This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Julian Knipper 3 years old , born on April 29, 2017 and passed away on August 31, 2020. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Carolyn Newton on October 10, 2020
Hi Julian! Today is a tough day for me. But every time I feel down, I come to this page and read a new story about you. Hearing memories of you keeps you with us. Picked out a space book for you the other day! I’ll give it to Bloom when she’s older, but I think you’d love it my little explorer!
Posted by Mary Beaumont on October 4, 2020
Dear Jonathan, Eugenie and Bloom,
Uncle Bob, Avery and I are heartbroken over the loss of your dear, sweet boy, Julian. Our thoughts and prayers are with you always. May God bless you all, comfort you and keep you close. We love you all very much, and send you our love every day.
Posted by Peter Cohen on September 24, 2020
Dear Jon and Eugenie,

I am so saddened to hear of the tragic loss of Julian. May your love, empathy and compassion expand and take new form as you grieve and heal from your loss.
Peter Cohen
Posted by Mary Knipper on September 22, 2020
I keep waiting for life to feel 'back to normal' without you, Juju. But I don't think it ever will. What will we do without your joy and light in our lives?

Your cousin, Ollie, was splashing in the bathtub last night, and he kept laughing and laughing. I don't know why it reminded me so much of you... How hilarious you thought it was to splash and spray the water fountain all over us in the pool down in Marco last Thanksgiving. We were all so happy then.

We miss you, sweet Juju. <3
Posted by Mick Gm on September 15, 2020
My heart and love goes out to you and your family at such a hard time over the loss of such a beautiful little boy, Im thinking of you and remember you in my prayers
Posted by Carolyn Newton on September 13, 2020
Still thinking of you everyday my little guy. My memories of you surface in bursts. I’m thankful that you still come to visit me in my head. Cleaning my car today and was thinking about the last day I got to spend with you. Such little time, and yet such big impact.
Posted by Ronja Butler on September 12, 2020
Dearest Jon, Eugenie, Bloom, the Knipper family, and all your family members,

Our hearts ache and ache with all of yours in regard to precious Julian's tragic death. We cannot even begin to imagine your grief. Our sincerest condolences are with you all. You are a beautiful and amazing family, and we would do anything to take this pain away from you.

Please know our constant prayers are with you. We pray God’s comfort and peace are encircling each of you and that you are strengthened knowing so many who love you are lifting you up in prayer in this difficult time. We hope you can lean on each other as family to mourn together and to also remember sweet memories with Julian together. Even in this time of pain, we hope you are reminded of God’s promises that sweet Julian is in Heaven, and you all will be reunited again.

Love to you all, and our deepest sympathies remain with you. If we can do anything to help at anytime, please know we are here. And know countless others who love you and are praying for you would do the same. As you are a family who loves well, know you all are well loved.

God’s peace and blessings to each of you and always,
Ronja & William Butler and family
Posted by Malik Peiris on September 11, 2020
Dear Eugenie, I do not know to find words to express our grief and sympathy to you an your family in this most sad of times. Our lab sends our prayers and our thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Malik and the HKU lab.
Posted by Hang Nguyen Thi Thanh Han... on September 11, 2020
Chère Eugenie, Jon
Words cannot express how sorry we are for your loss. Our heart and prayers go out to you and your family at this most difficult time.
Sending you our love and deepest sympathy.
Hang and Hoa
Posted by Amy Luongo on September 10, 2020
Jesus has Julian wrapped in his arms. Have faith and trust in our Lord and he will provide you strength and healing. My prayers and condolences go out to you and your families.
bénédictions de Dieu.
Posted by Romain Jayer on September 10, 2020
De tout cœur avec vous...
Avec toute notre affection, nous voudrions pouvoir faire quelquechose mais je ne vois pas ce qui pourrait aider...
On es tellement triste pour vous.
Romain et Sydo
Posted by Marisa Peyre on September 10, 2020
Eugénie, Jon,

