lament for my sister

As many of you know, my precious baby sister was in a tragic car accident on Saturday evening.  She was driving home from visiting friends in Charlottesville and lost control of her car.  She hit a tree around 6pm on July 7 and passed away a few moments later.

Elliott and I received the call from my parents around 4am our time in Italy.  I was totally unprepared for the message of the call, disbelieving that my mother’s words could be true.  “Julia was in a car accident.  She went to be with the Lord.”  Oh my sweet sister… how can you be gone?  How can this be the end of your life on earth?  How could it happen so quickly, how could you be so present in our lives and then be taken away in a matter of moments?

Within a few hours, Lena and I were on a flight to the States, and I landed in Washington, D.C., just 24 hours after receiving the news.  I had initial misgivings about leaving Elliott’s side so quickly, but as soon as I saw my whole family standing there waiting for me (but without sunshiny blond Julia) I came undone with tears and knew I didn’t want to be anywhere else.  It is so right and good to grieve together as a family, to weep together and pray together and ask questions together and seek and find answers together.  We are so upheld and comforted by each other’s love, as well as from the phenomenal outpouring of support, compassion, prayers, and love from hundreds and hundreds of friends the world over.

We are so, so sad, and I cannot imagine being 45 or having three children or growing gray without my sister.  I love her and miss her and long to feel her strong hug and rub her swimmer’s shoulders and play with her amazing hair and eat one of her chocaholic desserts. 

And yet… there is so much mercy.  God is so good, and He is pouring out mercy on us by letters of Julia’s that friends are sharing with us, by getting a phone call from a man who was with her in the few moments she lived after the crash, by comforting us that she knew and loved Jesus Christ and is rejoicing in His presence this very moment.  Her soul is with the Lord and we eagerly await the day when we will join her!

We are preparing for Julia’s burial and memorial service this weekend, and we would love to have any and all join us.  You can find details on this website and more memorial information on the UVA Center for Christian Study website.

For the many of you readers who have already reached out in enormous love to us and lifted us up in prayer, thank you!

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time
are not worth comparing with
the glory that is to be revealed to us.
(Romans 8:18)
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15 Responses to lament for my sister

  1. Kristen July 11, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    We just wanted to let you know we are lifting your family up in prayer! (Elliot knows my husband Lloyd from vet school and we have been following your journey). You will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers!
    ~Kristen Reitz

  2. Di July 11, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    I am so sorry to hear your families sad news. You are in my thoughts.

  3. Jenna Lorence July 12, 2012 at 2:25 am #

    Becca, I am so, so sorry for your loss. We are praying for you and your family. Much love to you.

  4. Laura July 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    Becca, I’m so sorry. Leah told me what happened, and you and your family have been in my prayers this week. Much love. (Laura Marshall)

  5. Anonymous July 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    I do not know any one of you but heard about this via fb on Pastor Isaac Shaw’s post and immediately my heart went out to you as a family. I too am a mother and I understand what courage and faith it would require to go on believing in God’s goodness. I pray for you as a family and thank God that your sister knew Christ.

  6. Briana September 27, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    This post gave me chills. My sister and I haven’t spoken in almost a year (she is struggling with addiction) and reading this made me realize I need to reach out to her. I would never forgive myself if I didn’t and something happened to her.

    I am so so so sorry for your loss. XO.

  7. ariadne October 9, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    I am so sorry for your loss! Thanks for visiting my blog! I’ll be around and see more of beautiful Sicily and you!AriadnefromGreece!

  8. Sherry October 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    Becca, I have no words. Just know that there is one in WV praying for you and your family.

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