time...

Anonymous said...

Hang in there Julz. I can't imagine what you must be feeling but know that we are thinking of you.

A Toronto girl out West said...

I stumbled upon your blog for the very first time today.

My heart broke as I read your post. I am incredibly sorry for your loss.

I'm oh so sorry. You are in my prayers . . .

*Erica* said...

Oh precious Julz... My heart is totally breaking for you right now. What a tremendous testimony of Jillian's life to have so many family and friends at her funeral. It speaks volumes to those of us who didn't know her. She must've been a wonderful person.

The text messages are What a gift from God! He sees how much you are hurting right now and wants nothing more to comfort you and love you. I believe that the texts were Jillian trying to comfort you and tell you that she is ok...more than ok! She is so happy right now. She is in a place where there is nothing but joy and happiness, peace and love; no more hurting, no more sorrow. I know you miss her more than words can even express right now and your heart is breaking. I wish there was something I could do to ease your pain. Remember that you can always reach out to God, and He will help you. 1 Peter 5:7 says "Give all your worries to Him because He cares for you." God loves you so much, Julz, and He wants nothing more than for you to love Him so one day you and Jillian can be together again skipping down the streets of Heaven wearing leopard!

I have been through a similar situation; one of my very best friends, Amy, her husband, Matt, and their 17 month old son, Seth, were killed in a car accident Labor Day weekend 1999. I didn't think I would ever get over it...that I'd never get the images of Amy holding Seth in the casket out of my head, or that I'd ever quit crying. But somehow, over time, the pain dulled and the memories grew. They will be in my heart forever, as Jillian will in yours.

Hang in there, sweet girl.

Anonymous said...

i am so sorry for your loss julz---this was such a moving post it brought me to tears. i can't tell you how sorry i am to see how badly you are hurting and i wish i could do something to take away some of your pain. the love you have for jilli is so strong and real and is something that a lot of people never experience. she seems like such an amazing person and will ALWAYS be with you and now her memory is with all of us too. I am keeping you all in my prayers, and please know that i am here for you whenever you need me!

Katy said...

This post really touched me and I just can't stop crying now. I've lost loved ones, but never a best friend, so I can't even imagine how you must feel. Just take it one day at a time.

We are all here for you. Stay strong!

Nicole ( said...

This story gave me chills. I'm so sorry for your loss, girl :( Hang in there, if you need anything, let me know <3

Anonymous said...

I know you've gotten a lot of comments already but your story really touched me. Time and prayer will help heal you and just stick close to your family and friends. I'm sorry for your loss but I thank you for sharing it with us; this was a beautiful post.