Je n'ai pas les mots....I am so sorry... All my thoughts are with you, courage
Avec toute mon affection,
Posted by Jean-Séb Flinois on September 9, 2020
Nous nous sommes rencontré il y a déjà 3 ans. Léna et toi êtes nés à 9 jours d’écart alors tu imagines bien que avec ta maman nous avons régulièrement partagé nos impressions de parents : les astuces, les difficultés et les bonheurs au fur et à mesure que vous grandissiez, les premiers pas, les dents, les mots... Ta maman parlait souvent de ta gaillardise. Je me souviens de ce moment de découverte entre toi et Léna au bord du lac, chez toi, alors que vous n'aviez que quelques mois.
Tu es et resteras dans nos cœurs.
Chers Eugénie, Jonathan et Bloom Agathe, nous pensons fort à vous. J’espère que vous trouverez la paix.
Posted by Debra Yelner on September 9, 2020
Dear Eugenie, Jon, Bloom, Teresa, Jim and Julian’s entire extended family,
It is impossible to comprehend the depth of your grief for Julian. We were lucky enough to witness his joy while he was visiting his Buelo and Abue at Thanksgiving. He IS and will remain your special gift. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. 
Love, Mikey and Debra
Posted by Suzy Quiles on September 8, 2020
As a friend of Julian’s grandmother Barbara, I share in your sorrow and have your entire family in my thoughts during this tragic time. May Julian’s smile, love, laughter, live in your memories forever.
Posted by Pierre LECOMTE on September 8, 2020
Vous ne me connaissez pas. Je suis un ami d'Héléne et on s'est vu à la crémation d'Isaac. Par son intermédiaire j'ai pu me rendre compte du chagrin qui est le votre face à ce décès effroyable et au magnifique courage qui est le votre. Ce petit était magnifique et vous accompagnera toute votre vie. Vous l'avez connu et aimé comme il vous a aimée et ce qui est né sur cette terre ne s'arrêtera pas avec sa naissance au ciel. Je partage votre chagrin.
Posted by Claire Guinat on September 8, 2020
Eugenie, Bloom et Jon,
il y a quelques mois nous avons eu le plaisir de rencontrer ce petit bout d'homme, rempli d'énergie et de malice.
Aujourd'hui, il n'existe aucun mot qui puisse atténuer votre peine, mais je vous envoie toute la force et le courage pour faire face à ce drame.
Notre coeur est avec vous pour les années a venir.
Ecrivons nos blessures dans le sable, gravons nos joies dans la pierre.
Posted by Nicolas Ludvigsen on September 8, 2020
Eugenie - Knipper,
It's been a while! Climbing in Hong Kong allowed me to get to know both of you. And in that brief time you both made enough of an impression on me that I've enjoyed keeping up to date with your life ( through Facebook). Seeing your beautiful family grow, adapt to farm life and just simply love has always been inspiring. I never met Julian, but I have only to remember back to moments in Hong Kong, seeing the two of you together to know how incredibly beautiful, brave, kind, compassionate and most importantly loved he was. You and your family are in my thoughts and in every hug and kiss that I give to my daughter Maya. Peace and Love
Posted by Nick Morley on September 8, 2020
Dear Julian,

We met you only from afar, but your parents shared stories and pictures of you that showed us what a kind and happy little boy you were. We were so excited to introduce you to our son Theo, to see you talk in a mix of French and English and play with trains and trucks together. I know you have been the best big brother for Bloom and you would have been an amazing friend and teacher to our boys. We mourn that we never got to see them playing and laughing with you.

Jon, Eugenie, and Bloom,

Our hearts go out to you for this unfathomable loss. We will hold Julian in our hearts and memories alongside you.
Posted by Camille Bridger on September 7, 2020
Dearest Jon and Eugenie,

We are so deeply sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy Julian. We can’t imagine the pain and heartbreak you are feeling. We wish you strength and solace and perseverance during this time.

