Saturday, October 29, 2016

Halloween XII: memories & soulmates

Sharry and I always considered Halloween our first anniversary. October 31, 2004 was the day we had our first kiss and from that point on we were pretty much inseparable for what would have been 12 years this Halloween. I was her first and only kiss, if you can belief that, and she was my third. It is important to note that I don’t really count my first as it was in middle school and after encountering my skilled lips the girl said “’s ok maybe some guys just aren’t meant to kiss” really Shar was number 2 haha.

1st Halloween

October and specifically Halloween were always times of fun, haunted houses, family, costumes, treats, scares and celebration. For multiple Octobers we would watch a scary movie almost every night (or Simpson’s Tree House of Horror episodes) which would lead to us being so afraid by the end of the month that we would take turns waking each other up out of fear, despite leaving the lights on, and just giggling (or let’s be honest sometimes arguing) groggily into the early morning.

Dressing up together occurred every year. Our first time we aimed to be Rogue and Gambit (X-Men) but couldn’t pull it off so we were matching Batmans. Other highlights include: Mario & Luigi, Penny Lane (Almost Famous) & Bob Dylan, Holly Golightly, Aragorn & Arwen (LoTR), Shaggy & Velma, Ghosts (we did this so we could trick or treat at the ripe age of 24 and 21), and last year a scarecrow & a black cat.

I do not know how I am going to make it through the holidays without her. Sharry LOVED the Holidays. Of course there was always a bit of frustration and disappointment but overall she loved celebration and October through New Years bring plenty to celebrate.

She enriched my life in innumerable ways.

Recently I reread one of Shar’s blogs that touched me deeply and kind of left me reeling. In it Shar writes of our first meeting from her point of view and does so beautifully and the preface is a quote by Emily Bronte, “Whatever souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”  This made me think of something else she wrote in her personal bucket list so heartbreaking (now) in how she describes the depth of our love and connection. “I’ve never met another soul so suited to mine, another person so connected to me, or another human I never seem to tire of. My life of love and adventure, art and literature, family and friends- begins and ends with him. The longer we are together, the more my heart becomes a part of his and molds into one, somewhat unhealthy, enlarged pumping organ that cannot be separated without killing both.”

I ache excruciatingly for the missing, greater half of my heart, of my soul.

I haven’t had a “happy day” since JJ’s birthday. Happy minutes and hours? Thanks to my job, JJ and family fortunately yes, but not an entire day that felt pre 6/16 level good throughout. Will that come? I imagine so. Do I want that? sometimes.

For 12 years (minus 137 days) we lived as one.

For 4,243 days we were mutually obsessed with each other. With a conservative estimate we probably kissed at least 127,300 times! (and yes that math checks out, cheesy TMI we would do clusters of little kisses upon saying farewell and reuniting each day)

She was usually the top thing that my mind would return to. What is Sharry doing? Remember that awesome ______ with Sharry? Isn’t she amazing for XYZ…? Can’t wait to see baby girl after work. Think of point X in the future and Sharry is the keystone of the plans.

Healthy? No. Did it work for us? I was incredibly happy, fulfilled and utterly, completely in love.

(To be clear of course my mind had other obsessions that included but were not limited to: video games, my students, climate change action, Bernie Sanders and food among others but Sharry was always the premier event.)

Try undoing a happy yet entrenched habit that you have had in place for 12 years... to this day 4.5 months since seeing her face and holding her hand she is still the headliner in my mind’s stage. Throughout the day when my mind wanders inevitably it returns to her.

Like a planet with a missing sun I have no orbit. I am drifting in space.

Fortunately I have my little star. My up and coming band. But just because you have Justin Timberlake (obviously don’t know who’s hot with staying power right now) doesn’t mean you don’t desperately miss The Beatles.

Pumpkin & Corn on the cob

My Sister Jen took these awesome 4 month pics


  1. Hey man, I happened to see an automated news post by a CNN bot featuring a video about your story flash across /r/all's "new" tab, and I just wanted to say hello. My parents both recently passed but even with that, I can't imagine what losing your soulmate must feel like. I'm glad you were able to recover all those audio tracks of your wife for you and the kid to listen to.

