"O Death, Where is Thy Sting?"

Real Estate Agent with Fathom Realty West Sound WA State 52404

Death and Taxes. Two things that are inevitable in this life. Unfortunately, death is no respecter of persons. It happens to both the rich and poor, the educated and the illiterate. It affects those who have lived a long and satisfying life, as well as those who have only just begun to reach their potential. Regardless of the circumstances, we’re never fully prepared to face the fleeting mortality of those nearest to our hearts.

For some, there is the promise of an eternal hope, laid up for us in heaven, that offers consolation and comfort, and freedom from the trappings of a fallen world.

But still, there is sorrow and a deep sense of loss.

Such is the case with our family just recently. My wife’s younger sister, Julie, died of an apparent heart attack and complications from diabetes. Her health had been slowly deteriorating for the past several years. She had lost virtually all of her vision, and her kidney functions failed, requiring dialysis several times a week.

Shortly after being airlifted to a hospital in Stockton, CA, her blood sugar levels improved and her vital signs began to strengthen, but she wasn’t conscious. Her parents and husband waited patiently into the early morning hours, hoping that she might resurface from her coma. The doctors felt that she was stable, and suggested they head home to get some rest.

Just as they were taking the final exit off the highway, the hospital called. Julie had stopped breathing. They doubted that she’d survive more than a few hours.

When they arrived back at the hospital, Julie was on life support. There was no brain activity. After running several additional tests, her husband decided to have the life support removed. An hour later, her heart stopped beating, and she was gone.

We had an intimate family gathering graveside. Our oldest son, Ben, played guitar and led us in songs of hope, encouragement, and praise. The following day, a large memorial service was held at the church where Julie and her family had attended while growing up. It was the same church where I had met her sister and my wife, Janice. Julie was in high school back then, and I was one of the volunteer youth staff. She had been telling Janice (who was attending her first year of college down in Southern California) all about this really cute guy on youth staff that she just had to meet. Janice was reluctant, but Julie was more resolute and insistent. So we met during Sunday School while I was leading worship. It was truly love at first sight, And after nearly 25 years of marriage, the sight of her still makes my heart skip a beat.

My wife’s family is very close-knit. They aren’t the most ‘outwardly’ affectionate, but their love and support for each other is undying and unconditional. Sitting around the table on Sunday after church, as we shared a meal together, I was reminded once again of how very blessed and fortunate I am to be a part of such a loyal and loving group.

Julie’s husband, Dave, cracked a joke and had us all bent over in stitches. He has always had a talent for tickling our funny bones.

There will naturally be moments of sadness and mourning in the days ahead as we recall how special Julie was, and how her life touched each one of ours. But there is great healing in the close bond that we all share together, both as a family, and through a deep, abiding faith we have in common.

In Loving Memory of Julie Ann Diehl
June 12, 1964 to March 30, 2008

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Rich Jacobson is a District Director for Fathom Realty and a licensed REALTOR®; an avid Crab Hunter, Clam Digger, and Oyster Shucker, He is the Social Media Evangelist for Life on the Kitsap Peninsula & The Western Puget Sound in scenic WA State.


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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

I just found out my blood sugar is way high and had to cut out a lot of junk stuff (my life is sugar :(   

Times like this make us realize how precious the time is that we have with our loved ones....


Jul 16, 2008 10:36 AM #9
Fran White
North Kansas City Real Estate, Reece and Nichols Residential - Kansas City North, MO
Kansas City North Real Estate, 816-682-3897


So sorry to hear about your and your familys loss.  

Sounds like you are part of an amazingly wonderful family.


Jul 16, 2008 10:38 AM #10
Nick Bastian
Realty Executives - Tempe, AZ
Real Estate Agent - Tempe

Hi Rich, I am sorry to hear of your loss but glad to hear of your strength. (and the families)


Jul 16, 2008 10:51 AM #11
asdf zcxv
Keller Williams Realty - Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor Area Real Estate

Oh Rich, I am so sorry for your loss.  I know this is an extremely difficult time for you and your family but it is great you have each other. 

Jul 16, 2008 11:14 AM #12
Alan 'AJ' Nisen California Contra Costa Mortgage Officer
A Large Bank in America - Lafayette, CA

Rich, I remember that we were emailing each other and you mentioned the death of your sister-in-law.  My heart goes out to you and our wife now as it did then. AJ

Jul 16, 2008 11:18 AM #13
William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX


Please accept our condolences and our thanks.

Last year I lost one of my best friends and my  brother Jack. Jack was 10 months younger than me. You just don't except to bury your younger siblings.