Sending love,
Camille, Roxanne, and Derek Bridger
Posted by Jeanne Vinuesa on September 7, 2020
Chère Eugènie et tous les tiens
Tous les mots sont dérisoires face à la douleur qui vous accable. Toute ma compassion vous accompagne dans ce terrible malheur. Je pense à toi, à vous tous.

Posted by Inga Galløe on September 6, 2020
Dear Eugenie and Jon
How deeply sorry I am for your loos. When I read about the tragedy my heart broke apart. Even though I haven’t seen you for a while and never even meet sweet Julian I have been crying for several days thinking of you and your family. I have a daughter at Julians age and a boy half a year older than Bloom. My worst fear is something will happen to them. You are living the worst nightmare parents should never experience. I cannot express in words how heartbroken and sorry I am.
Posted by Raph D on September 4, 2020
Eugénie, Jon, c'est avec une profonde tristesse que j'apprends la nouvelle. Je vous envoie mes sentiments les meilleurs et toute mon affection. Raphaël
Posted by Hilde Et Alain Deberdt on September 4, 2020
Chers Eugénie, Jon, Bloom and family
Nous nous connaissons peu mais depuis de longues années Joachim nous fait partager les étapes de votre vie. La perte de votre petit garçon nous affecte tous. Nous tenons à vous envoyer tout nos pensées de soutien et de réconfort. Le petit Julian restera dans nos cœurs pour toujours et de là où il est il veillera sur sa famille aimée.
Posted by Laurie Bent on September 3, 2020
Dear Jon, Eugenie, and the Knipper & Beaumont & Parker clan--we weep with you. Your beloved Julian will be in your hearts forever. Jon, your family helped sustain us many years ago in our time of sorrow, and we hope that you too will be comforted by the love of your family and friends. We send our deepest sympathy, and all our love. Laurie, Joel, and all of the A-Bs.
Posted by Ruth Ann Burns on September 3, 2020
Dear Jim and family,
I am so sorry for your profound loss. The pictures and your loving memories made me feel like I knew the special little boy that Julian was to all of you. Grandchildren are truly gifts from God and Carl and I are blessed with five. You have experienced the unimaginable and my heart goes out to you. We will keep the whole Knipper family in our thoughts. I know your strong faith will guide you through the grief.
Posted by Christine Morabito on September 3, 2020
Dear Sweet Julian,

Your time was so short but your life was so big. Your grandma, Barbara, beamed when she shared stories and pictures. I can still hear your sweet voice singing in a video she shared. Your life impacted everyone who loved you and everyone who loved them. May you live eternally in peace and love.

Jon, Eugénie, Barbara, George, Charlotte, Please accept my deepest sympathy.

Posted by Carlène Trevennec on September 3, 2020
Petit Julian,
Je t’avais rencontré alors que tu n’étais qu’un nourrisson. Tes parents étaient venus te présenter. Je t’ai vu grandir au travers des photos d’enfants que ta maman et moi échangeons régulièrement. Un vrai visage d’ange, et aux dires de ton papa, un corps bien en chair tel un petit cupidon… Petit ange… tu as été rappelé trop vite. Mais de là où tu te trouves, je suis sure que tu vas veiller sur tes parents, ainsi que sur ta petite sœur. Elle aura besoin de toi, et tu seras là pour l’aider à garder son cœur d’enfant…
Eugénie, Jon, je pense à vous et me joins à votre immense tristesse. Votre peine n'a pas d'égal.... Je vous embrasse fort. Le souvenir de Julian persistera en chacun de nous.
Posted by Catherine Merlhiot on September 3, 2020
Je suis de tout cœur avec vous dans cette indicible souffrance et partage vos pleurs et votre douleur.
Posted by Timothée Vergne on September 3, 2020
Je nous revois encore il y a quelques mois, taquinant les œufs des grenouilles de l'étang de Fourmiguères, Julian tellement fier de sa canne à pêche faite d'un bout de bois tordu trouvé lors de la promenade... Tellement enthousiaste et tellement beau ! Bloom, Eugénie et Jon, pour soulager ce déchirement qui nous submerge tous aujourd'hui, je pleure avec vous en attendant de vous embrasser pour de vrai très bientôt.
Posted by Simon Manetti on September 3, 2020
Eugenie & Knipper,
We send you our profound grief and admiration. You are our role model parents:
* In approach, encouraging curiosity and fearlessness
* In culture, embracing the hilarity of 'Frenglish'
* In tragedy, meeting grief with courageous vulnerability and appreciation for the sweet joy that remains forever your Julian

