Judson's Legacy


I watched the season finale of the show Survivor last night and one of the women, “Sugar” as they called her, had lost her father 6-7 months prior to the taping of the show.  Throughout the season it was not uncommon to see her crying, sometimes many times a day, for what appeared to be all sorts of reasons—she was a wellspring of tears.  However, she regularly talked about the recent loss of her father and how it was affecting her.

But despite her openness about her grief, what amazed me was how completely intolerant her tribe mates were of her tears.  They appeared to have absolutely no understanding of the bereavement process and showed utter disrespect and even contempt for her emotions that laid raw at the surface.

Of course, her grief over losing her dad was just one of many dynamics at play in the show, and I’m sure there could be much to say about her choice to go on the show during such a tender time in her life, but as I turned off the TV I was deeply saddened by our society’s inability to even minimally tolerate, much less offer understanding for the grief experience.

This show perpetuated one of the greatest fears of people who are deeply grieved—the fear that others don’t want anything to do with your sorrow.  They don’t want you to rain on their parade.  They don’t want you to remind them that life can be hard.  They probably don’t mind if you grieve, they just don’t want to experience it with you.

Hence, grief isolates; our deepest, rawest, and most vulnerable places are not welcomed.

Watching Survivor last night reminded me how grateful I am for you, the people who have been following my blog…reading about my deepest, rawest, most vulnerable places, welcoming my sorrow into your lives, and regularly experiencing pain with me.  I may not even know many of you personally, but it is truly a gift to this grieving mother.  You may not realize how much your readership is one of my saving graces.  Thank you for helping me not feel so isolated! 



16 Responses to "Isolates"

  1. Misti Dunlap says:


    Thank you for sharing your deepest grief so openly. Following your posts is helping me as I walk with Nicole through her grief, if that is possible. You are a true blessing!

  2. Mel Moon says:

    I think your total openess and ability to express yourself through words makes us not only tolerant but desperate to help in any way and try out hardest to understand.
    I know if I could take an ounce of your pain away id do it in a heartbeat, whatever it took x

  3. 46434 says:


    Thank you for sharing your story.

    I’m one of those ‘strangers,’ but I can identify with your sorrow. What you may not know is that your insights help those who are still healing,

    The loss of a child is so devastating, yet your faith never wavers, even though the emptiness is voluminous, the silence deafening, the loneliness suffocating. Any reasoning is illogical, and so you rely on your Shepherd to lead you.

    We walked your path years ago, but now our concern is for you. We understand your sorrow and rejoice in your new found joys. We care.

    We will never forget Judson.

  4. Annie Jamaca says:

    Christina, your blog is so much more than just a place for you to express yourself – I have found it to be a place for me to grieve not just for you, but with you. I lost my father two years ago. Reading your blog has helped me to understand my grief, my mother’s grief and helped me to move forward. You have been blessed with your ability to express yourself. And that blessing has been passed on to others – and specifically me!

    My mom said at one point that she wished she could just wear a black veil so that everyone knew she was grieving and maybe then they’d understand the effect grief has on her every day life. It just sits below the surface, doesn’t it? Never knowing when it will appear.

    I cry for your loss, I love your family and I pray for you deeply and daily.

    Smiles and hugs, Annie

  5. hh says:

    Thank you for sharing your very heart and soul with us, Christina. You are in my heart, on my mind, and in my prayers all throughout EVERY day. I know soooo many others reading your blog would say the same thing. I thank God, with you, that you are not alone. You are deeply cared for and prayed for.

    I love you and hope to see you sometime soon.

    All my love and hugs,

  6. Amy says:

    I watched Survivor last night too and was appalled at her comment! How hateful and full of misunderstanding she is. I was surprised that later she owned up to it and said that she is really that way – I was hoping that she was edited to look bad. It is attitudes like hers that make grief and hardship so lonely. I hate that you have felt isolated at times. I think that that is one reason that I have continued to be drawn back to you and your story – I want you to know that you are not alone. That your story is not "old news" to me. That your travels down this road of grief are not "too long". Thank you for being vulnerable. If more people were like you, we would all have a better understanding of each other and could love each other better.

