I have been thinking a great deal about the concept of loss.
Losses, big and small, are experienced on a daily basis. Whether it be the loss of a relationship, the loss of health, the loss of a job, the loss of a privilege, or as simple as the loss of one’s keys, in this lifetime we have all experienced and will continue to experience loss.
The dictionary defines loss as “the state of being without something that one has had.” Interestingly, as I have pondered many of the losses in my life, I have come to realize that most of them were replaceable.
In my dating relationships, when I lost a “love,” I always had the hope of still discovering “the love of my life,” which I found in my beloved Drake back in 1993.
When I was diagnosed with a hormonal disorder after college, I still had the hope of health through diet, medicine, or healing.
When Drake was unexpectedly laid off from his job in 2005, we were distraught and had to readjust our vision for our future, but it was always with the knowledge that he would be able to find a new job to replace the old.
Death brings ir-replaceable loss.
I had an acquaintance say to me, weeks after Judson died, “I know it must be hard, but you can have more kids.” I immediately knew this person had never experienced irreplaceable loss in their life. Judson cannot be replaced by simply having another baby (which is, in fact, not an option for us because of the high likelihood that our offspring will have Krabbe).
As are all people, Judson is one of a kind. When he passed away, a person was lost to this universe that can never be regained. There is a hole in the world, a gap, an emptiness where he once existed. His thoughts, emotions, creative expressions, insights, and tenderness were unique to only him; no other living person has had his combination of qualities-this is true of every soul who walks this earth!
Judson is irreplaceable.
There’s nobody now who saw just what he saw, knows what he knew, remembers what he remembered, loves what he loved. A person, an incomparable person is gone. Never again will anyone apprehend the world quite the way he did. Never again will anyone inhabit the world the way he did. The world is emptier. My son is gone. Only a void remains, never to be filled. -Nicholas Wolterstorff in Lament for a Son
Absolutely nothing can fill the void of this kind of loss.
This is the beauty of the human soul; every person is unique, valuable, and irreplaceable. So as I long for my Jud Bud, I am reminded to show appreciation for my other loved ones, the irreplaceable lives that I have not lost.