Celebration of a Life Well Lived


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This week I mourn the loss of my dear friend and fellow psychologist, Dr. Jamila Irons-Johnson. Words cannot express the sadness I feel from her sudden, untimely death. I cannot believe I'm even writing this. It was just Tuesday that we were talking and laughing in the office, a highlight of my day. Her last words to me were "Have a good day tomorrow." The end of tomorrow was never to come for her.


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Jamila was young (2 1/2 years my junior), beautiful, and full of life. She was a bright light to all who knew her. A great psychologist and adoring wife and mother, Jamila had a way of getting things done with a quiet perseverance. She was not boastful or self-involved. Her work and accomplishments spoke for itself. I admired her so.


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To all those who were fortunate enough to befriend her, Jamila was a warm and sincere friend. She was always supportive of my goals and dreams. In fact, she offered to be my supervising psychologist, and helped me get through the all-consuming licensing process. I am a better person for having known her.


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Jamila felt similar to me in a number of ways. For one thing, we both grew up with Jamaican parents who instilled in us a love of God. In her, I saw both a reflection of myself and what I could be.


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With a heavy heart, I try to focus on the great life she lived and the lives she touched. Her life was short, but her path amazing. She accomplished her goals and dreams, and seemed to be in a good place when she passed.


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Jamila, I miss you greatly. But I believe that God has a bigger purpose for you. I know you are in a peaceful, better place now.


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May God bless your husband, children, and family. And may he fill the painful void we all feel now that you are no longer with us.  I will make sure my life reflects all that I learned from you. And in that way your life will live on.