Judson's Legacy

Carrying Grief

A friend of mine emailed me the other day after she had an epiphany about grief.  Her thoughts touched me significantly…

Instead of patiently watching and waiting for you to work through your grief, I realized I’m watching you not get over your grief, but learn to carry your grief.” -MT

Her insight into this process meant the world to me.

I feel a regular pressure, from people who don’t understand the nature of severe loss, to be moving toward “freedom” from my grief.  It is as though they anticipate a season when my grief will no longer exist.

I will always carry this burden of loss; I will not wake up one day and discover that my grief is gone, but rather, I will grow in my ability to carry it.

As I write this, a gentleman with an amputated leg just walked by me…

I decided to ask him about his leg and his experience living without a limb.  Christopher was happy to discuss his loss with me.

If I return to my analogy of the loss of Jud being an emotional pain like that of a physical amputation (not denying the emotional pain of an amputee too), I see similarities as I watch Christopher walk with his prosthetic and describe his challenges.

Christopher lost his leg when he was 4 years old (he looks like he is now in his 40’s) and has learned to function without it, but his body is missing a leg nonetheless.  He said there are times he still experiences sorrow, frustration, anger, and pain over his loss, even though it was over 40 years ago, but he has become more adept at living without his limb-his amputation has been incorporated into his life so that his burden has become easier to bear.

“I will never get my leg back.  I have just learned to live without it,” Christopher declared.

In much the same way, I am on a journey of figuring out how to live without my boy.  There will always be moments of sorrow, frustration, anger and pain over losing Judson, but my grief is slowly being incorporated into my life so that the burden of living without Jud will become easier to bear.

I am learning to carry my grief.


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