About My Jen

by Laurie Hudson
(Woodstock, CT, USA)

Jen Free

Jen Free

From the age of 5 when Jen was supposed to start school and I was pregnant with her sister, Jen decided to become independent and that she would be able to take care of herself. She walked out of first grade and I waddled after her pregnantly, chasing her as best I could.

I always felt from that moment on that I struggled to keep up with her. She always danced to her own tune and lived by her own rules. A handful for sure, I won't even say I loved one of my children more than the other, but that when I didn't know what else to do for her, I had to love her that much harder.

She was my first and did not come with an instructional manual... At 16 she quit school and moved to France to become a professional girlfriend... such a smart girl, never having spoken the language, would later on earn 12 credits for her 4 year experience living in France and learning the language first hand... she traveled all over Europe and when she finally came back home, she went to college, worked a full time job and took courses on the side to learn to appreciate wine, ballroom dance, be a wilderness volunteer in Kentucky and Hawaii and learn to play the violin; and for her 21st birthday she treated herself to tandem sky diving...

That was my girl, always looking for the next adventure, the next thrill, as if she somehow knew she did not have a long time on this earth and had to experience as much of it as possible in the short time she had... she died at the age of 26 unexpectedly, her heart just stopped. She was not found for 2 days, the autopsy could not verify what caused her heart to stop, there was no evidence of drugs or alcohol, it just said her heart stopped due to unknown causes...

She was found the day after her Dad remarried (I was already into my second marriage) and when we caught him on the phone at the airport to tell him the news, he left on his honeymoon anyway; that to me was almost as devastating as hearing the news of my daughter dying. I couldn't help but think that not only was he not there for Jen, but he was not there for our only remaining child, Sarah, who was just a month shy of turning 19...

I couldn't help but think that Sar was thinking, what if it was her instead of her sister, would her Dad be there for her... it's been almost 2 years since Jen's been gone, (11/18/07). The second year being so much harder, since the first year is just a blur and I convinced myself she was just back in France again...

I miss her every day, she understood me and humored my silly side, I know she surrounds me with her energy and her spirit, for I am convinced that all that love and all that energy she had in life does not just disappear. This has been some comfort to me, she sends me signs to know she is here but often times it is not the same as having her here to feel and hug but I will settle for whatever she sends my way.

For the rest of my life, I will cherish my girl and my life will never be the same anymore and I will never be afraid to die now, I will welcome our reunion... my name is Laurie, and I am proud to be her Mom, it is the best thing I have done with my life, to be the Mom...

Comments for About My Jen

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Oct 29, 2009
My sincere condolences
by: Arlene

Your words have touched me so deeply. Your Jen was such a special, unique person. And how fortunate to have you as her mother! Your pain and sadness are palpable though.

I am not one to give advice, but I do have a suggestion. I have experienced many losses in my life and have only recently been able to grieve and find comfort and happiness beyond those losses. Yoga and meditation have been wonderful tools which have allowed me to get centered and connected to a peaceful place inside myself. No panacea, but an opportunity to separate from the grief.

A favorite book for me is "Lessons of the Lotus" - it is spiritual in nature and may act as a guide. I hope this can help. You are in my prayers.

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