Judson's Legacy



Yesterday morning, as I was going in for surgery and general anesthesia for the first time, all I could think about were the two times that Jud had to be put under for his MRIs.  I remembered our fears and anguish as they wheeled him into the imaging unit.  Then recalled lying next to him and holding his little body as he slowly came to, wondering what could possibly be plaguing my precious little boy, all the while praying that his symptoms were reversible, that it was nothing serious, and that my Jud Bud would be whole once again.

As I laid on the gurney getting prepped for surgery the hospital staff asked numerous questions, but one question caught me particularly off guard, “Have you had any recent loss?”

“Yes.” I replied.

“What type of loss?” the nurse inquired.

“My son died.”

“When was that?” she continued coldly without skipping a beat.

“14 months ago as of yesterday,” I responded, wondering whether or not she was even listening to my responses because I could not understand how she could be so unaffected when hearing her patient share that she had lost her beloved boy.

“Are you still affected by it?” she asked as if she thought it had been a long time for me to still be mentioning it as a recent loss.

Am I still affected by it?  I wanted to burst into to tears and describe to her how my every thought that morning had taken me back to my boy—how I had been thinking about my experiences with him during his MRIs, how I hated removing my necklace with his picture in preparation for my procedure, how I wanted to change my hospital band to my other arm so it wouldn’t cover up his tattooed name on wrist, how tears had been rolling down my face as Drake and I had just been talking in the car about the bad memories at the other Kaiser hospital.

“Am I still affected by it?” I repeated the question with a sense of surprise that it had been asked.  “Yes!  I am still very much affected by my son’s death!” I replied, struck by the way so many people seem to have absolutely no idea how deep these wounds run.

It may be many years before Judson’s loss no longer feels “recent”.


17 Responses to "Recent"

  1. Christie says:

    I’m sorry. That conversation sounded very difficult and perplexing. 🙁

  2. Amy Vivona says:

    How did the nurse respond to you?

    I’m so glad you were truthful about your grief. I’m sorry that the nurse was so cold and unfeeling! My mom is a nurse and she often talks about "the art of bedside manner". She believes that it’s been lost to "being the best" in your field. Turning off emotion and treating physical symptoms rather than the whole person. It really is a sad state when medical professionals turn off their emotions to deal with their jobs, expecting you to do the same when you come in to be treated.

    You are an inspiration to me…daily.


  3. Jeff Trammel says:


  4. amy white says:

    Why did she have to ask you that in the first place? Man! People are lame! Unbelieveable that she could be so cold harted. I am sorry that converstaion happened. I’ll pray for a speedy recovery from your surgery.

  5. Dawn Mills says:

    Wow!!! There really is a misconception about how long and how intense the grief really is…but for her to act so surprised by the fact that you are still grieving the loss of your son…your precious son….Wow!! I’m sorry.
    Much love….

  6. Lora says:

    I am so sorry Christina. I am amazed by this nurses reaction!!! Of course you are still affected by it! My heart hurts for your pain. I will continue to pray for you all.


  7. 46434 says:


    Of course you will forgive her ignorance.
    Unless someone has walked your path, they don’t know.
    Another hard question you’ll encounter is this: How many children do you have?
    The answer, of course, is TWO; one of them has a celestial address, but will live forever in your heart.

    Maybe you might carry little ‘business cards’ that say, "The story of Judson" with this website address. Only then will they learn what suffering and grief are all about. And more than that… Faith, Trust, Love. You’ve shown us all how the pieces fit together.

    When they ask, you can answer with your card. And even a note about the new book!

    Our prayers continue for you and Drake and Jessie girl, for comfort through this aftermath.

  8. 46434 says:


    My heart breaks for you. No little boy could have had a better mommy and daddy in the whole world.

    It’s so hard to stop asking "why?"

  9. Catherine Fenton says:


    I actually laughed out loud when I read what she questioned. Imagine going through life where everything is so compartmentalized and sterile…a life dictated by protocol. Am I still affected by it? Am I still breathing? Then yes…yes I most certainly am. Few people could be in the presence of such wonder and beauty and not be profoundly affected by it’s physical loss, never mind being the mother of an amazing boy who possesses such qualities.

    xo Catherine

  10. Veronica Wallace says:

    It has been 4 years since Hunter’s death and I still feel as if it is recent. Some people expect me to "just get over it already" I am moving on is some respect for my son Gabriel, but I will never forget that I have 2 children–1 is just not here physically with me but will remain in my heart forever.
    I have been asked that question too. Along with "how many children do you have" When I tell people about Hunter they act as if they should have asked me about my children, but I quickly explain that I LOVE to talk about my boys (both of them)
    I am so sorry that you, too, are living with this sort of grief. It isn’t fair.

    Veronica Wallace
    mommy to 2 Angels–1 in heaven 1 on earth
    Hunter Cole 11/23/2002-12/24/2004
    Gabriel Chase 6/23/2006

  11. hh says:

    Oh, Christina! I felt sick as I read the nurse’s words (and cold attitude) to you. I just DO NOT GET IT how anyone could not understand (or at least imagine!) how severe and painful the loss of one’s child would be…and for years and years after the loss. Someone told me recently that his loss of his 4-year-old daughter 24 years ago is still painful but that it has gotten easier.

    Just want you to know that I’ve been praying non-stop for you before, during and since your surgery. I hope you’re recovering well and getting lots of rest! All my love and hugs, Heather

  12. Wendy Heak says:

    Dear Christina, I could hardly believe it when I read your recent post. Obviously this nurse has never lost someone close to them or has no feelings whatsoever. Please be comforted in the fact that there are so many people who dont even know you, like myself, from across the world that care for you. Always in my prayers.

    Love Wendy from N.I.

  13. Jean and Gary Butler says:

    Oh Christina…that is so sad about that nurse being so cold.There won’t be one day the rest of your life that you won’t think of Jud.Why would you not? You are a wonderful mother….and Jud has a part of your heart that no one else will ever be able to take from you.You hold on to Jud FOREVER….I can’t wait to meet him and hold him!!!!!!!!!!!
    We love you guys so much~
    Jean and Gary

  14. lisa taylor says:

    I don’t even know why she asked you that question to begin with. I wanna go down a beat her up for you. HEHEHEHE…. but seriously!!!!! I am apaulled at people’s reactions every day. That is why I find my self staying away. I just love….."I hope you are better soon"…..like we have a cold. I think we all should start a log of the stupid things people say! I love you so much. -(Jaden’s mommy)

  15. Rebekah says:

    Oh Christina, I’m sorry you had to endure such coldness! Some people are just callous and obviously don’t "get it". I know you encounter insensitive comments at other times, but it must have been especially hard when you were lying there feeling vulnerable and overwhelmed with those specific memories.

    Just know that there ARE others of us who understand that this loss will hurt forever and that you will always be affected by it. 14 months is nothing in comparison to losing Jud.

    I hope your recovery goes as smoothly as possible and that you are able to be on your feet again soon to enjoy that sweet Jessie Girl! Get lots of rest and remember how much you are loved.

  16. michele stump says:

    I seriously feel like I’m going to throw up. I can’t believe the nurse was that unfeeling. That is so horrible…I’m so sorry you had to experience that.

    Hope you are recovering well from your surgery!

  17. sabrina gavriilidis says:


    I am so sorry you were faced with such a seemingly "cold" nurse. What a horrible question, "are you still affected by it?" How even more horrible that she didn’t presume to know the answer. I know all too well how cold the medical world can be. Again, I’m sorry. I hope your procedure went well.


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