Judson's Legacy

One Year without Jud

Dear family and friends,

We face this day with the realization that our boy has been gone a year – a whole year.  It absolutely blows our minds that today marks the first anniversary since we ushered Judson into the arms of Jesus.  An entire year has passed?!!?!  How is that possible?

It feels as though we’ve been living in a cloud.  Looking back on this year is extremely hazy, leaving us wondering what transpired in the last 365 days.  The grief has been so thick.  In fact, we never would have anticipated when Judson died that we would still feel so raw at this stage, as if our gaping wound is almost as fresh as ever.

The hardest moments have been when Judson feels intangible, unfamiliar and far away.  It’s as if he is just a mirage, and the substance of who he is eludes us.  These feelings are excruciating and leave such an indescribable emptiness in our hearts.

But we also have sweet moments when we can practically smell, taste, touch, see and hear him.  It is as though his laughter is ringing in our ears, we can smell his sweet blonde hair, we can feel his flawless soft skin, and see his big huge brown eyes staring back at us.  We savor these moments more than any earthly pleasure. 

A year without Judson also means that our precious Jessie is a year older.  The 19 months that once separated them in age is rapidly diminishing; it won’t be long until Jessie is older than Jud.  But most heartbreaking is the fact that she has grown accustomed to living as an only child even though she has a big brother.  We see her playing in their room, on our patio, in the park and elsewhere, and cannot help but think how it would have been with both our precious kiddos together.  It hurts so much that Jud isn’t there to show her the ropes, sing with her, chat with her, and even frustrate her as siblings do.  Instead, Jessie is alone. 

The hole Judson has left is massive, and this first year of surviving without our boy has been inexpressibly painful.

But, this first year of surviving without our boy has also been transforming us. 

Our eyes are transfixed on heaven.  One of our greatest treasures resides with our Savior and our hearts have followed him there.  Now, more than ever, eternity is in view.  Losing our boy has reshaped who we are, our hopes for the future, and how we want to live our lives.  It reminds us that every breath is a gift and to cherish each moment.  We also know now more than ever the beauty and importance of community as others have faithfully journeyed alongside us in our pain.

The Lord’s promise to uphold us in darkness has proven true in our experience and we continue to thrust ourselves into His embrace, knowing that He is the only true hope we have.

Most of all, we are SO incredibly grateful for Judson.  We have been given an amazing gift in our sweet son and continue to feel blessed by his short, but meaningful life.  Indeed, it has been exactly one year since we ushered Jud into the arms of Jesus, but we continue to grieve with hope…

One year of living without our boy means we are one year closer to our reunion in eternity!

Much love and gratitude,
Christina (on behalf of Drake too)


11 Responses to "One Year without Jud"

  1. Marissa says:

    Thinking of and praying for you today as you miss, love, and remember your sweet boy.

    Sending love to you always….

    Marissa Shilling (www.caringbridge.org/mi/matthewssmiles)

  2. 47889 says:

    Remembering Jud today and keeping your family close to my heart. I know this will be such a painful day for you, but I pray that you can find some peace and a hint of joy in celebrating the sweet miracle of Judson. I can’t believe it’s been a year. I vividly recall the day that I read that Jud had went to be with Jesus.
    All my love to you today. I wish I could give you a big hug, but please know you are in my thoughts.
    Angel Makinley’s Mommy

  3. Anonymous says:

    You are in our prayers today, especially! Jud is remembered by us. Much love to you.
    Jason, Bronwyn, Aidan, Cullen

  4. Kate Anderson says:

    Thinking of you all and Judson today as I do many days. It is so hard to even imagine being in your shoes. I guess all I can think to say is, so sorry for your loss. He was an amazing boy, with still such an amazing presence, that touches so many people. Hold on to that spirit that lives in Miss Jessie.

  5. Danny says:

    you have been on my mind all day. sure do care about you guys.

  6. lisa taylor says:

    I Love you Judson!
    -Lisa Taylor

  7. Alyssa Gordon says:

    I have been thinking about you all this week and I didn’t even realize it has been a year. It is so weird that the first time I "met" Jud was at the memorial service about a year ago, but when I see his photos or watch his video my heart aches for you and it is like I am missing him too. What an extaordinary person he was!

  8. mariah says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have made a seperate memorial video for Jud (you gave me permission a while ago) for the one year anniversary. The link is:

  9. Christy Frawley says:

    Dearest Drake, Christina and Jessie,
    My heart still aches for you all as this year of grieving has past. I can’t imagine the pain you must feel in the loss of your precious Jud. You are all in my thoughts and prayers and I read your posts often. Thank you for sharing your heart. Please know that you are loved and prayed for from the south. God Bless You All! In His Precious Love and Healing Grace, Chris Frawley

  10. Teri Gundlach says:

    Dear Christina and Drake. I couldn’t sleep this 2:00am so have been watching the video of Judson. What a doll he is and was reminded again of the devastating loss of him. My prayers are with you this am that God would somehow uplift your with his peace and love and also keep alive the preciousness of your time with Jud. what an amazing, cheerful fun child. It breaks my heart for you. Please know you are in my prayers and words can’t really say all that my heart is feeling for you. I hope John Turney is giving Jud lots of hugs and kisses and that Heaven isn’t too far away for us all. Love to your hearts from mine
    In our Savior’s Love Teri

  11. Jean and Gary Butler says:

    Dear Levasheff Family~It’s hard to believe it has been one year since Jud’s journey to heaven. May you rejoice in his memories.We love you three so much~Jean and Gary

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