First words. The both/and.

Here they are. My first words since…since I found out that half my family died. They won’t be making it to Anchorage, or anywhere else. The words are not flowing. Disbelief and blinking and shaking of my head. I’ll want to record it all, at some point, to remember. How will I ever forget?

Labor. Delivery. Waiting is over. Getting used to…? Learning how to…? walk my brand new story. Heart that won’t stop racing.

Eyes that are completely dry or completely wet.

An overwhelming sense that God’s got this and the glory is going to be amazing. The current reality that I don’t got this and really don’t want to have it. That I cannot do this one more minute. That surviving is the only option, but I don’t know how and I’m not sure I want to.





Talking to no one and getting calls from the press.






Anguish. Anguish. That word resonates. Deep all encompassing anguish…





And always my heart pounding, racing, as if it needs to leave my chest. It lives outside myself now. A large chunk of it torn away and sinking, sunk to the bottom of an icy lake.

Gratitude it was probably very fast.

Gruesome pictures that haunt.

Desire to walk well by faith.

Uncertainty what that means.

Excitement for the future.

Dread for each moment.

Wanting to shout their stories.

Wishing I could only whisper it to those who will hold it close and cherish it.

With me. My story. My beautiful, terrible story. My people. My life. My Savior’s life through me.

Death. How does one live after the dying?

No words.

So many rushing, gushing words.

Sweet memories.

Bitter stabs.

Aching, piercing.



Oh how I want Scott to hold me through this. To process and give me perspective. To weep with me and I can only weep for him and the hollow cavernous hole.












Raw, oh so raw.

14 thoughts on “First words. The both/and.

  1. Julie- I’m sitting in the grocery store parking lot reading this post and wrenching with pain for you! I’m begging our Savior to continue to give you the strength and peace at just the right time! Though we’ve not been together for years – our families are so uniquely similar that your story has engulfed me, not even sure if that makes any sense. Know that you are always on my heart and many times, sometimes a few times a day I petition Jesus to reach down right where you are and provide just what you need! Love you sister in Christ!


  2. Julie. I have no words that can adequately describe how much I wish this wasn’t your cup. While there is comfort in knowing “God’s got this”, as you said, “I don’t got this”. How do the two partner together? The marriage of the broken heart to His healing balm is one that is eagerly anticipated, as we so want the hurt to stop, yet the healing is so often slow and painful… and long. I am in pain with and for you and praying that, in its perfect timing, joy will return more frequently than sorrow, and laughter more often than tears. But in the meantime, in this precious, dreadful meantime, I pray the Holy Spirit comfort you as only the Author of your heart can. Love you ❤


  3. My heart breaks for you in a way only a wife and mother’s could. Praying daily that God will provide what no one else can. No words seem worthy.


  4. Julie-I hear the courage it takes to keep breathing-one breath at a time….when your heart vacillates between wanting to join Scott, Kaitlyn, and Zach in Paradise—and wanting to stay and be all-in with Josh and Sam and the rest of your earthly story.

    The way ahead is not clear….only Light for each brave moment. The pain in the dying to dreams/expectations/rights….and pain in the living raw.

    Oh, Julie….I offer you my crumb-small because it’s just me-huge because it’s tethered to Him and His Almighty Power–.to hold you in Light and Hope and Truth…wishing I could give you an actual hug, an actual shoulder to cry on in your excruciating pain.

    May our Precious, Gracious, All-Loving Lord Himself hold you-and keep providing dear ones to hold up your weary arms of faith as you live through this very dark tunnel -when God’s love and peace and hope sometimes seem to be hiding and your path feels so scary and unknown.

    Keep writing!

    Shalom to every cell of you and your boys’ bodies–especially your racing heart-

    With love-Kari


  5. Thank you Julie for choosing to share your story with the world. These words are so beautiful and so heart breaking at the same time. God has made you very strong and courageous.


  6. Thank you for sharing. Praying. I am Mark Brown’s older sister. My husband and son spent a lovely week at your lodge last fall. Still talk about what a wonderful cook you are. John taught Zach how to play poker . Zach bet the lodge and lost. All our love.


  7. Oh Julie! I am glad you are able to type this out. I love you and continue to think of you, Sam, and Josh daily, and pray as often as you come to mind.


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