Podcast Junkie

Reviewing “Julie: The Unwinding of the Miracle”


Host: We are back today on Podcast Junkie with a special review from Ava Allred.

AA: Hi everyone! My name’s Ava Allred and I’ll be taking this segment on Podcast Junkie to review the podcast “Julie: The Unwinding of the Miracle.” I will say, this title had me a bit fooled. When I read that this podcast would be about a woman saying goodbye to her family and friends as she passed slowly from cancer, the word “miracle” made me assume that she had some hope to survive this. Don’t let this concern you, though. Once you hear about Julie’s entire life, the life that is essentially a miracle itself, you’ll definitely understand. I went through a rollercoaster of emotions listening to this podcast, but came out of it looking at life in a whole new light. Julie is a rockstar! I can’t wait to share with you a little more about this story! 

AA: Warning: There will be spoilers!


Topic 1: “Introducing Julie” and “The End”:

Host: So, tell us a little about the story.

AA: “Julie: The Unwinding of the Miracle” was split up into essentially three episodes, with the exception of a short introduction and an epilogue. “Introducing Julie” and “The End” are the first two episodes in this series. We first get to meet Julie. Julie Yip-Williams was born in Vietnam and escaped the political upheaval of the late 1970s with her family on a rickety boat with 300 other refugees. They made it to Hong Kong and eventually America. Against all odds, Julie became a Harvard-educated lawyer with a husband and a family. I mean, this woman is a BOSS!

Host: She sounds like it.

AA: But, at just thirty-seven years old, Julie was diagnosed with terminal metastatic colon cancer. 

Host: What?!

AA: Julie, being the powerful woman she is, however, decided that she wanted to leave her children and loved ones with something other than death. She wanted to share the story of her life. She wanted to share the hard  and honest truths of fear, growing, death, family. Julie didn’t want to share her story for sympathy. She wanted to show what it’s really like to face death head-on. She wanted to share her real thoughts and feelings as her cancer slowly took over her body. 

Host: This sounds super interesting.

AA: It was. I personally enjoy how right off the bat, the podcast doesn’t fully focus on what Julie leaves behind, but rather on the life she has already lived, so it’s not totally depressing. In “The End,” Julie introduces her two young daughters and talks a bit about wanting to leave them at a point where they would not fear death, which was totally sad but what any loving parent would want. The podcast did a great job of adding a deeper emotional tug by implementing Julie’s kids’ voices. When I heard their little voices, my heart broke a little.

AA: Well into this episode, the speaker nonchalantly shares a little detail: Julie was born blind. I really like how they didn’t make this Julie’s personality, though. It was just a little piece of her, because, I mean, look at how she overcame it!

Topic 2: “The Secret”

AA: So, in this episode, Julie shared with us a little secret that her mother slipped up and told her later in her life. It changed Julie’s life forever, and absolutely broke my heart listening to it.

Host: I’m on the edge of my seat.

AA: Throughout Julie’s life, she spent much time with her grandmother and cousins. Julie couldn’t go many places with her family because she couldn’t see, which is sad, but I think this was just her family trying to protect her, and Julie doesn’t see this in a very negative light. Julie loved her grandmother, so when she found out what her grandmother did, it took her a long time to recover. Julie’s mother told her that her grandmother, when Julie was a newborn, tried to make Julie “sleep forever” because of her blindness. Julie is completely shattered by this. She loved her grandmother, so this forced her to question her grandmother’s true feelings about her. In my opinion, this secret could have been kept inside, because though this is a horrible thing for Julie’s grandmother to do, I think that she was just trying to save Julie from a terrible life. Julie overcame her visual problems, though, so it definitely was a mistake.

Host: Did this, like, destroy her?

AA: Julie battled this fact for years, but she eventually came to the conclusion that her grandmother came to love her and she grew into a woman. She shared stories that proved this, like her grandmother coming to visit her after she started her period for the first time. And on her grandmother’s deathbed, she reached her hand out to Julie and Julie told her that she’d miss her.

AA: This segment was heartbreaking, but it really demonstrated how much Julie overcame, and it was touching to know that her grandmother did actually love and care about Julie.

Topic 3: The Unwinding of the Miracle

AA: In this episode, Julie peacefully passed away. We don’t hear much from Julie’s daughters or husband, but we do hear from her cousins and friends. To save this episode from being completely depressing, some humor is thrown in there through Julie telling everyone the ways in which she’ll come back to haunt them. There are plenty of laughs, tears, and talking that we hear throughout this episode. 

AA: Her friends and family say goodbye through their tears, and Julie is finally face-to-face with death. She contemplates what the afterlife will be like and she looks forward to what she’ll see. She’s ready to be with her grandmother, and she’s sure that she’ll be able to interact with the living after she’s gone.

Host: It sounds like she’s ready for death.

AA: She was. I liked how this episode was more peaceful than sad. Julie came to terms with her death, so it’s like we were all ready in a way.

Topic 4: Epilogue: Signs

AA: This short episode shares a couple of stories where Julie’s family and friends interacted with her after she died. In one story, Julie’s friend was driving through an area with no service that Julie absolutely hated because when they were talking on the phone, the service always cut out. When the friend was driving through this area one day thinking about Julie, her radio went absolutely berserk, and she just knew in her heart it was Julie speaking to her. Julie’s sense of humor survived even death, and I thought that this story was a great way to finish off the podcast. 


AA: This podcast wasn’t simply about cancer. It was about motherhood, marriage, ambition, anger, pain, and honesty. We listened to the length of Julie’s life that took us through so many emotions. Julie shared the reality of death and dying, and I appreciate hearing this honesty about facing death for once.

Host: Thank you for listening to my review of  “Julie: The Unwinding of the Miracle.” If you choose to give it a listen, enjoy!

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