BIG BIG hug.
V & Manetti.
Posted by David Lageman on September 3, 2020
I am so saddened to hear this news. No words, expressions or acts can take away the pain you are feeling. Please know that I am praying for the family for the peace, understanding and strength you need to get through each day. My heart aches for you and your family.  
Posted by Fanny CHEYNET on September 3, 2020
Toutes mes pensées sont avec vous pour traverser ce terrible drame... Je vous envoie tout mon amour et mon amitié.
Posted by Arlene Juran on September 3, 2020
I don’t know the words to comfort you as you grieve this shocking, devastating loss. I wish it were otherwise.
Julian’s grandmother Barbara ,who is my dear friend, shared a video of him with me some time ago that I often looked at when I needed to smile. He was a remarkable little boy!
May you have the support and the resilience you’ll need to sustain you as you heal.
Posted by Vincent Marchal on September 3, 2020
Dear Jon and Eugénie, all our thoughts and prayers go to Julian, Bloom, you and your parents and families. Julian was an adorable boy, full of joy, strength and energy. We have been fortunate to share great moments with you and him this summer and we will remember your Juju forever. We send you all our love and compassion. Your little climber made it to the stars but he'll always have his place in our hearts down here. We'll see you very soon dear friends. Vincent and Laura
Posted by Pauline HongKong on September 3, 2020
Mes amis,
Je ne trouve pas les mots alors je choisirai ceux de Paul Eluard pour peut-etre vous consoler quelques instants.

La nuit n’est jamais complète.
Il y a toujours, puisque je le dis,
Puisque je l’affirme,
Au bout du chagrin
Une fenêtre ouverte,
Une fenêtre éclairée,
Il y a toujours un rêve qui veille,
Désir à combler, faim à satisfaire,
Un cœur généreux,
Une main tendue, une main ouverte,
Des yeux attentifs,
Une vie, la vie à se partager.


Posted by Travis Roe-Raymond on September 2, 2020

Carolina and I are heartbroken for what you, Eugenie and your family are going through.

We send our love and prayers and are so incredibly sorry for your loss.
Posted by Jane Hubbard on September 2, 2020
With greatest sadness that we send this message of condolences, No child should pass on so young, absolutely devastated for you all.
Love from Sharon’s family in England xx
Posted by Albin Edith on September 2, 2020
C est avec une profonde tristesse que nous découvrons cette tragédie... nous sommes profondément attristés et nous vous souhaitons tout le courage du monde pour surmonter un tel drame. Nous imaginons quel désarroi et souffrance vous devez subir... les mots ne suffisent pas pour vous témoigner notre tristesse. Nous vous embrassons. Tanguy et Edith
Posted by Tom Brophy on September 2, 2020
There are no easy words to ease the loss of a child. May Julian's memory live in your hearts forever. My condolences to your family.
Posted by Alexis Delabouglise on September 2, 2020
Bien que n'ayant pas eu le plaisir de rencontrer Julian, nous nous sentons profondément attristés par ce terrible coup du sort et adressons nos meilleurs pensées à la maman et au papa qui traversent cette douloureuse épreuve.

