Jem is the most beautiful person I have ever crossed paths with. We met in Sheffield, England. I was studying art under an exchange program through San Jose State University in California. Jem had the most beautiful big brown eyes that saw deeply into everyone he met and everything that he did. I knew that he had inner struggles with his family, particularly with his father, who could never really express his love. I knew that there was pain deep inside, but I also knew that I loved him deeply. We were friends before lovers. He had a soft and warm soul that just took me in fully for MYSELF AS I AM. I looked up to Jem for his intelligence, his wisdom, his fine articulation of thoughts, his funky dance, and his love. I have yet to come across a soul on this earth so full of life. Yet he took his life. Ever since that day that his brother phoned me to tell me he was hit by a train, my life has never been the same. I walk around daily with a pain inside that is both physical and emotional. It is a heaviness that evolves, but never seems to get lighter. I think that suicide inevitably leaves a person feeling guilty. What could I have done differently? I have gone through too many days beating myself up over his loss. I have a hard time being angry with him. I am especially so sad that he cannot be here today. I think of him aging beautifully and becoming wiser than ever. Every time I experience something wonderful (like music), I think of how much we would love to be sharing that with me. I think of our children. We were engaged to be married, but I was the one who kept feeling cold feet. I was the one who did not feel ready. I was the one who was unsure. His mother once told me, "Judy, you may have been married and had children, and this still would have happened." I still wonder. Words only heal to a certain degree. Learning to let oneself heal is the biggest challenge for anyone going through grief. I has been almost eight years for me (although it seems like less), and I am just slowly starting to let myself heal. I wish the world to know of what a loss this was not only to me, but to everybody. I know he impacted people (who were receptive to it) in big ways during his short time here. Jem, I love you forever.
You can send email to Judy at: Jcatambay@aol.com
anniversary date March 1991
date of post 01-06-99