Judson's Legacy

Grief at Sixteen Years

We’ve reached sixteen years. Sixteen. Years. Sixteen years of grief over the loss of my Jud Bud. S-I-X-TEEN. 

My grief is now old enough to get a driver’s license. It’s aged enough to have gone through puberty. And it’s mature enough to be exercising more independence. My grief is sixteen years old. 

But my boy never got to be sixteen. Or 13. Or 10. Or even five. He never got his driver’s license. Never went through puberty. And never got to seek independence.

Interestingly, my grief is actually like a teenager in my life. I know it well. I’ve lived with it for many years; but it can throw me off guard too. It keeps growing and changing, but the general gist of it’s character has been revealed. It grips my heart in every way. But it has a mind of its own—I can’t control it, even though I unwittingly still try. It is, after all, sixteen years old.


Sixteen is a lot of years to grieve. To miss. To long. To wonder. To ache. To yearn. To have a pain that still shapes most of my thoughts, my breaths, my life, but is unseen by others much of the time. The pain of losing my child is still very much alive at 16 years. And will be at 20 years. And 30 years. And even 40 years, should I survive that long. 

But we all know pain. To miss. To long. To wonder. To ache. To yearn. These are experiences of the human condition that impact every heart. We all want something more. Something sure. That which is whole. Real. Pure. Beautiful. Good. Right. True. And free of pain.

Jud has that. 

Jud has that and he’s had that for these sixteen years…a life with the One who came near to suffer with us and ultimately for us. The One who is sure. Whole. Real. Pure. Beautiful. Good. Right. True. …and Jud has that for eternity. 

Someday, after these sixteen years have multiplied, I will have that too. 

Will you?

2 Responses to "Grief at Sixteen Years"

  1. Jen Merrill says:

    Thank you for sharing Judson’s story and being so open and honest about your grief. I have followed Judson’s story for some time now, watch the videos of his smiling face and saw how much his life changed due to this debilitating disease. I am so sorry that your sweet boy endured so much, that you have suffered such deep sorrow and sadness, but I am relieved that through all your pain, you find comfort in knowing Judson is at peace, without pain and suffering. I am currently trying to be a supportive friend to a couple people in my life, two of which lost adult children and one of those children, I happen to also be friends with his wife who lost her husband. I hate seeing how much they hurt and I try my best to be supportive without being overwhelming in my presence. Grief is a powerful thing.
    My continued condolences to you and your family.

  2. Janet corrette says:

    I’ve always kept your Judson in my heart. I can’t believe it’s been sixteen years. God Bless your family

Share Your Thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.