JULY 4, 1952 – MAY 31, 2023
There’s a rich moment of possibility and promise in the last breath of darkness before dawn, an offering to release yourself from the toils that weigh you down and to step, renewed, into the coming day.
It was at that specific time, when Djuna D’Attilio, our precious, remarkable Mom, Grandma, Sister, Auntie, answered the twilight call of the Pacific Ocean that had always enchanted her soul and was ushered onward to the next realm.
“Let this be your year of no regrets.” In her final days, these words were her wish, not just for the loved ones who surrounded her, but for us all.
On May 31st, 2023, after a years-long battle with COPD and Emphysema through a worldwide pandemic including many hospitalizations and countless complications, Djuna passed away near Cobble Hill, B.C. She was 70 years old. Djuna fought her illness with her characteristic fortitude, stoicism, and dignity, and, as always, her resilience and love of life and family were front and center.
Forever cherished and remembered by her children, Tangerine (Guy), Gina-Lily (Steven), Gemma-Rose (William), and Paolo; grandchildren, Emma, Alessia, Tennyson, Avalon, Corben, Benjamin, and Theodore; nephews and niece, Jarvis, Carlow, and Esmée; also her brother, Brian, and sister, Lisa.
She was pre-deceased by husband, Joe, parents Lois and Robert, and brother, Blaine.
Djuna was a wildly creative woman who loved nature and the ocean. She got down on her hands and knees to point out sea anemones and limpets at the beach. She admired the intricacies of spider webs, and praised the majesty of water. She was fiercely committed to nurturing the individuality of every child she met.
Despite a life fraught with more trauma than should have been her due, Djuna accomplished incredible things. When her husband died suddenly at the age of 43, leaving her with 3 young children and a 3500 sq ft mountainside home with no flooring, walls, indoor plumbing or electricity, she learned the building code, wielded power tools, framed walls, and built a staircase. All the while, Djuna folded origami whooping cranes to capture and release her grief, until more than 1,000 cascaded from an arbutus branch suspended from the ceiling.
She turned her ‘Mosquito Coast’ into her children’s ‘Secret Garden’. Her passion for plants and flowers, West Coast ocean and rainforest, language and literature, and radical compassion lives on in her children and grandchildren.
We are proud of and grateful for this legacy.
A gathering in Djuna’s memory will be held on Vancouver Island; please contact the family or email address below for details.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to an environmental or humanitarian cause in Djuna’s honour.
Condolences may be sent to RememberingDjuna@gmail.com