Dear Julie, everything has been a blur for the past few days. One minute Patra called me to ask for your cousin’s number to inform him you’d been in an accident and next thing I hear, is that you didn’t make it. How?
I can’t imagine the pain and shock of your friends who saw you last as you parted ways, certain you’d each be home in a few minutes. You left for your heavenly home instead.
We braved the day and went about 5 aside UG which was a few hours later. As you know there can be a lot of background drama. It was all there, it was frustrating but it paled in comparison to the pain of your absence. How could we accept that you wouldn’t come and we’d not have you to talk, sing,dance, laugh with us anymore?
We’d last spoken a few days before your departure. You wanted a host for snap chat 256 at our event.
I told you I couldn’t think of a better person than you. You’d definitely bring your charm and humour to it. You agreed, no questions asked because that’s just who you were. Are, Were? Arrggh?! I can’t believe this is in past tense!
Sadly, our last happy messages were followed by this message that will now always haunt me. It was a message informing me that the owner of the phone(you) had been involved in a terrible accident.
You were many things to different people, Julie but that you already know. How your heart managed to contain all of us, I do not know but I want to thank you for giving us the wonderful opportunity to know you. You were such a delight!
I can’t even remember when I met you because you fit right in and left people feeling like they’d known you their whole lives.
I am smiling now thinking of our conversations in which we became award winning music critics, comparing past albums, musicians’ talent and their growth as if it was our career. It was from this shared love of music, especially Ugandan music that I started to call you my selector. From the music we exchanged, to staying up chatting about the songs on SNMS as we both listened in, you always oozed life and humour. This was the most used emoticon when chatting with you.
Face to face, it is rib cracking laughter that replaced it.
Julie, you were not the life of the party. You were the party.
I know so many things have been said, written and many more are in people’s memories. You touched so many lives and even people who didn’t know you now have an inkling of your awesomeness. Wharragirl!
I wish everyone could share as much as they can so that we can keep seeing you everywhere we turn. Not that we are planning to forget you, that’s impossible but I think it’ll help us deal and walk towards the healing process. We know you wouldn’t want us to be sad and whiney. <P.s: Right now, we can’t help it>
Oh, I am grinning again, because of your fat jokes. Remember when I called you to grill you for being late to an event at Akiba yet you lived close by? You covered it up as always and left me laughing.I even needed a favour so that didn’t help matters. I’d messed my top and asked you to carry me one. Your silly self started explaining how your clothes would be 10 times my size. Sheep. I’d later ask you to give me the ‘worst’ weight remarks you’d ever heard because I wanted to write a piece about Ugandan’s obsession with weight ‘kaboozi’ whether one is ‘big’ or ‘small.’
My favourite was your colleague who said “You have a big stomach, is that all yours?” I was so mad on your behalf but you explained that you never let any of them get to you. That is who you were, forgiving with such a light heart, patient and true.
You always created ‘FOMO’ for our events, online and offline. You contributed financially and with man power when we needed it. You didn’t wait to be told. You showed up for the fun times as well as the ‘working’ ones and gave all of yourself in true Julie style. If we needed a boost, we’d start up a dancing competition and guess who was always willing to open the floor so others could join in? Only you.
I remember after croak and rhyme last year you told me you’d twisted your neck having fun and it was worth it. How does that even happen? Again, only you.
After the fundraisers,you always asked if we’d made raised a considerable amount. You were quick to console or applaud and that meant everything. You made a big deal of all our achievements or appearances and just knew how to make a little person feel like a star.
I thanked you when I could, I really hope it sufficed and that you knew how much your presence and support meant to us.
Did you see all the people who came to bid you farewell? Now add those who couldn’t make it. You’re good with numbers, you can do that instantly, yes? They love you and they miss you. You did good in your 25 years, you did more than good. We couldn’t have had enough of you.
Of all the hundreds who showed up, all of us combined do not come close to the pain of your dear mama. Oh gosh,if only you could come back and give her a big hug.
You heard her speech, when she said you were her right hand? We all felt it, and her pain cut through my heart. She’d later fail to say much more as she wept for the loss of her beautiful daughter. Please make a plan with God to speak through her soul daily and comfort her. As your friends, we will also keep the fort here. You are irreplaceable our Julie. She’ll need all the strength in the world and then some.
After we got back to Kampala last night, I got a boda boda home and took ‘our’ route. I spent the whole trip talking about you and the rider was very understanding. He rode slowing, listened and only interjected with words of comfort. We agreed that it was your time, no matter how difficult it is to accept.
It is agonizing to accept or understand but we know you and we figure the Lord must have a massive plan for you in heaven. You belong to him so his needs obviously come before ours. You’ll remain with us in all the things that remind us of you. You will remain in our hearts. When words fail, we shall laugh, or maybe cry but above all, we shall celebrate your life.
Last year as I did a piece titled “What if you weren’t afraid, ” you told me one of your greatest fears was ‘not living a fulfilled life.’ While we are devastated it had to end so soon, it was definitely fulfilled. In fact, you helped others live a fulfilled life as well and boy did you do it well!
Pain demands to be felt and we are certainly feeling it. You wouldn’t want this but we need to get closure then move on to celebrating you; sometimes it happens concurrently. Other times it takes longer.
You taught us many things and I hope that we can emulate you in the remaining time, before we meet again.
You’re too amazing to bottle up in few words but we want you to know anyway. You are an enigma, a firecracker, and now, an angel.
We love you Julie. We always will