Alexis et Uyen
Posted by Laura Okupski on September 2, 2020
We are brokenhearted over the news of the loss of your sweet boy. His beautiful smile was taken too soon from you all. May God grant you peace. Our prayers continue to be with you.
The Okupski Family
Posted by Bart Jones on September 2, 2020
Teresa your story of hunting mushrooms with Julian just brought me to tears. Please know that Ron and I are sending you and Jim and the whole family our love. Please find comfort in all the good memories.
Posted by Marilyn Jardin on September 2, 2020
My sincerest heartfelt sympathy to the Knipper family. May the light and love of this very young child fill you with memories forever and ever.
Posted by Linda Orlando on September 2, 2020
Heartfelt sympathy for the whole Knipper family. God tests us in incredibly painful ways, know that you have the prayers of me and many others to send you strength - Linda GCU BOT.
Posted by George Audisio on September 2, 2020
There are no words that can convey enough comfort for your tragic loss. My heart is heavy with sadness after reading the wonderful memories of your little Julian. The entire Knipper family is in my thoughts and prayers. May you find strength, peace and solace through these difficult times. I'm so sorry for your loss. 
Posted by Amy Pearlmutter on September 2, 2020
As a friends of Julian's grandmother Barbara, I followed many of Julian's milestones and saw how his was a life, and a family, of love and joy. May love surround your family and his memory be a blessing always.
Posted by Sandy Shaver on September 2, 2020
Jon, Eugenie, Bloom, Teresa & Jim
Our love and prayers, go out to the you and your loved ones.
May the beautiful & wonderful memories you have of Julian, give you comfort & peace during this difficult time.
With our deepest and heartfelt sympathy...
The Shaver Family
Posted by Pamela Lara Perez on September 2, 2020
There are no right words to express how truly sorry I am for your loss. Never had the chance to meet Julian, but always heard sweet stories from his Aunt Charlotte. My heart is with you and your family, I pray you find the strength and courage to heal.

With love,
Posted by Debby LiVolsi on September 2, 2020
Please accept my heartfelt sympathy on the loss of your sweet Julian. 
Sending healing prayers to the Knipper family.
Page 1 of 2

Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by Carolyn Newton on October 10, 2020
Hi Julian! Today is a tough day for me. But every time I feel down, I come to this page and read a new story about you. Hearing memories of you keeps you with us. Picked out a space book for you the other day! I’ll give it to Bloom when she’s older, but I think you’d love it my little explorer!
Posted by Mary Beaumont on October 4, 2020
Dear Jonathan, Eugenie and Bloom,
Uncle Bob, Avery and I are heartbroken over the loss of your dear, sweet boy, Julian. Our thoughts and prayers are with you always. May God bless you all, comfort you and keep you close. We love you all very much, and send you our love every day.
Posted by Peter Cohen on September 24, 2020
Dear Jon and Eugenie,

I am so saddened to hear of the tragic loss of Julian. May your love, empathy and compassion expand and take new form as you grieve and heal from your loss.
Peter Cohen
his Life

Julian's Life Story : Part 1

Julian was the kindest and most loving child I have ever known.  He was kind and gentle with his little sister Bloom, who turns 1 year old this week.  He would share his toys and protect her from danger - "Daddy, Maman, attention! Bloom is playing near the stairs!".  He would come into Bloom's room every morning with us to make her laugh while we changed her.  He would lovingly pet his sister's arm and coo "ahh Bloom, je t'aime".  He would have gone to school with his sister, and we know that he would have always watched out for her.  For an older brother adjusting to a new family life with a new baby, he never seemed jealous and just wanted to share.  He would tell us before going to bed "I Love You SO MUCH, Forevertime, always forever daddy" - it was one of the first phrases in English that he used regularly.  And even sometimes saying a thank you at the end of the day “thank you maman for cooking a delicious dinner, and for daddy playing with me in the office”.

He was strong.  He weighed 19 kg, which for a 3.5 year boy is big.  But he would still let me carry him down the stairs in the morning.  He was fast.  He would ride his bike all the way down to our lake, his feet never touching the ground.  And when we explained that he would need a bigger bike, one with pedals, soon - and that his old bike would be passed down for his younger sister Bloom - he only smiled and said "ah Bloom, ça va être ton vélo!".

