In Their Words

In the months since Jake’s death I have received scores of private messages on Facebook, texts, phone calls, emails, voice mails, and snail mail letters from Jake’s friends. I wanted to share some of them with you so you can get a glimpse of who he was from his peers, the people he spent his days with. Reading these is truly a bittersweet experience for me. Sweet because of all the good he did, the people he helped through hard times, the joy and happiness he spread wherever he went. Bitter for all the people he didn’t get a chance to met, who won’t benefit from his light and love. That he is gone is a tragedy beyond dimension. But Jake, like everyone of us, is a stone dropped into the pool of the universe. His influence ripples outwards, and continues to do so today. Who knows what the people he touched will accomplish because of his encouragement, his friendship and his love. From the words of his friends you can get a clearer picture of who he was, is and will always be. Sail on, Jakey Jake.

(These are messages from many people. Each one separated by a  – – -)

 –  –  –

 It has taken me some time to finally be able to sit down and write you. As you may remember, Jake was one of my best friends all throughout middle school and high school. Those years were very important to who I am now as a person, and I can tell you that a huge part of that is because of the influence your son had on me. With every moment we spent together, I grew to love your son much more. As a friend, your son was the perfect combination of intelligence, kindness, willingness and eagerness to work hard, compassion and sincerity. The best part was that Jake never cared what anyone else thought, and sometimes, while we were growing up, that caused him to struggle. But, that it itself was what drew me to being so close to Jake for so many years. Even as a young teen, when things are changing, Jake was the one person I could rely on to make sure I kept pushing forward, and stayed true to who I am, to follow my passion and to never pursue things I didn’t love.

Your son was and still is an inspiration to so many people. I, myself, would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for him. Our senior year, Jake and I worked on a stem cell project for our physiology class, where Jake said “I’ve learned about these things called stem cells, lets do our project on that.” This was the first time I realized how cool science can be, and pursued a degree in biology and now am getting a masters in public health.

The trajectory of my life and my career is because of Jakey. I am currently in Georgia, and because of the New Year will not be able to make it to the funeral tomorrow, which devastates me, however, as your son was loved not only by myself, but by my parents, so they will be in attendance. If there is anything I can do, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you for bringing into the world someone life changing. He will be missed.

–  –  –

 I am currently in the process of writing you both a formal letter where I will share my emotions and other buried memories of your son, but literally as I am writing this letter… I had to stop and describe to you this fabulous nostalgia – what I remember so strongly of Jake’s personality was his ability to explore such vast worldly subjects, and his terrific knowledge and deep understanding of life and to not only question the unknown but to challenge it as well. His mind was like a labyrinth of insight and he always had something useful or hilarious to teach me.

I will forever remember him for this unique quality and for his ability and drive to teach others. Thank you Jake and I miss you dearly.

–  –  –

I’m so sorry for your and Terry’s loss.  When I heard about Jake’s passing I was immediately flooded with memories of time spent with him.  I was lucky enough to know Jake from our Elementary school days and have always considered him a lifelong friend.  Him and I both were extremely interested in how things worked and trying to solve problems by thinking outside of the box.  He was always willing to pass his knowledge on whether it be about candle making, cooking, or even welding in your backyard.  I was unfortunately out of town for Jake’s memorial, and would have loved nothing more to have been there to show my love and support for Jake, yourself, and Terry.  I would like to extend myself in keeping Jake’s legacy alive whether it be helping with the library at your temple, or getting involved with any future events.  Please let me know how I can help.

 –  –  –

Just want to thank you for having such a wonderful son. He helped me through what may have been the roughest patch of my entire life, I really mean that. I miss him a lot today. A lot of Jacob and my conversations were about the metaphysical and the afterlife so somehow in a way I was prepared by god for his passing, if that makes sense. I miss him so much today. How a human being can fade away is indeed tragic, but to me he is eternal at least in the annals of time that he spent supporting me on my journey. Thank you so much for bringing him into creation.

–  –  –

I’ll never forget last spring walking down Venice Blvd. with Jake when i was unreachably out of my mind, with him by my side non-judgmentally listening to me vent about my own world. He was enthusiastically relating my whole ordeal to star wars, thus making me laugh when nothing could possibly make me smile… Jake and i talked about spirituality pretty much whenever we’d hang out, and i feel blessed to have gotten to see that side of him. He deserves to be here among the living making us happy. But i believe that he lives on in a good place…. in heaven with the light side of the force  , no doubt.

–  –  –

I remember one time M. and I were in downtown LA at a holiday party for her uncle’s business. This must’ve been several years ago. We got into some trouble and knew Jake lived downtown. I called Jake in a panic. He ran 20 blocks to rescue us in the middle of the night. Thank you Jake. Miss u, RIP

 –  –  –

 When we were maybe 14 I’d come over to jake’s house (slash your guys’s house) and jake and I would look at each other and say “……..let’s build something…..” all the time and we’d grab scraps of anything we could find lumber, computer parts in jakes room, metal, glue, anything random we could find to concoct anything for fun, it was so much fun.

