Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy Father's Day, Dear Jud

As a new widow and a bereaved daughter, certain days have been harder than others without our beloved Jud. We have falling into our routine for these days and I feel so blessed to have a loving adult daughter.

Kat and I usually start our "difficult days" sitting on the couch together eating "brunch" (i.e. no eggs, bacon, or toast but instead, guacamole, cupcakes, good cheese and whatever treats either Whole Foods or Trader Joe's can provide. We nosh, we hug, we play on our computers, we watch a good movie, we remember and we cry. Then we repeat the whole routine all over again.

This Father's Day, we added something new to our day of remembrance. Ashton, Kat's boyfriend, joins us for dinner (which he usually cooks for us). Before dinner, we had a special ritual for Jud. I bought helium balloons and we wrote him notes on shipping tags and attached our messages to the balloons. We told him how much we loved him, how very much we were missing him and what we were remembering on this day. 

We went out to Monkey Island, the playground in the center of our cul de sac, and let go of our balloons, sending them symbolically up to him. 

Then we gave each other the biggest hugs we could muster. Grief is painful but grief shared is less painful. Our love for each other is helping us through these hard times. 
We are thankful to Ashton who took these pictures which will help us remember the first Father's Day with both a tear and a smile.
Remembering one of Jud's favorite foods, we had grilled steaks, prepared by Ashton, and covered with Essie's barbeque sauce, a favorite of Jud's. 
We will always miss him but are thankful for so many things, good friends, good food and each other.


  1. what a lovely post ....reminds me to be GRATEFUL for the father my husband is to our children....big hugs....tabitha

  2. This is so sweet and loving, Suz...I am so glad you and your daughter can be there for each other! XO

  3. I write this as I get ready to go to Ireland. I want to share with you that on my husband's birthday, I celebrate his life (it took much longer than you -- and I am so happy to see that you are already celebrating dear Jud). I will visit my husband's grave in Ireland; usually it would choke me, but the last time I went it was peaceful because he wasn't there in that grave anymore. His soul was free and he's always with me. I wish that for you, too.
    Love and hugs.

  4. Dear Suz, this is a most beautiful way, of being together in the memories of Jud ,and to celebrate him as the wonderful husbond and father he was, and still is in your lifes. I`m happy for you ,you have each others, to help, when dayes are heavy ,and grey.
    Hugs and love,Dorthe

  5. hi suz!! I think that was a wonderful way to spend your fathers day. A sweet tribute and a sweet way to remember him. I know you must have some bad days, but Im glad you are having good days too. (lol! I just wrote food days instead of good days! OMgosh!)
    anyways.. been thinking of you so I was glad to see you posted. We are dealing with our very sick new born who is in the nicu.. very difficult.. and surgery today.. lots of posts at my blog if you feel like catching up.. but hope you will send up some prayers for him.
    miss you here in blogland girlfriend!
    stay well!

  6. So happy to see you posting dear Suz

    You and Kat are very lucky to have one another and sweet Ashton too

    Your balloon messages for Jud touch my heart so sweetly ... special days/anniversaries/birthdays are somehow a little harder than every other day without our loved ones aren't they

    keep navigating your way thru this grief journey as best you can and know that so many Love you and are sending healing wishes your way

    BIG hugs all ways!

  7. Thanks, Momma Bear! As always, I am glad to have you by my side in support as we walk this path (both the life that we have shared and in this experience of grief). Your idea to let off balloons was a stroke of brilliance!
    Much love!
    Wee Bear (Kat)

  8. what a beautiful tribute to Jud! it's not easy to re-create what you know life to be, but it is certainly easier when you have one another to help along the path. wishing you both much healing aided by your beautiful memories of such a kind, amazing husband/father. much love to you, nat

  9. Dear Suz,

    Dear Suz...Somehow I missed the news of Jud's passing and hope you know how deeply sorry I am for your loss. Time seems to pass so is hard to believe that my Mom passed away last March. I am here with my Dad at the lake and we think of her and talk about her every single day. I am sure it will be like that for you and Kat. Your Jud was obviously a very special and deeply loved man and I hope that your memories will bring you much comfort. I am glad that you have such a lovely daughter to share your ups and downs and who can truly understand the magnitude of your loss.
    Sending love and a hug,

  10. Suz,

    After my "other" mom passed away, all of the "first" holidays and celebrations were the hardest. I love how you spent it together remembering and sending love notes to Jud.

    Sending a hugs your way,


  11. That sounds like it was a lovely remembrance. I know grieving is hard work but you guys are doing well at it -- and I'm so glad you have each other!

  12. All my love and big ol' hugs for you both!!!

  13. Whew.

    I love this.

    I am so glad you have each other.

    Also your neighborhood is charming.

    Also you look great.

    Much love love love to you.

  14. How did I miss this post, sweet Suz? I just want to reach through this screen and give you a BIG HUG!

    This ritual was great, important,,,,and Oh, so powerful!

    I know this loss crap is the WORST! You want your Jud Back! You want your life back....and I'm sure you alternate between sadness and anger.

    But you, my dear Suz, ARE a better person for his loss. I know that sounds crazy.And I know you probably DON'T want to be a better, stronger, person. But that is his gift to YOU. You don't get him back. If I could wave one of my magic wands,,,,,,you could! It might not be "here" yet...but losing him is going to make you:
    A Better Parent
    A Better Friend
    A Better Humanitarian.......

    It Sucks to learn this,,,,,,but you're going to hold all those in your life a BIT closer, remind them of things that are special/dear/loving.

    This is HIS and,,,,I believe God's GIFT to you! Maybe not the Gift you had in mind,,,,,,but this loss will resonate in GREAT gains for those you touch ..........

    Love you,,,,,,,And BIG BIG Hugs!

  15. sending you my love....what a lovely way to remember! xoxo

  16. How did I miss this post? That is so sweet and so sad.It just brought tears to my eyes...

    Sandy xox

  17. I love the balloons as a sigh of "sending" loving thoughts and words to Jud's memory. I am glad that you and Kat have each othr to cling to (and eat Trader Joe/Whole Food treats!!) It's so important to have someoe to share your feelings with who truly understands how you feel..sometimes without any words. I'm always happy to see you post or "pinning". Take good care dear Suz. Think of you often!

  18. Sweet friend, I'm so glad you were able to make Father's Day so very meaningful. The photos are lovely, and the idea of the balloons is fabulous. Sending you more hugs.

  19. I'm glad that your close relationship with your daughter is helpful to you both...hang on and keep hugging.

  20. So happy you and Kat have found a new way to celebrate those difficult days. It hard, I know.

  21. Been thinking of you (email me sometime!). Cupcakes make me happy. And I love the balloon release. Zack and I did that on New Year's Eve when he was having a particularly difficult time with some things, and it's one of my favorite blog posts and set of pictures I've ever had.

    Hugs. Lots.

  22. Those firsts are always hard but with a Mother/Daughter team it looks like you made it with grace and love.......and that is what gets us through those tough times! Bravo to you two!