Tuesday, March 4, 2014


this past saturday was Jarronn's 34th birthday.

while i believe there's a divine order to everything, when the birthdays roll around, it's hard not to wonder what he might have been like at this age. in fact, the wondering about the "what ifs" is probably one of the most debilitating things we can do when we're grieving. it's all very natural. but unfortunately, it also tends to be a ride on a road that leads to nowhere.

Jarronn had a special enthusiasm for life, and he wanted to experience all it had to offer. he loved to travel and he'd even create detailed spreadsheets with an itinerary of activities when we were planning to visit a new place.

after he passed away, i immediately thought of the many places he'd never see. the trips we wouldn't get to take. chicago. the grand canyon. the annual cruise planned by a friend. egypt. brazil. it all seemed so sad. it all seemed to remind me of what i saw as time cut way too short. and with each birthday that came after he passed, it seemed to be a reminder of what wasn't done. and what wouldn't be.

i remember being on a boat tour of the sydney harbor in 2012. the weather was beautiful. the sights were unforgettable. and as i took it all in, i started to cry thinking about how Jarronn never got to see any of it. and there were other moments like that, in different places. for so long, the new experiences that were helping me heal also had the sting of reminding me what Jarronn wouldn't get to do.

but then, eight months later in that same year, and more than three years after he had passed, something interesting happened.

i was on a different boat.

this time in the cayman islands. the weather was beautiful. the sights were unforgettable. and as i took it all in, i had this moment of renewed perspective.

it might sound kind of strange, but i recognized that as i continued to live and travel to new places, Jarronn would be there too. not in the physical. not even as some spooky ghost. but his memory, his love, his legacy goes where i go. i didn't have to feel sadness over him not seeing a beautiful place, because i carry him with me, based on the love and bond we shared.

and in a big way, that was  f r e e i n g.

because it opened up space for me to let in more gratitude and more hope.

cayman islands, august 2012

happy 34th birthday to my late husband, Jarronn Jackson. knowing you the way I did was one of my greatest joys, and carrying on your legacy is one of my greatest honors. (March 1, 2014) 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

life, love, loss...love

a couple weeks ago, Jordan and i got an email from a producer who works at channel 11, one of the local news stations in new york. she informed us that they wanted to feature the love story of a nyc couple for valentine's day, and they were hoping to interview us for the segment.

we were pretty excited and honored, so we quickly agreed. a few days later, a tv crew and long-time ny tv personality, mr. g, were in our living room asking us questions about our lives -- and all of the tragedy, suffering, surprise, and joy that has made up the last five years.

during one part of the interview, we walked down 8th ave in harlem, talking to mr. g as we were filmed. it was pretty hilarious to see people stealthily snap photos of us with their camera phones. my guess is that they were thinking, "i have no idea who these people are, but i'm gonna take their pic in case they happen to be somebody." ha!

while we were really excited for the piece to air, it's pretty nerve-wracking to sit for a two-hour interview and know it will be condensed into a four-minute segment. thankfully, we had a lot of faith in the crew and their skills.

on friday, february 14, we made our way to queens so we could watch the segment live with Jordan's 86-year-old grandmother. it was amazing to see her reaction and to receive her encouragement after it aired. Jordan was smiling from ear to ear. i shed a few tears (what else is new?). and we were both really happy to see how the segment included beautiful photos of Jarronn and Danielle.

you can watch the segment by clicking the link below.

It's A G Thing: Life, Love, Loss...Love: Follow the Journey of Jessica and Jordan. This is a story about a newlywed couple who found each other, only after both losing their significant others in the most tragic way.