–  –  –

Jake helped me through one of the hardest times in my life and I am sure I would not be the person I am today, I would not even be here today, if it were not for having such an amazing friend as Jake. I can’t even begin to explain how much I love him and miss him, but I thought you should know that every day since his passing, and today especially, he is with me in my heart, I think about him every day and I also think about his family, wishing, hoping, and praying for you. I think it’s been a long process of trying to wrap my mind around him being gone. It truly is a tragedy, but I can’t think of a single other person that this world could have been luckier to have. His life was a blessing, and I will cherish his memory forever. Today, like so many days since, I have been listening to past voicemails from Jake on repeat. And every time I hear him say the words “I love you” I get in a pit in my stomach as I ache to return those words to him once more. You must know that Jake was loved by so many, but I wanted to let you know that I exist and I carry Jake with me every day. Thank you for bringing him into this world, he changed my life for the better and I will be eternally grateful for that.

–  –  –

The very, very last thing on earth that you need worry about is that anyone who knew Jake will forget him. That would be like trying to forget the sun or the best birthday party ever. As much as I grieve for his absence, I smile and am grateful for the gift of his presence. A comet has shot into another part of the universe.


About edcol52

The Infinite Fountain of Love and Loss flows unceasingly into the pool of memory and sorrow. I created this blog in response to the most dreadful tragedy every parent fears, the death of a child, our 24 year old son, Jake. We are now on an unimagined journey along this road of grief and recovery. If you can find some comfort within these pages, than I will have succeeded in some small measure.
This entry was posted in Daily Ramblings, Friends and Family, Friends Write, Honoring Jake, Jake Colman, Jake's Spirit, Memory and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to In Their Words

  1. CiM says:

    The very, very last thing on earth that you need worry about is that anyone who knew Jake will forget him. That would be like trying to forget the sun or the best birthday party ever.

    Breathtaking. Your son ~
    it’s so obvious
    so noticeable
    so evident
    that he touched life after life after life.

    So many thanked you
    for bringing him into the world
    and I too
    thank you for

    You keep bringing him.

    Every word you write
    every sorrow-filled word
    every missing word
    every aching word
    every loving word

    lets us know him, too.

    He is unforgettable. Like “the sun or the best birthday party ever.”

    What can this world be without Jake?

    Much – far – less than it ever was with him. The loss

    is too great.

    Thank you for sharing him ~ and also what others wrote about him.

    Mourning, here, even from the edge of the crowd. I am so sad he is gone.


    • edcol52 says:

      Cathy, thank you for the beautiful words. I am sorry you didn’t get a chance to meet Jake, even without knowing you, I am sure you would love him. Thank you for helping keep his memory alive.

  2. miragreen says:

    How beautiful. We too received so many kind messages after Melinda’s accident. I know we were awed by the extent of our daughter’s influence on others as I’m sure you are with Jake’s impact on those around him. Although we always saw that kind gentleness in her, we had no idea how many others saw it and loved her for it. I hope you take comfort in knowing that you helped him become that wonderful man and that as a parent, in my humble opinion, you couldn’t have done anything better than raise such a loved young man. I wish you peaceful days.

  3. kate4samh says:

    They really will remember your Jake, Ed. I invite you to read this:

    And it doesn’t, in any way, make up for what you have lost. Continuing contact with my daughter’s friends is the most exquisite torture; they are all so ALIVE. It is also though proof she was here. And, in some ways, proof she still is x

    • edcol52 says:

      Thanks for this, Kate. Yes, bittersweet torture. Such wonderful kids, and inklings of what our kids could have become. Yes they did exist. They were here. They did so much, made such a difference in their short incandescent lives. So much lost, though. So many ‘what ifs’. Peace.

  4. grahamforeverinmyheart says:

    This made me so sad for your loss and the fact that the rest of the world won’t have the chance to interact with Jake. It also made me think that our boys had so much in common and I believe they would have truly blossomed in each other’s company. This comment “…his ability to explore such vast worldly subjects, and his terrific knowledge and deep understanding of life and to not only question the unknown but to challenge it as well” could have been written about Graham. He had no interest in small talk, but delighted in friends who would explore topics of depth. I hope there’s an afterlife and that Jake and Graham find each other.

  5. I will not fill you with platitudes of how time is a healer. Let your son come back to you in a way that he knows how. He took a road offered to him, he took his illegal highs – he chose to crash and burn – not the long haul for him – let him come back in your lives as a child – happy times – enjoy him – not agonise – let him come back to you as your son, not a man – enjoy him – recover – make him happy in heaven. X

  6. Pingback: Lessons of the Year | The Infinite Fountain

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