After talking to my friend Bob, just three hours before he died a few weeks earlier, I ignored family advice that Jack was sleeping and called the nurse's station. Jack was awake, they put my call through. I had the last conversation Jack ever had, although coherent he could never talk again. Our parents were with Jack for the next three weeks Mother holding his hand to the very end. Something no parent should have to do, but a comfort to Jack.

Your sharing helps us all, for death is a part of life and we the living need to be prepared.

God bless you, your wife and her family.


Jul 16, 2008 11:20 AM #14
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi Rich, What a nice tribute to a life of someone you cared a great deal about. Certainly a person that was young and vital and how sad that she was taken so early and left a hole in the family. Your tribute, though about her, reflected greatly on you and what you value in life and how you demonstrate it. I am sure the others here on AR feel the same as I , you make us all proud to know you and to be even a small part of your life Rich!

My Sincere Condolences Rich

Jul 16, 2008 11:26 AM #15
LaShawn Norden
Keller Williams Heritage Realty - Longwood, FL
REALTOR, (321) 377-0157, Your Real Estate Advocate in Central FL

Rich~This was a wonderfully written tribute to your sister-in-law and to your family. I am sorry to hear of your loss and will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Jul 16, 2008 12:42 PM #16
Kate Bourland
Marketing with Kate - Redding, CA
Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing

Rich, what a touching memorial.  There is something mystical that happens when someone so close and so special passes.  Even though their physical presence is gone, they still live in the memories of all those who loved them.   Thank you for sharing this story with us!

Jul 16, 2008 01:30 PM #17
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


My condolences to you and your family. A very nice tribute to your sister-in-law!

Jul 16, 2008 02:33 PM #18
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Wow. Her story is shocking, of how she declined so quickly. And no brain activity? That fast? Not to sound glib, but there really is great comfort in knowing our loved ones are in heaven. No more of the pain and misery of this earthly life.

Jul 16, 2008 04:35 PM #19
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Rich- My prayers and heartfelt sympathies go out to your family. May Julie be embraced by our loving Father in Heaven. May his spirit calm your hearts and you find solice in his love and comfort. We just lost our buyers agent from a heart attack suddenly. Reminds us of how we must take the moments to love one another.

Jul 16, 2008 04:55 PM #20
Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

Rich, what a very nice tribute to Julie.

Jul 16, 2008 09:11 PM #21
Matt Moxhay
Prudential Fox & Roach - Moorestown, NJ
Moorestown Real Estate

Rich- This was a beautiful tribute to your sister-in-law.  I'm so sorry for your loss and will pray for your family.

Jul 17, 2008 12:31 AM #22
Jeremy Blanton
Myrtle Beach Homes Blog - Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com

Rich this is such a wonderful tribute to your faith, sister-in-law. God Bless.

Jul 17, 2008 04:25 AM #23
Petra Norris
Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc. - Lakeland, FL
Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale

Rich - I'm so sorry for your loss of your family member. As I read this blog the tears in my eyes become more apparent with the thought of losing a loved one. My sister-in-law is currently in the hospital with cancer. She just recently had a heart attack after her bladder surgery and she is heavily sedated now. Events such as the loss of your sister-in-law and the continuous fight my sister-in-law is having it reminds us of how short life really is. My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family. 

Jul 17, 2008 07:32 AM #24
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Rich - I'm sorry for you and your family's loss.  This is a pretty amazing testament to Julie, I'm sure she is looking on and very proud.  Take care, my friend.

Jul 17, 2008 07:49 AM #25
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Rich, what a beautiful post, and such a great tribute to Janice's sister Julie.  My family and I wish to extend our condolences and will keep you, your wife, and your family in our thoughts and prayers my friend.  I was really saddened this evening to have found this post.  Always here for ya man!  :-) 

Jul 18, 2008 07:28 PM #26
Marlene Scheffer
Realty Station - Bremerton, WA
Realtor to Kitsap County, WA

What a beautiful story!  Diabetes is a terrible disease.  Not many people know how horrible it is, but those who have to live with the complications of the disease understand it all too well. 

Julie  must have been a wonderful person to have touched your life in a way that moved you to write such a personal and sincere love poem to your sister-in-law, your wife, and your entire family.  Tell Janice that I have thought of her since meeting her many months ago at Safeway.

Jul 22, 2008 09:17 PM #27
Billnulls Blog Florida Realty Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL

That was well written and brought tears - you are correct, we are all bound for the grave sooner or later - my heart and prayers go out to your entire family!

Jul 28, 2008 05:28 AM #28
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