Monday, May 28, 2007

Warning: Major Downer


On the morning of the last day of our blissful camping trip
this weekend we discovered the dead body of a young woman floating in the water
on the banks of our campsite. She had
clearly been dead for some time and we immediately locked the kids in my friend’s
camper to shelter them from the situation and waited for the authorities to
arrive. We stood in disbelief, staring
at the backside of this young woman. Is
this really happening?

Yes, it was. The
police came and, after lots of discussion and a flurry of activity in and
around our campsite, the body was discreetly removed. I didn’t watch the removal. I couldn’t. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want
to see her face. That would make it

I am haunted by this woman and feel compelled to write about
her. Her identity has not yet been
released and I’m not sure that I want to know who she was. I know that she was wearing a green shirt
and jeans. I know that she had blonde
hair. I know that she was young. She probably had high hopes for the
future. She probably thought she’d be a
wife someday or a mother. She probably
did not think her life would end this weekend.

I dedicate this entry to that young woman. I hope that her life, while short, was
full. I hope that she was loved by many. I hope that she made an impact on this
world. I hope that those who loved her
will remember her as healthy and vibrant and alive. I hope that her family and friends can find peace in her
absence. I hope that she knew true
love. I hope that she finds peace after
death. I will say a prayer tonight for
her family and loved ones. I will sleep
in my home with my children and my husband and I will feel immense gratitude.
Life is precious and vulnerable. This
young woman’s ended abruptly. Her death
has changed my life. I will never
forget her.


  1. Very well put J. Call me if you need to talk about it anymore. I wish you and your family well also. I can't imagine what you went/are going through.

  2. J- I'm so sorry that you had to witness something like that. I will be praying for that young girl, and for you too. If ya need to talk, call me! Take Care, and ((HUGS))!!!

  3. It is always so sad to be the witness to the end of life, it is unbelievably depressing to see a life ended before there is a true chance to begin, and achieve what we all dream of. Please keep us posted on the future events that will surely develop from this tragedy. Call us as soon as you feel like talking we'll be here for you, and wish we could do something for the family left behind of this mis-fortunate young girl.

  4. OMG J! (((HUGS))) to you!!!!
    I cannot imagine the emotions that you are suffering through right now and I am here if you need me.
    I hope everyone whose life has been touched by this tragic event finds peace and closure.

  5. It's easy to ignore hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world that occur every day until you see one up close. Suddenly it becomes very real and very personal.
    The cold truth is this woman likely took her own life. The fact that she is found in a peaceful solitude place and fully clothed leads me to believe there is no foul play.
    People usually take their own life in a place they are likely to be found by strangers, and a place they found peaceful or calming in life. A campground unfortunately meets the standards.
    Try to take solace in the fact that she is in a better place now, and the intensity of your memory will soon fade. In time you'll be able to remember and tell the story without such a deep emotional response.
    Unfortunately, on the other hand, if you see enough dead strangers you'll probably become a cynical heartless bastard like me.....

  6. I guess I fall more on the side of the cynical bastard when it comes to what I witnessed this weekend. Although I was pretty much paralyzed when I first saw the woman face-down in the water, I didn't have the deep emotional response that Julianne is going through. The question that keeps coming into my mind over and over is how the hell do I keep my children from making stupid mistakes that lead to tragic events like this. Most likely this woman did something dumb to end up the way she did. Was she drunk? Or on drugs? Was she hanging out with the wrong crowd? Did she trust someone that she shouldn't have? Did she take her own life? Chances are pretty good that she made a foolish mistake somewhere along the line that cost her her life. There still remains the possibility that she was just completely a victim, and that scares me even more. What this experience has left me with is an intense desire to teach my children how precious life is, how it can be gone in the blink of an eye, and how important their decisions are when it comes to their health, happiness, and ultimately their survival.