He was smart. From walks in the forest with his loving grandfather "papé" he learned the names of impatients, fenouil (fennel), fleur de carotte, sage, tyme, rosemary, the grasses by the lake. We would say "Julian, your ball is over there by the grass" and he would reply "you mean behind the fenouil?". With his mamie he would eat all the strawberries, yellow raspberries, raw green peppers, edible flowers and know them well like the “fleur de bourrache”. Once he got frustrated when his older cousins told him that he shouldn’t eat a plant as they weren’t sure if it was edible - but Julian knew for a fact he could eat some. And he was right, of course.  He spoke french and english with his father.  And he liked to test if his teachers at the creche spoke english too, and thought it was funny if they didn't understand him. He was proud.

He was loving, and always available for a cuddle. He would sit on his maman's lap for breakfast, with his doodoo, and recently was insistent that we lay down with him for his nap or to put him to bed at night.  He would wrap an arm around our neck, and press his body against ours and sigh happily before falling asleep.  Our best naps were with juju.

He grew up on a beautiful farm, surrounded by close family, in the south of france.  His family was large and loving.  Living next door to his grandparents Papé and Mamie, he would excuse himself from the dinner table to go see if they had even more food to eat next door and to sit and read with Papé at their table. In the mornings when his older cousins, who he adored, were visiting, he would wake up early and ask if he could go see if they were awake, to have breakfast with them.  He enjoyed a special kind of independence that made him strong, that he could go between our two adjoined houses to see what was going on, on the other side. He loved his tata and tonton Amandine and Fabrice, his cousins Noé “Nono” and Maxence “Massou”. He loved spending a weekend alone at tata Amandine’s where he would happily play with his cousins, and slept at their house, laughing and never homesick.  He would go on tractor rides with Papé, to see the cows, or walks in the forest to look for mushrooms.  His very first word, before mama or daddy was "Tractor!"

Even separated by vast distances, he loved his father's parents too, Barbara and George (Mooma and Boopa) and Jim and Teresa (Buelo and Abue).  He looked forward to skyping with Mooma, almost every week since the COVID confinement began, playing games and watching Mooma's puppet shows.  They played games together and read books together online and he loved her.  He would ask me, “daddy, can we see Mooma on the télé?” He liked using the english words he knew with Mooma, mixing them up “Mooma, where is the dinosaur vert?”.   He loved his Buelo and Abue too - every picture of a beach house or sunset would remind Julian of Buelo in Florida "look! it's Buelo's house!".  When we visited them in Florida in November of 2019, Julian asked if he could sleep in Buelo's room, they would wake up early and watch the sunrise together over the ocean every morning.

In some ways he was also a typical toddler.  He loved baby shark and “despacito”.  He would ask the smart speaker to “Play Despacito!” and then dance his little butt off while making his sister laugh.  He was just learning about Paw Patrol.  But he was also unique.  He loved Beethoven and would ask me to put on “Bam pam pam baamm” (the 5th symphony).  When he heard Bach or Vivaldi, he would say “daddy, like in our book!” (our little music kids books).  He could use a screwdriver and would help me change the batteries on those books when they would inevitably run out after so much enthusiastic playings.  Walking around with us on the farm, he would point out all the chores that needed doing, seeing a patch of bramble he would tell me “daddy you need to debro (spin-trim) over there” “why Julian?” “because here is too en pente (steep) to use the tondeuse (lawnmower)”  He explored with us.  Came to the mountains with us and even tried rock climbing outdoors with us and our friends, fearless and proud to have reached the 10meter top of a 4a climb (with his dad giving him a boost with the rope of course).  We explored a large limestone cave together with flashlights, and looked for “gargamel”.  He liked it when we all turned off the lights to experience the total darkness together, asking if we could “play that game again!” after we turned our lamps back on.

Recent stories

Reflections from our road trip...

