Tuesday, July 30, 2013

four years later

my husband, Jordan, said he learned in therapy that our subconscious frequently manifests itself in our dreams. things that we're feeling or attempting to process but don't consciously recognize. things we might even be suppressing. and so it's good to give those feelings and thoughts space. to acknowledge them. to communicate about them. to explore them.

this week, Jarronn was in my dream. twice.

both dreams were about him dying. but in both dreams, the details of his death were altered. the motorcycle accident was still part of the story. but he suffered additional traumatic experiences that weren't part of the actual timeline. both dreams were so real, that i woke up struggling with what was truth, what was reality. 

i'd be lying if i told you i knew what either dream meant. and to be honest, in some ways, both dreams incorporated elements from the movies and books i had recently watched/read -- which isn't very deep. but the idea that my subconscious could be processing the four-year anniversary of Jarronn's death kind of caught me off guard. whether i know it or not, my mind still remembers the shock, the disbelief, the hurt, and the loss. 

at the same time, perhaps the thing i'm processing most consciously today is the uniqueness of my relationship to Jarronn. as his wife, i feel an immense responsibility to honor his life and preserve his legacy. so many people knew and loved him, but as his wife, i also got to know how he felt about and related to his parents, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and co-workers. i've often felt a need to relate to all of those people since he's been gone. 

and yet, my position as his wife seems to somehow have less permanence and more complications than other roles. i've had to give more thought to the way i honor Jarronn's life, which is something others hardly have to do. because while we've all had to move on with life, my moving on was always understood to potentially mean becoming someone else's wife. no one else thought about becoming someone else's friend or brother or parent or co-worker. i've been confronted with how i will honor Jarronn even as life takes me different places. how i'll communicate his importance to me, even as i celebrate and honor my amazing second marriage. how i'll help people understand that what was doesn't get washed away by what is. and that even the greatest new love doesn't make you forget what was lost -- and perhaps my dreams prove that best. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

sympathy cards

today i went through the cards i was given after Jarronn passed.

i've made mention before that i was overwhelmed by the support of others as i grieved and went on living. but reading through every card, i'm amazed all over again.

there were lots of people who didn't know what to say. and they didn't know what they could do. there were lots of repeat cards. and lots of repeat phrases. i was reminded of how many people were shocked, and saddened, and suffered along with me.

but more than anything, reading those cards reminded me of how i was blessed to have the prayers of so many people. and i believe those prayers and thoughts made the greatest impact in helping me experience rays of hope and moments of peace.

i still feel so compelled to let people know how much it all meant.


from Jarronn's co-workers.
from his co-ed flag football team members.
from sorority sisters and fraternity brothers.
from the relatives of our neighbors.
from the friends of my relatives.
from the doctor's office staff Jarronn used to call on.
  (amazing that they missed a sales person)
from presidents and vice presidents of johnson & johnson.
from middle school friends.
from the girls who lived on my floor freshman year.
from engineering students Jarronn mentored.
from the parents of my high school friends.
from our wedding photographer.
from church friends.
from widows.
from people who never met him.
from people who never met me.

hundreds of people who prayed for me and thought of me. an amazing blessing.

words from a card:

sometimes there are no perfect words --
only perfect silences.

where we can rest in God's presence

and know that He hears our hearts.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


it’s been a very long time since i’ve posted, and i have a lot to share and reflect on. i still have questions i want to answer too.

one of the questions i received from my formspring was related to limited blogging:

Your posts are less frequent than in years past – why is that? Is your blogging evolving like you are?

when i first started this blog, it was mainly for the purpose of keeping people updated. in the days and weeks after Jarronn died, i was bombarded with phone calls, text messages, house visits, and emails from people wanting to know if i was ok. the support was overwhelming in good and bad ways. through others’ show of concern, i got a clear picture of God’s love and care for me, even as i suffered greatly. at the same time, the increased attention served as a reminder of all i was going through. there’d be no reason for so many calls, and texts, and visits, and messages if Jarronn was still alive and my life had not been shattered. (weird how it works that way.)

so i figured the blog would be helpful for those times when i didn’t have the energy or time to answer the phone or respond to a message. if someone wanted to know how i was doing, they could always come here and find out.

it’s always been my desire to keep this blog updated regularly. it quickly became more than just a way to keep people informed about my status. it became therapeutic, because of its ability to help me process a million swirling thoughts. it also helped me record things and feelings that i would have likely forgotten by now.

looking back, i can see how my frequent posts in 2009 and 2010 were absolutely based on necessity. i needed an outlet. and though i had lots going on (work, grad school, etc), my need to post made doing so a higher priority on my daily list of to-do’s.

over time, my need for this blog to be my outlet has decreased, and with it, so has the frequency of the posts. i often miss posting. i often feel disappointed that i missed opportunities to document certain parts of my process. i often beat myself up for letting the blog sit dormant for so long. but i suppose, it’s all for good reason.

my grief (for some time now) no longer overwhelms me to the point where blogging is my top priority. my relationships, my business, and planning my next adventure have taken its place. my hope is that even as my need to update people and heal myself through writing has changed that i’ll continue to record the journey of “jessica living” here.

so yes. as i have evolved, so has this blog.