Today, Jessie and I said our good-byes to Drake as he headed to Boston for a conference. It is a national conference he attends each year related to his profession.
Last year, this conference took place in Southern CA during the 2nd week of June. My concerns for Jud started skyrocketing so significantly while Drake was gone. I remember exactly where Jud, Jessie, and I were in our home as I sat with my phone in hand, debating whether or not to call Drake and ask him to come home. I knew we were dealing with something much more severe than just sniffles, but I didn’t want to blow things out of proportion. I finally decided to make the call. Drake hopped in his car and left the conference immediately to tend to the needs of our family. It was the next day that our whirlwind began-June 13th.
So as I drove away from Drake today, I had extreme sadness; it was partly because of the difficult associations from last year, but it was more than that too.
This is the first time Drake and I have had any significant distance between us since Jud died. It struck me how much more connected we have become through Jud’s suffering, death, and our subsequent sorrow. Drake is the only other person walking the face of this earth who truly understands my experience and grief because it is his experience and grief too. There are others severely affected by the circumstances, but none of them parented Jud-it was just the two of us. Drake’s sorrow is my sorrow, and my sorrow is his; we “get” each other in a way no one else can.
In reading about the impact of the loss of a child on a marriage, more often than not, the strain is heavier than most unions can withstand. But in rare cases, this type of grief can actually develop a greater bond between husband and wife…I humbly feel as though God has protected and even deepened our marriage relationship through this process.
Drake and I are bound together, not only by our vows, but by our tragedy.
I cannot imagine walking through this experience without him, and though he is only gone for five days, the gap of his absence is larger than ever before!
I miss you Drake!