Available ebook formats: epub
High school dropout. Teen runaway. Admits her mistakes. Accepts what is. Lives with gratitude and intention.
Before she died, my mother told me I had a guardian angel. She said that angel would keep me safe. As a child of suicide, I clung to that belief. I struggled to stay strong, but life was hard. My mother left behind ten children. Ultimately, blind faith drove me to the ends of the earth searching for proof.
At sixteen, I ran away from home and changed my name to an actress off a soapie. Despite homelessness and adversity, I met the love of my life, won a makeover, lost weight, lost my best friend, showed off, and climbed Everest.
On Everest, I finally faced my grief. I realized that staying strong isn’t always the answer. Accepting a hand is a sign of strength. My Sherpa guide Pratap became my source of strength, and he allowed me to be weak. My message to others dealing with family suicide is that burying your grief is unhealthy. It eats away at you. As a community, we need to remove the social taboo around talking about suicide. We need to allow survivors to be weak, to talk about those they’ve lost and about how it is affecting them, so that they can process their feelings and work through their grief.
But more surprises were in store. One night up near the Arctic Circle, I inadvertently captured an angel on my camera. Icelandic legends say that the Northern Lights are the spirits of unborn children playing in the heavens, or that they are torches held in the hands of wayward souls directing them to the other side. What if they are right?
When I saw the angel’s swollen stomach, I cried. Our mother was nine months pregnant when she died.
My memoir, Juliette’s Angel: Death Desire Destiny, is the story behind that photograph. For years, I locked the camera’s memory card in a safe, unsure what to do. I believe that now, in these times of global fear and uncertainty, we all need hope, we all need faith. An angel is a messenger of hope and faith. It’s time to share my angel with others.
Juliette loves Brad Pitt, dances to Lady Gaga, and watches Dr. Phil. She believes that thoughts create our experience, it’s ok to show off, and that there is strength in letting go.
When not surviving deserted islands or climbing deadly peaks, Juliette can be found writing her second memoir, Castaway Great Barrier Reef. Proud of their three grown children, Juliette and her hunk-of-spunk Johnny live among the gum trees in Brisbane, Australia. www.juliettepower.com