Though we know that death here on earth is inevitable for everyone, it still seems strangely foreign, often shrouded in troublesome mystery. However, Judson’s recent passing has tangibly reminded me of the very real hope that death can be synonymous with life.
Judson’s last morning here on earth was, unfortunately, filled with tremendous suffering, even though we did everything we could to keep him comfortable. Our hearts felt like they were being ripped out of our chests as we watched our precious boy struggle to breathe-I have never seen such profound physical agony and pain in such a young body (not even in movies). Therein, I found myself deeply torn; I longed to see Judson set free and relieved from such tremendous affliction, but I also knew that meant no longer being able to hold his warm body, kiss his beautiful face, and whisper my love in his ear.
In an effort to catch my own breath, I stepped away for a moment of solitude and fell against our bathroom wall, weeping. My back slid down the olive painted surface as I crumbled to the floor in distress. Overcome by heartache, I cried out to God, “I don’t know how to walk this path! How do I encourage Jud to let go, so he can be set free, when I desperately don’t want to lose him? Oh Father, how do I walk this impossible path?” I just kept sobbing, my heart and mind clouded in anguish.
I didn’t want to go back in Jud’s room to endure more of his pain with him, but I also could not stay away-constantly conflicted. I finally rejoined my family, snuggling up to Drake and Jud on our bean bag chair. Jud’s breathing had calmed. I continued to weep, all the while wondering, “How do I walk this path?”
A few moments later, “life” came upon us; Jessie rushed into the room, laughing, dancing, and smiling. In her innocence, completely unaware of the heartache surrounding her, she brought amusement and delight.
Judson was experiencing death and dying, while Jessie reflected life and living.
As I watched her parade around the room in happiness, I knew God was giving me the strength to let go of my sweet man. More than my desire to hold and care for him, I desperately wanted Jud to experience life anew, to be able to laugh and dance again, just like his baby sister.
I turned and gently whispered in his ear, “Judson, I love you so much. I am so proud of you. You are the bravest boy I know. You’ve been such a fighter, but you can let go now. Run into the arms of Jesus, he loves you so much! I will miss you more than you can imagine, but it won’t be long until I see you again. You can let go Bud Bud, find peace and rest.” My tears dripped onto his cheek.
It wasn’t long after, that my Jud the Stud breathed his last breath and died, but in that same moment he found life once more…running, dancing, singing, laughing, and praising God.
Thank you Lord, that because of Your Son’s suffering, death delivered Judson unto life again!