I met Judy during an online challenge. While most people were binging on Netflix during the Corona Virus pandemic, our worlds collided while we were both taking the time to grow and learn. Judy shared her story in a group, and I knew I had to reach out because I saw that despite the rawness of what had happened, she was already applying the one thing that is known to bring you the most joy. That is to say, using our mess as our message and helping others. Judy embodied what a thriver is. She had gone through one of the worst kinds of loss, unimaginable pain, and all she cared about was being of service.
I learned many lessons from her. Here are the top three:
- The medicine exists before the illness. It is said that all the medications exist, it is just a matter of us finding them. For 15 years, Judy had worked helping others go through grief and taught them to meditate and understand the process of going through the pain. All this was in preparation for what was coming. The beauty in this tragedy, for me, was to see how God loved her and provided her with the tools to survive this unimaginable pain.
- Crying is not a sign of weakness. Many of us while we grieve, we communicate our pain through anger. There are words that express our sadness, but so often we hide our tears. We keep shedding them in private. Judy embraces the use of the natural way to express sadness without any hesitation. Many women cry when talking to me, not all but many. Somehow, Judy made me feel comfortable with her pain being so open and raw. Yes, like all the other times, I had a knot in the throat: I cried when I saw the video of our interview, and I wanted so much to extend a hug. For me, the most interesting thing was how comfortable she was with this expression of pain and made it feel so much more normal and less embarrassing.
- Action speeds the process of healing. I speak about this again and again. Act, do, make it happen. It won’t be perfect, but it will get closer to perfect than not doing it. Judy took massive action. I don’t think I could write a book in the midst of such grief. But Judy knew that she is now Jacob’s voice. She knew she had a gift, that she could teach techniques for healing. She knew she had knowledge about the current situation. She knew she could help others and comfort them. She also knew she wanted to do something special for Jacob’s memory. Within that year when most are broken and in complete despair and so was Judy, she also took massive action and did what the most selfless mom could do. Be a giver and care for her son and everyone else.
Judy is a woman I hope to meet in person. I think I need to give her that hug or maybe the honest truth is that I want that hug for myself. Only a mother like Judy can give other moms comfort for their pains and disappointments. The mom who paid the heaviest price and managed to thrive within the pain and suffering.
I wrote this article in Jacob’s memory. Jacob! You have an amazing mom! She will keep your memory alive, your music playing, and your spirit singing.