Tomorrow is her birthday. She would be 37.
Your children are supposed to live much longer than you.
I didn't give birth to Jude, but she was my daughter... extended families are like that. The strange, difficult combinations and permutations can give us lovely connections that would not have happened otherwise. The pain of the relationships that don't quite work is sometimes offset by the joy that an extra son or daughter or sister or brother brings.
Oh, Jude was clever, kind, stubborn, generous, opinionated, gentle, loving, smart, beautiful... She laughed a lot at herself and rarely at others. She took in strays (animals and people) and loved them unconditionally. Family was everything for her.
She loved her husband. And I believe that he loved her too, but he also hurt her a lot. She came up to Minnesota last year to get away from him. She told me she felt really good with the decision to leave, that she loved him immensely, but couldn't handle the the violence. It seemed like she was in a good place about it all. She hoped to find a job and stay up here.
The job didn't quickly materialize. And I think he started calling her, making promises. He must have convinced her that it really was going to be different. Maybe he said he'd get therapy, seek counseling... I don't know. Jude didn't tell me and after she went back our conversations were mostly Facebook posts - short, funny, trivial... I didn't want her to feel like I would criticize her for a decision I might also have made if I were in her situation...
I guess I'll never understand why anyone would ever hurt someone they loved.
Today we found out that they are dead. We think that sometime this week he killed her and then killed himself.
I really, really cannot believe this happened. Oh, fuck, it hurts. It hurts.
What I really want to do right now is gather everyone close and take care of them, protect them.
Jude - I love you. I can't stand it that he took you away from us.