Shared by Timothy Knipper on September 30, 2020
Three years ago this month, we had the privilege of joining Julian on an all-too-brief European family road trip. There were six of us in our caravan: Julian and his Mom and Dad, (my brother!), and my wife and our son, Bodhi. Something that we had never done before, and although somewhat impromptu, was intended to be the first of many. To revel and linger together in those sleepy shaded plazas, this moveable feast of ours would ultimately be the most amount of time we would even get to spend together with Julian. One of the greatest gifts that I believe we ever received from him was to help us see the world anew, through his very young eyes.

We first departed from his farmstead home, nestled in the rocky foothills of the Pyrenees. Heading down to the seaside town of Sête, we had our first taste of the Mediterranean, lunching in the salty breeze at the edge of a turquoise canal.

From this maritime siesta, we headed northwest up into Provence, where the lavender fields had just finished blooming earlier in the summer and were now the color of straw hay; we resolved to return again one day to see and smell those flowers in their full glory... 

In Roussillon, we caught a fuschia-salmon sunset splashing over those famous ochre cliffs. Vividly, I recall being bathed in soft velvety light, enveloped in violet-rosed luminosity. That warm, late-summer evening, we watched an amber-glowing nearly-full Harvest moon rise into a starry sky, silvering as it was slowly shrouded by wispy clouds; the moon looked so close, we couldn't help ourselves from reaching out, trying to grab it with our hands.

The road from Roussillon to Nice was more epic than we had anticipated. Down narrow winding gorges, in an unexpected thunderstorm, through ancient fortified hill-top towns and across undulating open country. Having travelled all day under dark grey clouds, it seemed that we had passed into dusk, so we were equal parts surprised and relieved when we arrived to find the sun shining through misty heights overlooking the sea. 

It has always seemed possible to me, if not probable, that newborns arrive with some memory of where they are from, and that they bring with them a special sort of wisdom or unique inaccessible knowledge that fades as they acquire the ability to speak, and becomes necessarily forgotten as an increasing awareness of being human replaces any previously formed impressions.  To try this theory, I recall playfully querying six-month-old Julian, “Do you remember where you came from?” and, “Can you please tell us: what was it like before you got here?”  Although he had no words per se, the cherubim infant returned appropriately philosophical expressions. A raised eyebrow, a quizzical coo; but whatever secrets from the great beyond he contained, he seemed to keep them to himself.

Eastbound from Nice, grand vistas of the cloudless azure coastline opened on our starboard as we made our way towards Genoa. Pausing in Menton before crossing the Franco-Italian border, we found it easy to spend time there and vowed again to return one day, to catch that city’s famous springtime “Fête du Citron”, (the “Orange Festival)”... but for the time being, we had an itinerary to stick to, and the marvels of Italy were just around the corner.

The highway leading into Genoa threads through a seemingly endless series of tunnels and bridges spanning zig-zag bluffs jutting out high above the rocky Mediterranean coastline. In the inky indigo of twilight, the richly saturated colors of the French Riviera dissolved into a more stoic monochromatism as we arrived to mercury-lit harbour lights glimmering off dark water.

Genoa is a special place: built into a half-moon cliffside encircling an ancient trading port, the streets weave out over a slanted horseshoe of curving hills. It was our first morning there, sipping espresso overlooking the bay that we discovered the delightfulness of saying, “Buongiorno Julian!”. Rolls off the tongue!  Navigating within this mysterious labyrinth together, we hunted for authentic pistachio gelato and “real pizza". Armed with tourist maps and GPS on our smartphones, the maze-like streets still disoriented us: what we had thought to have been a straight line had in reality been more like a circle, so that, after a long day of pushing strollers up and down steep and winding cobblestone streets, we were startled to discover that we had inadvertently returned back to the same place where we had started.  

After a week on the road, we had reached our final destination together, Florence. Everywhere you looked, carved marble and intricately inlaid stone. Coming from the suburban sprawl of the US, a sea of vinyl-sided mid-century split-ranches, to me, these medieval corridors were oozing with a palpable sense of longevity. Surrounded by buildings that had every appearance of having been there forever, one cannot escape the feeling of one’s own impermanence; compelling one to wonder, how long will they be here after we are gone. Reflecting on longevity with this special six-month old, along with my son Bodhi, (who was eighteen-months at the time, himself), I could not help but look at them with the implicit hope that after us grown folk had passed, these younglings would return together one day to imagine and embark upon new adventures, and maybe even reminisce about these good times of their past.

