After the sudden passing of her daughter Michelle, Lily Julien became more spiritual in a quest to find comprehension of her unimaginable loss. In a dream her daughter spoke to her and said, "I am okay mommy, you are the ones who are not okay, and you need to help each other.” Lily says that at home her two other children, Greer and Spencer, who were young teenagers at the time of the accident, would go out into a world where no one could understand what they had been through. She awoke from that dream with a vision of a place where parents and siblings were coming together for emotional support through alternative healing, using yoga, meditation, reiki, music, and art therapy.
Michelle’s message inspired COPE (Connecting Our Paths Eternally). Ironically, it was in the process of building COPE, and connecting with other parents who had lost a child, that Lily has found healing. This has been my ongoing source of inspiration from her.
Cope has grown significantly these days, and now partners with the The Moyer Foundation to offer The COPE Foundation COPE-Camp Erin New York City A FREE weekend long grief support camp designed to help adolescents ages 6 – 17, who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or someone close to them. Through interactions with other children and adults, campers learn that they are not alone in their grief.
I sat there in awe of this beautiful grandma of four, self proclaimed shy artist and now the leader and inspiration for COPE and I had to ask,"Where do you get the strength and courage to inspire and help others?" Lilly replied,“The connection to my daughter Michelle, my husband and father, and the ones I lost who are on the other side. My children, my grandchildren and partner, keep me focused on the love in my life." She added that her grand-children even look for signs and continue to speak about their papa BJ and auntie Michelle.
We sat for two hours chatting and probably could have sat for two more, as Lily has this effortless ability to bring you in and make you feel special. I am not surprised that her destiny has brought her to lead and help others. I am proud to say that I am working on a personalized pendant for COPE, which can be offered to families in honor to commemorate their loved ones.
On her bucket list is a trip to Bali. I hope Lily makes it there, because this is one deserving woman.