Jack Teagan Fowler passed away in the morning on Monday, March 28, 2022. When I woke that day to a text from Jack’s care provider, Maria, that Jack had passed, I was in complete disbelief, until I called Jamie. The world had ended.
I flew to Denver that day and stayed with Jamie and her family for the next two weeks. I have struggled with what to write in this post. I could write about my experience of Jack’s passing; of trying as best I can to support a close and dear friend from from the other side, actually having no idea what she is going through and often fumbling; or of being a mom to a young man with MPS II, watching Jamie and her family closely because this will one day be me. Because this is a public forum, however, and Jamie or Jason or Jules or Jack’s grandparents or cousins could read this one day, it is not appropriate for me to write about these things because in reality, as hard as this is for me, I cannot even comprehend or begin to understand how excruciating this is for them. (Note: This is a VERY useful theory with anyone we are supporting in grief: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/promoting-hope-preventing-suicide/201705/ring-theory-helps-us-bring-comfort-in).
Instead, I will share that meeting Jack Teagan Fowler was a gift. I am a more expanded, understanding, whole-hearted, and loving person because of him.
I’ll never forget flying to Naperville to spend time with Jamie and her family and sitting outside their house on the grass where rabbits hopped around, having Jack tackle and wrestle me to the ground. For what felt like hours. He kicked my ass. Repeatedly. He was a solid dude who was so happy and full of so much laughter, that even though he had way more energy and strength than I did, I did not want to stop.
I remember when Jack got a new wheelchair and Jamie sent me pictures. I showed Trey, who fell in LOVE with Jack’s shiny blue wheelchair and kept asking, day after day, how much Jack loved it- Trey was over the moon about it.
I remember visiting Jack this past December, bummed out because COVID was rampant, so I had to mask up and couldn’t snuggle with Jack, but so grateful I got to sit and be with and talk to him. I did get to wash up and feed him a bit of breakfast though, which I will never forget.
I remember our whole family going to visit and spend time with the Fowler’s a number of years ago, and how special it was and how grateful I am that our kids got to meet and spend time with Jack.
Mostly though, because our relationship has mostly lived from a distance, I remember Jack talking on Voxer, the app through which Jamie and I, and our dragon moms, communicate. I laugh writing this, because any time someone would cut Jamie off while driving or anytime Jamie had something juicy or full of passion to say, Jack would ALWAYS jump in with a ‘YEAH!,’ emphasizing what Jamie said. It cracked me up.
Your Jack stories… please share them. Even if you only heard them second hand, share them. Send Jamie a message telling her your Jack story. Tell Jamie and Jack’s family how Jack impacted you. Today, tomorrow, a year from now, ten years from now. I am not on the other side yet, but I have learned, and I can imagine and feel, that family wants to talk about their person. They have not forgotten and they need and want to know you have not too. People live on because of the stories we tell. Keep telling Jack’s stories.
Jack Teagan Fowler, you are deeply missed. I love you.