Dear family and friends,
We face this day with the realization that our boy has been gone a year – a whole year. It absolutely blows our minds that today marks the first anniversary since we ushered Judson into the arms of Jesus. An entire year has passed?!!?! How is that possible?
It feels as though we’ve been living in a cloud. Looking back on this year is extremely hazy, leaving us wondering what transpired in the last 365 days. The grief has been so thick. In fact, we never would have anticipated when Judson died that we would still feel so raw at this stage, as if our gaping wound is almost as fresh as ever.
The hardest moments have been when Judson feels intangible, unfamiliar and far away. It’s as if he is just a mirage, and the substance of who he is eludes us. These feelings are excruciating and leave such an indescribable emptiness in our hearts.
But we also have sweet moments when we can practically smell, taste, touch, see and hear him. It is as though his laughter is ringing in our ears, we can smell his sweet blonde hair, we can feel his flawless soft skin, and see his big huge brown eyes staring back at us. We savor these moments more than any earthly pleasure.
A year without Judson also means that our precious Jessie is a year older. The 19 months that once separated them in age is rapidly diminishing; it won’t be long until Jessie is older than Jud. But most heartbreaking is the fact that she has grown accustomed to living as an only child even though she has a big brother. We see her playing in their room, on our patio, in the park and elsewhere, and cannot help but think how it would have been with both our precious kiddos together. It hurts so much that Jud isn’t there to show her the ropes, sing with her, chat with her, and even frustrate her as siblings do. Instead, Jessie is alone.
The hole Judson has left is massive, and this first year of surviving without our boy has been inexpressibly painful.
But, this first year of surviving without our boy has also been transforming us.
Our eyes are transfixed on heaven. One of our greatest treasures resides with our Savior and our hearts have followed him there. Now, more than ever, eternity is in view. Losing our boy has reshaped who we are, our hopes for the future, and how we want to live our lives. It reminds us that every breath is a gift and to cherish each moment. We also know now more than ever the beauty and importance of community as others have faithfully journeyed alongside us in our pain.
The Lord’s promise to uphold us in darkness has proven true in our experience and we continue to thrust ourselves into His embrace, knowing that He is the only true hope we have.
Most of all, we are SO incredibly grateful for Judson. We have been given an amazing gift in our sweet son and continue to feel blessed by his short, but meaningful life. Indeed, it has been exactly one year since we ushered Jud into the arms of Jesus, but we continue to grieve with hope…
One year of living without our boy means we are one year closer to our reunion in eternity!
Much love and gratitude,
Christina (on behalf of Drake too)