Portrait taken on July 4, 2021 by my dear friend, Michael Tedesco

Julie Derby Jaecksch was born and raised in Maryland.
First significant experience with death was the sudden death of her beloved
Grandma when she was 22. Her family did not speak much about death and grieving.
Earned bachelors degree in Law Enforcement and Masters in Forensic Science.
Moved to California in 1990 to start a career as a Crime Scene Investigator CSI
with the Oakland Police Department (OPD).

In 1999, the OPD started a Peer Support Critical Incident Stress Management
Program. Julie was one of a dozen original team members and quickly became the leader of the team. She attended numerous training courses presented by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation and other organizations. Being part of the PSCISM team was important to Julie because it was about deep listening and being there to support her co-workers with work related issues as well as difficult life situations.

In 2004, Julie’s beloved Aunt was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic lung cancer. She made numerous trips to Southern California to be at her Aunt’s side to companion her through her illness and as she arrived at the end of her life. In 2008, as an extension of her PSCISM training experience, Julie began volunteering with The First Responder Support Network FRSN which has residential, week-long retreats for first responders. http://www.frsn.org Julie continues to serve FRSN several times a year.

In April of 2010, Julie’s wonderful husband was diagnosed with stage 4 lung
cancer. Several cycles of chemotherapy did not change anything and he went into hospice care. Julie companioned him during the final season of his life until his peaceful death in September with Julie holding his hand as he took his last breath.
On February 23, 2015, Julie’s older brother died suddenly of a heart attack, this was the shock of her life. Her parents had died as the result of disease. She had friends at OPD who had died in the line of duty and by suicide. Julie had friends who died of disease and accidents. But her brother’s shocking death took her to her knees, literally, and left a gaping hole in her life. Julie retired from OPD in 2015.

Julie began to read and attend courses about grief, soul work and end of life issues.
She planned to volunteer with a local hospice organization to be of service to others and pay it forward having benefited from the hospice organization that cared for her husband. Julie learned from Francis Weller author of the book The Wild Edge of Sorrow and The Sacred Art of Living Center in Bend Oregon

Julie co-taught a Crime Scene Investigation class at a local community college
January 2016 – May2020.

She received her end of life doula training with The Peaceful Presence Project of Bend, Oregon April – June 2021.