Dear family and friends…
Today marks two years. Two years without our beloved son. Two years of mourning. Two years of longing. Two years of heartache.
The day Judson died we could not imagine surviving two years without our Juddy…we could not imagine making it even one day without our boy. But here we are, two years later. Slowly, and with a severe limp, we have been putting one foot in front of the other. The darkness of November 7th has gradually been touched with light. And as we have been learning to live with the tremendous weight that accompanies suffering and loss, we have been discovering the joy that can even be found in recognizing that our lives are not our own—relinquishing the desires we have for ourselves and submitting to the plan God has for us.
Yet, even has we have been growing in our ability to live in loss, we have continued to seek relationship with our Jud Bud. We have continued to pursue him, even in his absence. We have continued to embrace him as our son and Jessie’s brother, never to be a forgotten member of the family. Trusting Jud is a fully alive boy in heaven, we believe our efforts will ultimately manifest in eternity. Moreover, we also believe there is much to be gained even in this lifetime through our on-going relationship with Jud.
It is very important to remember those [who have died] that have loved us and those we have loved.
Remembering them means letting their spirits inspire us in our daily lives.
They can become part of our spiritual communities and gently help us as we make decisions on our journeys.
Parents, spouses, children, and friends can become true spiritual companions after they have died.
Sometimes they can become even more intimate to us after death than when they were with us in life.
Remembering the dead is choosing their ongoing companionship.—Henri Nouwen
And there is no question we have been inspired by Judson. He is continuing to reshape the very fabric of our lives, giving us vision for our future, stimulating our ministry as a family, and challenging us to be faithful servants.
We often step back and wonder with tears, aches, and pain how this became our journey and would give anything to return to the life we had before Judson got sick. But we are also overcome with gratitude for the ways God has been moving and working. Most of all we just stand in awe that the Lord gave us the incredible privilege of parenting such a blessing of a boy, even if it was only 2 years 10+ months.
But that great privilege also continues to stir our grief. Grief stinks. Grief separates. Grief isolates. Grief makes us vulnerable. Grief fatigues. Grief is needy. Grief is hard. But what has blown us away as we have approached two whole years of living without Jud, is that people still remember. People still care. People still pray. People still think of us. People still reach out. Even when grief stinks, we are so grateful to know we are not alone.
With love and gratitude,
Christina (on behalf of Drake too)