  7. Lisa says:

    Christina – I recently read a book called "A Year of Kadish." It is about the Jewish custom of morning someone for a year after they pass. Now, the mourning doesn’t stop at a year – but for one whole year – they go to the temple everyday to pray for the one who was lostamoung other things. It is really a custom of celebrating the life of the person and focusing on the grief and loss for one year – EVERYDAY. Now, I am not Jewish but I found that this was SO profound. You have said more than once how society just expect you to "move-on" or is ackward towards someone who is grieving. I just thought that it is fitting that the jewish culture believes and expects the survivors to go through this process for a year. It was a great read.

  8. Laura Tucker says:

    There are some of us who will never forget your sorrow and who continue to grieve with you daily. My own little boy is a constant reminder of Jud as their birth dates are so close. I pray for you continually and am thankful for your transparency. Thank you for your vulnerability; it has meant so much.

  9. 52160 says:

    Dearest Christina,
    You are never alone. My love and my heart. Hugs and kisses.

    I am one of the persons, that work with, "Dan the Man" song man, and his son Josh.

    Besides you have a beautiful name, i have a niece by the same name.

    Love and hugs and kisses. Marsha

  10. lisa taylor says:

    I was watching the news the other day and heard someone assessing weather or not a mother was grieving. They said "Did you see what she ate? That doesn’t seem like what a mother who is grieving would be eating." I was horrified and checked myself to see if I was "eating" like a grieving mother. Strange, the judgements people make….. -Lisa Taylor

  11. Jean and Gary Butler says:

    You will NEVER be without Gary and I. You’ve touched a part of our heart that is "just your part"…no one else can go there…just you.We are honored and humbled to go with you on this part of your journey.Sorry kiddo….you’re stuck….lol
    Love and hugs~
    Jean and Gary

  12. Tracy says:


    i completely agree. i loved sugar and her emotions that were displayed. they felt real to me…honest, raw. i cannot believe some of the things that were said to her. so disappointing. love to you…xo

  13. Marissa says:


    I really like this entry. I’m sorry you’ve felt isolated. I have too, being a teenager is hard enough, without having lost my brother too. I feel like none of my friends really understand my feelings, but why would they? Like you, I am greatful for the people I have met who do understand, and people who care enough to listen to my feelings.

    Praying for you and your family always,


  14. Vickie Knox says:

    Oh, Christina…I can so relate to this blog! Tim (Barr) and I lost our Dad just a few short months ago at the young age of 64. I catch myself so often not talking about the pain of losing him because I am pretty sure that no one wants to hear about it or would even understand my loss. He was my Dad for 40 years, yet everyone seems to have forgotten him so quickly. No one asks anymore…

    Thank you for being so bold to say what many that grieve would like to express. We feel ALONE in our grieving! Society doesn’t like pain and spends billions on pills that are supposed to take it away. Some pain is not so easily medicated! I hurt with you, cry with you, and am so thankful to have just a small glimpse into your heart. THANK YOU!

    I pray that you and your family have a blessed Christmas as you approach your 2nd Christmas without Jud and celebrate what would have been his 4th Birthday. Some of us will never forget!

    Only by His Grace,
    Vickie Knox

  15. Mary says:

    I have learned so much about grief through your blogs…your honesty is truly a blessing to me.

  16. 47963 says:

    I’m praying for you and your family and I agree with the precedent of the jewish culture (at least in biblical times – not sure how they grieve now) in "wailing and sack cloths and ashes".

    Of course, we have much hope due to what Christ did on the cross – our grief will not last but will be relieved in heaven (relief – what a welcome concept). In the meantime, I want to stand by you, an unknown sister in Christ, as the Bible commands I do and "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15

    May Jesus return soon (maranatha!) so your tears will be reprieved.

    With love in Him,

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