SEEING JULIA is the story of a young widow who learns that starting over begins with her past, revealing secrets, and letting go. With her husband Evan's tragic death, Julia Hamilton considers only one truth: death abducts the dying, but grief steals from those left behind. At her... read more
SEEING JULIA explores the story of a young widow who struggles to overcome the vestiges of devastating loss and ultimately discovers the love of her life. Julia relates to her own life from the perspective of before and after. In the before, Julia remembers her life being magical and filled... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
SEEING JULIA explores the story of a young widow who struggles to overcome the vestiges of devastating loss and ultimately discovers the love of her life. Julia relates to her own life from the perspective of before and after. In the before, Julia remembers her life being magical and filled with the love and devotion of her famous parents. The three of them led a literary life around the world. In one of the last days of before, she recalls the promise of her first kiss, a golden boy, who told her she completed him and was all he could see. This touch point carries promise for her throughout her life.
At sixteen, she buries her parents, at twenty-three, her fiancé, and now, almost four years later, her husband. In the after, every time she loses love; she mourns the loss all of them.
She is here in the after. Again. At Evan’s funeral, reflecting upon what she knows to be true: death abducts the dying, but grief steals from those left behind. There is less of her with every loss. Heartbroken by Evan’s death, she fears there is nothing left of her to go on; and, she struggles with the lasting effects of grief as it steals into her soul and threatens to take her down into the lifeless abyss, forever, this time. She can’t imagine starting over again and almost succumbs to the grief. It is the rescue from a virtual stranger, Jacob Winston, which saves her.
In the aftermath of Evan’s death, Julia embarks upon on a journey of self-discovery and finds her way back from loss with the unwavering support of her long-time best friends, Kimberley Powers and Stephanie Chantal, the innocent love of her young son, and the patient loyalty of one man. Julia finds peace within herself and all the loved ones she has lost, when she discovers the courage to reconnect to her past and finally sees the one person who has seen her all along.
“There was before. And, there was after. Before was magical, embraced promise, and bequeathed good things. Before was for the innocent. After was haunted, and relinquished all promise.”Julia
“My new reality would take away the magic, turn my dreams to nightmares, make my memories imagined, when before ended and the after came. He saw me that day. And then, the after came and I disappeared.”Julia
“I’ve been here before. I’ve done this before. At sixteen, I buried my parents, at twenty-three, my fiancé, Bobby. And now, almost four years later, my husband, Evan. I’m here, again, in the after. Here’s what I know: death abducts the dying, but grief steals from those left behind. There is less of myself with every loss.”Julia
““There were these seagulls. Just calling, cooing, whatever the hell it is they do. These seagulls flew overhead in frenzied formation, diving, seemingly spying at the unexpected activity. They flew away, all at once, disturbed by the building crescendo of unfamiliar sounds, I guess. I kept wondering: why do they do that? Are they frightened? God damn birds.””Julia
““The thing was, I knew, even then, I was saying goodbye to happiness. I felt it seeping away from me. Gone forever. Just this feeling of suspended disbelief. Suspended disbelief. You know; the feeling you get, after you’ve cut yourself, a silly accident where the carving knife goes astray. You’re cutting tomatoes and then, you’ve cut yourself. It’s stupid, really. And, you stare down at your finger and before the pain starts, you watch the hint of blood ooze from sliced skin. Then, in the next instant, it’s everywhere. The horror…spurting blood that can’t be stopped… the horror takes hold. And then, the pain comes.””Julia
“Finally, I say, “long dark hair, blue-violet eyes, slender, tall, she had a Liz Taylor in Black Beauty thing going on.” Reluctance sets in. Do I really want to put this together for him? “Like you,” he says. Pandora’s Box opens. Chocolate anyone? An abundance of heartbreak. Rare happiness. Plenty of self-destruction. Take your pick. Julia’s got everything in here.”Julia, Dr. Bradley Stevenson,Julia
“The man is the personification of a Hallmark greeting card come to life; he believes in all he’s saying. It just emanates from him—this belief system in needs and wants and gods and angels and all the good in the world. I’ll be touched by his words and be saved. But my own reality rushes in, a cruel reminder of the truth of this world, of this life I already know so well. This hoodoo voodoo greeting card script he adheres to is giving me a headache and stirring up too much of the pain I keep buried deep inside. Who I am? What I might need? Who gets those kinds of answers about life? Doesn’t everyone struggle to be seen?”Julia
““Lady, are you lost?” A guy asks, who looks just like Bobby. “No.” “Do you want to be?” I stare at his too white smile. I’m reminded of Jake. Jake? Don’t think about him. Not good. “Do you want to be?” He asks. “Do I want to be what?” “Lost.” “Absolutely.” There’s a pool. We’re high up in the hills of Malibu away from the beach now at this gorgeous house. The Pacific is so vast. It’s big from up here. I step into the pool. I just step in. The water is warm and I swim a while. Now, I shiver in my clothes staring at the sunset and the vast Pacific. It’s so vast. Endless. I look for the guy who has the too white smile, but he’s left me. Of course. Of course, he’s left me. Everyone does.”Julia
Table of Contents
Prologue ~ Before after
Chapter 1 ~ In the after again
Chapter 2 ~ Not starting over
Chapter 3 ~ Confessions
Chapter 4 ~ Why I hate Advil
Chapter 5 ~ Things that begin with the letter A
Chapter 6 ~ A never-ending roller coaster ride
Chapter 7 ~ Not so perfect
Chapter 8 ~ For the love of white chocolate
Chapter 9 ~ Definitely, definitely the most alive among us
Chapter 10 ~ Absolutely, absolutely fine
Chapter 11 ~ Seeing normal
Chapter 12 ~ Navigating a Paris way of life
Chapter 13 ~ Handwritten notes
Chapter 14 ~ These complications
Chapter 15 ~ Living in a room without oxygen
Chapter 16 ~ Wait and see
Chapter 17 ~ You are here
Chapter 18 ~ Battle lines
Chapter 19 ~ It’s the little things
Chapter 20 ~ It’s important to have a plan
Chapter 21 ~ Malibu answers
Chapter 22 ~ Connections between people, places, and things
Chapter 23 ~ Kite without a tail
Chapter 24 ~ Find a tail that makes your kite fly
Chapter 25 ~ The normal stuff
Chapter 26 ~ Exchanging gifts from L.A.
Chapter 27 ~ All I see
Book Club Discussion
Author Author Q & A
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