Julie Stafford
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After a 30 year love affair, when my husband Bruce passed from cancer, in 2006, I took a journey, as a single woman, to explore who I could become in the next chapter of my life. Before my rocky small steps became confident leaps of faith, I was drawn to Dubrovnik - a city reborn from grief and redefined by the lessons and scars of a turbulent war. Dubrovnik would redefine me. Later, I traveled to Italy. Italy's exuberance got me excited about life once more. In Paris - city of love, I asked if I was entitled to more than one extraordinary love story in one lifetime, and Paris didn't disappoint.

The greatest lesson of my journey, which I wrote about in my memoir, 'The Seagull An Unexpected Love Story' reminds me how age doesn't define who we are or who we can become: only the kind of love that makes us feel trembling happiness, everyday, and what the outcomes of this love attracts into our lives everyday can shape and form us. 

Raw in its emotion, because it was written and lived in the immediate period after Bruce's passing, my experience will test the boundaries of your definition of love and what love is capable of when someone passes. My journey to process grief and heal from it, understanding what it means for a woman to lose love and rediscover love, affirms for me that life sometimes knocks you down so you can rise higher than you ever imagined, and how in the place you rise to, you so often find your higher more evolved self.

In my pursuit to walk the road that I imagined was already written for me, I was pushed to take risks. I was directed to trust my innate instinct. Every infinitesimal moment of my life became important. The characters I met on my journey, important to my rebirth, will touch your hearts as they touched and grew mine. And, along the roads of my rebirth, inspired by one rather special seagull, I learned that if you want to fly you need to give up everything that weighs you down.

And, my biggest lesson of all...we are not the limits of our circumstance we are the possibility of the lessons written into our circumstance. Every day is a brand new chance to taste more of life, to learn and grow and give back.  And so, ten years on, with new energy in my heart, after the lessons of that early period so soon after Bruce passed, I wanted to go back to my memoir, and embrace it from a whole new perspective, because in ten years, there was much to add and further consider. This edition will be called, 'Julie's Heart Voice', and from this edition a screenplay has been written for a proposed movie of the same name.


I love Albert Einstein's... "Imaginationis more important than knowledge." He gives me approvalto daydream. Dr Robert Schuller's,"What would you attempt to do if youknew you could not fail?" makes me ponder the possibilities of life anddares me to dream bigger. John F Kennedy's, "There are risks and costs to aprogram of action, but they are far less than the long range risks and costsof comfortable inaction." stirs my thinking. Could he be talking directly to me and t...

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