‘In Loving Memory of Julia Campbell’

That’s the words that are on the card given out during Julia Campbell’s funeral service yesterday in Fairfax, Va. It should have said “loving memories,” because there were many, most prompted by a video slideshow of photos from Julia’s life. (That smile seemed ever-present; some are here in Julia’s flickr account) I was surprised to see a photo of Julia, me and her father, in the back of a U-Haul when Julia moved back to New York City in 1997.

Many people spoke of Julia’s passion, determination, her desire, especially in recent years, to serve others. I especially like the story her Peace Corps supervisor from the Philippines told about his first meeting with Julia. He said he expected he’d take some time, get to know her, instead Julia spend the next 45 minutes suggesting — OK, telling — him how things could run better. It brought some laughter, which broke more tears. (I found another Peace Corps gesture special — they gave the family a flag that had flown over the White House.)

It was good to talk some with Julia’s family at a reception afterwards — amazing how they were making us feel better as we grieved and remembered together. I heard more about Julia’s recent years, and am even more impressed with the direction she took her life — and even sadder that she is no longer with us to see where she would have gone. It is hard for me to accept her death is part of the Divine’s master plan, but that is my shortcoming and perhaps with time, I will understand, or at least accept more.

The closing words of the card we got yesterday say this:

When you are long and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in
Doing good deeds
Miss me, but let me go.

I told Julia’s mother I will always remember Julia. Many others are, in the comments at the end of Julia’s last blog post. As of this morning, it had 290 comments. Add you so we don’t forget.

RIP Julia,