Ryder’s Memorial Service

This afternoon, with family and friends, we celebrated the short but meaningful life of our sweet Ryder Hudson. It was beautiful. It was perfect.


{Ryder’s urn, heartbeat bear, and crib quilt}

I stressed all week about what the service would/should look like. How many people will come? Should we have had it at the funeral home instead? What music should we play? What will we say? Will I cry through the whole thing? Will it be enough?

Turns out there was no need to stress. It was absolutely perfect.

Hope was the theme for the day. We talked about hope this morning in Sunday School, I mentioned hope in a letter I wrote to Ryder this afternoon, and Pastor Pike’s devotional during the service was all about our eternal hope. I love it when God puts pieces together like that.

I knew I wanted to write something for the service, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to read it without breaking down in front of everyone. Sam volunteered. I have no idea how he made it through, but he did… with a few tears. I’m so proud of him. He’s my rock.

We wanted the service to be a time of fellowship. We just wanted to spend time with all the people who have shown us so much love and kindness through this journey. I’m pretty sure I speak for both of us when I say that quality time is high on our “Love Language” list. We are so glad that we got the chance to celebrate Ryder with all of you.

Here is the letter I wrote and Sam read for Ryder:

Our Precious Ryder,

We don’t know the plans God has for us, but you were not a surprise to God. He knew you before he made you. He knew every inch of your broken heart. And He knows every inch of our hearts that are now broken for you.

Even if God let us see into His plan, it wouldn’t take away our pain, our grieving. We’d still be here mourning the loss of your precious life that we’ll never get to know.

In the last six months, we’ve had nothing but hope. First, we hoped for the days when we’d get to hold you and watch you grow and learn. Then, our hope turned towards your healing. Now our hope rests in God and the day we will get to hold you again in heaven.

We have been so blessed by our family, friends, and even strangers through this journey. They have loved us and seen us through the good times and the hard times. They have rescued us when we couldn’t see beyond our immediate circumstances. We will never forget the kind words, the thoughtful gifts, and the time spent with us. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts.

We will always be your parents. You will always be our child, our son, our warrior, our precious Ryder Hudson. We love you.

With hope and love,


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