There is an area in our home that has remained almost completely untouched since last November.
Because Jud and Jessie shared a room, after Judson’s death I didn’t have the option to leave it “as is” – almost immediately I had to make adjustments for Jessie and put things back in their appropriate place because the room had been turned upside down with gifts, visitors, and efforts to accommodate Jud in his changing needs.
I vividly remember the warm November afternoon when I moved his mattress, including his sheets, comforter, pillows, blankets, stuffed animals and more up to the top bunk of his “big boy” bed. Though hardly able to see through my tear-filled eyes, I muscled the mattress to the upper frame by myself, and then methodically redressed it as a way to commemorate my boy. With the exception of adding a few special items we received since Jud’s death, the ladderless upper bunk has remained untouched for almost a year.
That is, until recently. It was an unplanned moment—I was in Jud and Jessie’s room for a reason I cannot recall, and suddenly felt compelled to climb the bed. It was almost as though I was unconsciously looking for a new and fresh way to try to feel close to my boy. I maneuvered my way up the side boards, and upon laying my head on Jud’s Lightening McQueen pillow a sobfest began. I found myself in a fetal position crying, whimpering, bawling, screaming, yelling, and even pounding my hands on the mattress.
I was protesting.
As I laid on the bunk I protested with words, emotions, and actions that had been lying dormant in my soul. “NO! Don’t take my boy!” I cried clutching Jud’s basketball blanket to my heart. “NO, NO, NO! Please God, don’t take my boy!”
I was a bit surprised at the passionate objections that were flowing from my lips seeing as I was protesting the death of my son when he has been gone for almost a year, but the emotions were so raw within me. I realized how essential it was for these feelings to escape; I needed to protest Jud’s death in a manner that had not been part of my journey while Jud was still present here on earth. It was natural for me to vehemently object to God taking my boy. I had to let it out!
I spent over an hour protesting the death of my beloved son until I was so tired I petered out on Jud’s bed. And as I laid quietly on the denim comforter clenching Jud’s blanket, I realized that venturing into my little man’s untouched bunk bed seemed to help me delve into some of my unexplored feelings.
It was another step toward healing.