Monday, June 7, 2010

what others know

on some level, i guess we're all limited in knowing what other people know/think about us. if we meet the friend of a friend, we're typically completely oblivious of the details our friend has shared with that person. whether they be good or bad details. and in the days of the internet and online social networks, the same can be said for the strangers we meet.

but i guess my situation circumstances have heightened this for me. have made me more aware of how much i don't know about what others know. about me.

sure, i have this blog, which some people choose to read. and some of those people publicly follow the blog, and their username lets me know who they are. but others read without following. and still others follow without a recognizable identity. and some people don't read or follow, but they've heard my story.

and it becomes this interesting thing. where at times i interact with people and find myself wondering if they know about me. what they know about me. or i find myself assuming someone knows my story, based on their associations with people i know. sometimes my assumptions are right. but just as many times, my assumptions are wrong.

and it may not seem like a big deal. in fact -- one day, it likely won't be a big deal (which is both a good and sad thing). but right now, as there's still a level of freshness to all of this, it matters. it shapes the way i relate to people. what i say and don't say. the things i avoid. my level of comfort. how much i brace for impact.

in the days after Jarronn died, when i had first gone back to work, my commute was one of the hardest parts of my day. it was during that time -- an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening -- that i felt thrust into the world and like an alien on a foreign planet. i was riding and walking with people who were going about their daily routines at a time when nothing in my life felt scheduled, on track, or planned. and as i walked down the street and people passed me by, all i could think was that they had no idea what i was going through. and that surely, if they did -- even as strangers -- there'd be no way for them to just go about their routine. that maybe they would want life to stop just like i did. even if just for a moment.

but that's not how it goes. how it works. the world keeps turning. life keeps going. and i get further and further away from my loss being the primary detail that's shared about me. and what others know about me.


  1. That was really good...gave me chills. I've definitely been there.

  2. I find myself being one that follows your posts. I don't remember exactly how I found it but I'm actually a friend of Etelle's. I dance with her at church. Your blog has helped to prioritize, realize, and truly sensitize my life. I look forward to your posts because they are written so well and with so much meaning. As you continue your journey of healing know that I, Ken Dorsey, and praying for you. Though you've never met me, I'm one of the ones that if I saw you on the street I would stop you, and at least say hi.

  3. I have no idea how I came across this blog but I started reading it from the beginning and reading about what you are going through ripped my heart to pieces and I found myself crying reading through the posts... Time heals the pain but your husband will live on in your heart, dreams and memories....

  4. that last part that you wrote, that's exactly how I feel about my mom's death. I think I wrote something similar about it yesterday. Sometimes I feel like how can everyone just go on?

  5. I follow your blog, I admire your strength, I try to not pry, and I reflect upon your loss and growth in my heart... thank you. Although you may not know it, others' lives have stopped momentarily to read your blog, remember your circumstances, and appreciate your strength. Thanks Jessica for opening your hurt, your heart, your healing to the world!

  6. I really enjoy your post. It lets me know that there is true love and I raised a son that truly new how to show his love to the women he admired and loved.

    We just found out this week that Jarron died the same day my father died 49 years ago. We always thought it was the 29th.

    Love Momma Etelle

  7. I have been following your blog for a few months now after my wife ran into a friend of yours at Hopkins. I'm not sure if you remember Catherine and I, but we met the two of you at Ladera in St. Lucia. The love you shared for each other was obvious. You two were an amazing couple and a joy to be around! After our brief encounter I felt like I had known the both of you for years. The way you are able to articulate your thoughts, memories, & dreams is truly a gift from God. Your posts reflect your determination and strength. Continue to keep God first for He has His hands on you.

  8. We've never met, but I used to know Jarronn. We lost touch not too long after..well...he met you. I came upon your website while searching for his FB page celebrating his memory and occasionally read. I recall you writing that you considered yourself lucky; you still should. I know this may sound so cliche, but I can tell you this: "it's better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all." Jarronn was a great guy. I pray for you and admire your strength.