He’s Not Gone

I love pictures – especially pictures of my family.

Now that we all walk around every day with good cameras on our phones, those of us who love pictures have a lot of great ones of the events and activities of our lives.

But the pictures are on our phones.

Or they are on Facebook for those of us who are into that.  Or in our clouds – where ever that is.  Ten years from now, when my grandchildren want to look back on family history, where will they look?  Scroll through everybody’s phones? Maybe we’ll have an electronic process that’s easy and convenient by then.  We don’t have anything like that now.

This has motivated me to electronically create family yearbooks and give them to my family each year. I have a copy of the books for each grandchild as well – maybe that will be their twenty-first birthday gift. I love pictures, I have a creative side and I’m pretty good on the computer so making the books for everyone has been a joy…..

until 2016.

That was the year my son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police Officer was killed in the line of duty on May 18th.  My world exploded.  The story of our family turned dark and sad and painful.

About 6 months after Davey’s death, I sat down to start our family yearbook for that year and I attempted to make the first page – a dedication page to Davey.  It took me several weeks of struggling to complete just that first page because of my grief.  I would put a box of tissues next to me, determined to get past that first page but I just couldn’t.  Sobs made my hands shake and the anguish in my broken heart would overwhelm me.  Each time I tried, I had to stop.  The emotional fall-out of trying to put together the pictures of the tragedy that happened in our lives in 2016 would follow me around like a dark cloud for several days.

So I stopped working on the 2016 family yearbook.  Whenever I thought about it in 2017, I just ignored it.  Whenever I thought about it in 2018, I would log in and attempt to start working on it, but it hurt.

Too heart wrenching.

Too many tears.

I just couldn’t deal with documenting the year we lost Davey.  I thought about skipping 2016 and going on to 2017 but that was impossible.  There was no way I could skip 2016 – our world had totally changed, we had experienced the worst and we had all moved to a different place.  A 2017 yearbook wouldn’t make any sense without a 2016 book.

So each time I sat down to work on the 2016 book, I would end up staring at the dedication page with tears rolling down my face.  Then I would quit and close my computer.  I did this every 3 to 4 months….

until 2019.

After 3 years of trying and failing, I opened up my computer to see if I could get past Davey’s dedication page in our family yearbook for 2016 and, somehow, suddenly, it felt very right to be documenting my family’s extremely tough journey through that year.  I treasured the pictures and memories of the days before May 18th.  I loved fitting the pictures on the pages – remembering special moments of Davey’s last months.

And the pictures we took after May 18th actually filled some gaps in my memory caused by the fog of grief and the swirling in my head.  They are important memories of how we struggled and loved each other through the pain.

I realized that I had turned a corner on this road of loss.  With God walking closely beside me , my memories had now become more precious than painful.  

I just finished our Family Book for 2017.  I’m couple years behind but I’m confident now that I’m going to be able to get caught up. We had a super busy year in 2017 with memorials and Police Week.  So many people and organizations did great things to remember Davey and show that they cared about us. It felt great to review it all and remember the good times. Our 2017 family book is a really big book full of special memories.  And Davey is there with us.

And I’m so very grateful that my memories have become more precious than painful.

Miss you, Davey.

Love you.

4 responses to “He’s Not Gone”

  1. 💙💙💙Judy, you have beautifully portrayed the heart wrenching journey families continue on when an Officer is killed in the line of duty.

    The family whose lives somehow must continue, long after the pomp and ceremony of a very public goodbye, long after the tributes and words of condolences. The day to day dread of another sunrise without that very special son, brother, husband and father.

    But you are right, God is good and seeks to heal wounded hearts, by His promise this separation is only temporary. You and your family, like many of us will never understand this great tragedy on this side of heaven, and I suspect once you see Davy there, totally healed in glory you will instantly “forget” this earthly separation and enjoy him for all of eternity.

    I continue to pray for you and other families that live your great loss everyday…💙💙💙
    Laurie Gannon


    1. Thank you, Laurie. I agree- as soon as we see in heaven those we lost and grieve for here on earth, all the pain and tears will be over. Meanwhile, we trust that God loves us and knows what’s best for us.💙💙


  2. Wonderfully written, Judy. He will never be gone, you are so right, he lives inside you forever!


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