Judson's Legacy



I am in the valley of sorrow deeply right now.  Sometime last week I found myself feeling particularly broken and gloomy.  In these circumstances, the question from others often seems to be, “What triggered your spiraling mood?”

My answer is, “The death of my son.”

“But he has been gone all this time and sometimes you are functioning okay.  Why are you especially down right now?”

This inquiry seems to imply that losing Judson is not enough of a reason to be down anymore, as though my higher-functioning moments are considered standard now, causing one to conclude that there must be something other than Jud’s death triggering my heavy heart.  What some people may fail to recognize is that dealing with the death of my precious boy is my general state-of-being; when he died my baseline for life shifted to severe loss.  It is, in fact, the stints of reprieve that could be considered non-standard. 

I’ve heard of people who live with a constant raging headache.  Fortunately, they’ve been given the gift of various treatments to help dissipate the pain so they can function a little bit better.  However, the temporary fixes wear off, causing the headache to pick up in intensity again.  Headaches are their baseline for living, though sometimes subdued, and yet over time they become more and more adept at living with the ever-present pain.

Similarly, those who have lost a child live with a constant raging heartache.  Fortunately, we are at times given the gift of various joys, hopes, and distractions to help dissipate the pain so we can function a little bit better, but those temporary fixes wear off, causing the heartache to pick up in intensity again.  Heartache is our baseline for living, though sometimes subdued, and yet over time we become more and more adept at living with the ever-present pain.

I am extremely grateful to have experienced what I like to call “pain buffers” these last couple months that have helped to ease or even absorb some of my ache, but I am always missing my son.  I am feeling it especially intensely this week.  Oh, how I long to see, hold, and touch my Jud Bud!



10 Responses to "Baseline"

  1. Cathy Horner says:

    My heart aches for you. You are being kept close in prayer.
    XOXO, Cathy

    "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

  2. Rebekah says:

    Sending you a long-distance hug… I wish you COULD hold your precious boy and soak in the joy of being together.

    Would it be accurate to say that the healing process is less about recovering from grief, and more about learning how to function despite it?

    Love you…

  3. Dorci says:

    Dear Christina,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a little while now. I’ve been hesitant to leave a comment, feeling as though somehow this site is hallowed ground for you, and I have no right or understanding to say a thing.

    But I just want to say I’m so very sorry for your loss and for the pain you’re experiencing. Your Judson was, and is, a beautiful boy. What a delightful character he had!

    It’s interesting that you mention headaches. I’ve been living with daily headaches for 3 years now. That’s obviously nothing compared to your suffering, but I understood what you meant about the mostly unrelenting pain, with only short periods of a bit of relief.

    I’ve suffered many losses in my life, and have had to deal with a lot of grief. Please just know that you and your family are in my prayers.
    God bless,

  4. Marissa says:

    I like this post a lot. I can relate to it very well. The same thing happens sometimes with my friends

  5. Dawn Mills says:

    I wish I could give you a hug….but please know I keep you in my heart and prayers. I too have been particularly deep in grief recently. Rather than having to explain "why" we are having extreme difficulties now, it seems to be more apporpriate to wonder "how" we don’t feel that way constantly. I am thankful that with God’s help we are able to find joys in today and hopes for tomorrow, despite the constant sorrow.
    Much love to you…
    Dawn…Makinley’s Mommy

  6. hh says:

    My heart hurts for you and Drake every day, and first thing in the morning (while I’m still in bed, trying to wake up) I pray for you guys….for God to bless your day, to bring you comfort, and to hold you and help you through your day. I’m so sorry that you’re in a deep valley of sorrow right now. I just love you guys so much (Mark and I both love you and are praying for you daily).

    All our love and hugs,
    Heather and Mark

  7. Sandy Mitchell says:

    Sweet Christina,

    Thank you for being so honest and helping others to understand your never ending grief and pain. I hope it helps us all to be more senstive and better friends and supporters. Of course, of course, you will miss and grieve the loss of your precious son each and every day until you are reunited. I pray that the buffers of joy continue to increase and your ability to live with the grief on a daily basis gets easier. What you have been through is not something anyone can ever get over. Lots of love and hugs!!


  8. lisa taylor says:

    I suffer with you, my friend. I understand and feel your sorrow and your pain. I told Ryan the other day that I don’t think I will ever be able to wear makeup again because there is not a single day that goes by that I am free from tears.

    I love you,
    Lisa (Jaden’s mommy)

  9. Jean and Gary Butler says:

    Oh Christina, We both just love you so much!!!!! So wish I was there to hug you. Prayers going up.
    Love and hugs~Jean and Gary

  10. Elizabeth says:

    anyone who says that the death of your son is not enough reason to be down is a fool, I am so sorry that you even have to come in contact with them. Thoughts of Judson still take up much of my day… and I treasure that. I am so honored that you would share your amazing little boy with me, and I cannot picture what moment-by-moment pain you would suffer just aching for a touch, smile, or hug. I am so sorry you would ever have to hear a thoughtless comment about your longing…

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