Among the many wonders of Florence, the Uffizi museum was one of the highlights of our trip. Once the “offices” of the Medici family, it hosts not only Bottecelli’s “Birth of Venus”, but also that sublime artist’s larger-than-life “Primavera”. Like a scene from a dream, Primavera depicts a nocturnal sylvan-soirée, seemingly inviting you into another world, or alternate dimension.  ...Perhaps it was beneath Raphael’s “Madonna of the Goldfinch” when, somewhat inexplicably, Julian and Bodhi began to laugh together. It was as if they were sharing an inside joke for the first time; we didn’t fully understand, but laughed along with them anyway, recognizing in that moment, they were the brightest part of the whole museum.

It is as this young adventurer that I remember Julian: riding bikes together with his cousins, searching for treasure on deserted islands in cerulean tranquility or foraging for mushrooms with his cherishing grandparents. As his parents proudly observed, their son truly contained multitudes. Tractor driver, and drone pilot; budding botanist, mycologist, and biologist; stone mason, cattle farmer; rock-climbing chocolate-connoisseur, like his Mom and Dad; dotting older brother, adoring son, affectionate grandson, a unique nephew and cousin; singer, pianist and guitarist; world traveler, dancer, and multilinguist; avec un grand joie de vivre, et un vraiment bon-vivance; a noble prince and future king. Every facet of his life, filled with such wonder-filled promise. He was so loved, he loved so much, and remains so very beloved.

Sometimes I wonder whether Time works something more like the streets of Genoa than the linear measurement we have come to embrace as a scientific constant. Now, so abruptly deprived of Julian’s tender presence, I cannot help but hope that Time is in some way more circular than we can comprehend, and that like that day we lost ourselves in those arced and ageless stone streets, we will somehow return to where we started, together again, as before. Or, like in a Botticelli dream-vision, I will always wonder about a parallel universe in which we are fêting together in the dappled shade of emerald-leaved orange groves. 

More than mourning the loss of the sweet boy we all loved so dearly, we will always be observing the absence of the amazing person that he was growing up to be. And so beyond remembering him as the incredible boy that he had become, I will also recall him in the way that he was becoming: arm-in-arm with his Mom, Dad and Sister, reveling through lavender fields in full bloom.

Memorials from friends

Shared by Sigmund Lerner on September 11, 2020
From Jon’s entire circle of friends in Princeton, we grieve deeply the loss of Julian Tao Knipper. All of our love and strength is with Jon, Eugenie, Bloom, Julian’s grandparents, aunts, uncles, and counsins. For those of us blessed enough to have been graced with Julian’s clever charm, we will cherish it forever. For those of us who didn’t yet have the chance to meet him, there will always be an absence. We hope for peace and closure for all of those close to Julian.

Elle est bonne la viande où tu es ?

Shared by Marie Cabrera on September 11, 2020
Mon petit Julian 

Je me souviens d'un repas dans ta maison, ton Daddy avait cuisiné de la bonne viande au four avec une sauce super bonne ! Mais toi, tu avais déjà mangé ton repas préparé par ta Maman.
Qu'à cela ne tienne : tu t'étais joint à nous pour un 2nd round, où, tantôt assis sur les genoux de Daddy, tantôt sur les genoux de Maman, tu avais dévoré la viande à pleines mains ! Tu en avais partout mais tu souriais à pleines dents ! Et en voyant le dessert arrivé, tu es évidemment resté à ton poste ! 
Tu avais à peine 2 ans je pense et tu savais déjà ce que c'était que de profiter des bonnes choses de la vie ! Un vrai petit apprenti épicurien .... qui avait encore tellement de chose à découvrir. 

Jon, Eugénie, mes amis, je ne cesse de penser à vous et je vous envoie ma force.