    I have nothing I can offer but I hope that you and your little dude are being well taken care of by friends and family. You seem like an awesome guy and I hope your life takes you to good places. Stay strong

  2. Starry was beautiful! You are so fortunate to have had a soulmate and then her baby too!! I wish you happiness.

  3. Mardy! Love the post! I too have nothing except to say "you" have a "huge" sincere condolences to those left behind..peace to you.

  4. Jared, I, too, saw the CNN clip this morning of your story and heard the short clip of the beautiful lullaby Sharry recorded, and I started crying. How tragic for you all to lose such a beautiful woman so young and unexpectedly on the day of your baby's birth. I can't imagine a grief that strong, but I know that she lives on in JJ. Your pictures and words are beautiful. Your baby is lucky to have you and the memories you'll give him of his mother. Thoughts are with you.

  5. You have a beautiful soul and I know you miss Sharry so much. She left the best part of her right there with you. Take comfort in knowing that if she had a choice, she would choose JJ every time, he is such a beautiful baby.... You can feel the love that you had for her, make sure that your son knows it every day. Great article on CNN.... it was very touching. Thanks to the Reddit community as well. They are a great group of people!

  6. Jared, I'm a new mom and a resident anesthesiologist in Sacramento. Since I have to pump a lot for my new baby, I managed to make extra milk. I hadn't ever thought about a baby not having the option of not having breastmilk as in your situation, but I'm happy to send you all the extra milk I have and I'll take care of shipping, if you would like. Since I'm medical I'm incredibly clean about every procedure especially breastmilk preparation. My husband lives away from us in Dallas, which is hard for me... So I can only imagine your pain. Feel free to email me if you are interested. Would love your little one to have as much benefit as he can.

  7. I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss. Words cannot express the heartfelt sadness I feel for you and your family. I don't want to presume your beliefs but in a deep period of grief, not too far from your experience, two books came into my life and provided me with solace. (Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian Weiss and Dying to be Me by Anita Moorjani). Both books provided me with relief in ways books on grief could not. The real life stories solidified for me both a hope I had to see my loved ones again and they vanquished my deepest fear about never being able to regain that love I shared with my family member. The books provide an understanding of the fabric of our lives and why tragedies like this happen. Most importantly, the books remind us that our families and soulmates are eternal. You'll be with Sharry again as she is always and forever will be one of your life soulmates. If you are interested, I recommend Moorjani's book first. Although it is not about grief, her experience can teach us all about the eternal nature of our lives and how our lives ones, although they might have passed, are always within reach.

  8. Thank you for sharing your journey....sharing it will help so many others. There is much work going on in the USA to "Improve Birth" and make it safer. Solo Parenting is not for sissies...Your rocking it. Grief changes over time, Only you know what works to make you feel better, trust your instincts.

  9. I just stayed up far too late (have an 11 month old that could wake to nurse at any moment) reading this blog, sobbing, and am compelled to message you. My SO and I have a similar relationship - we are each other's best friend and confidant. I would be a shattered being if anything ever happened to him. I have no words of wisdom but I wanted to say that I'm incredibly moved by your words and your gift of sharing. The journey you are on is no doubt immensely painful but through your posts you seem to exude a grace that is beautiful. Your little boy is lucky to have a man like you for his father. I wish you inner peace and light as you move forward in this new reality. Be gentle with yourself and be well!

  10. Reading all of this made me cry. That's how I feel about my husband and I so I can't imagine life without him. I truely wish you and your baby the very best. Just know that she's always and will always be with you guys even if you can't see her. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your baby because that's a blessing.

  11. Sharry's soul lives within your son- look at him and you will see and find her <3

  12. Thank you for sharing this with others. I found your page when I was looking up how I could possible help a friend that just lost his wife after giving birth to their twin baby boys. He is in Lehi, I think you said you were in SLC. I was thinking, maybe, just maybe, if you are interested..maybe you could reach out to him? Let me know what you think. Thank you again and God bless