Remembering Jen

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My dear friend Jen Wilson passed away last night after a long and heroic battle with cancer. Her friends and family are all grieving today.

Jen’s husband and mine are in the same band and we traveled the world together. Many nights, we said goodnight across a bus aisle before drawing the curtains of our bunks. In the morning, we stumbled into each other on our way to find coffee. We sat around together for hours in both grand hotel suites and crappy European dressing rooms. She was my stage-side companion for the last ten years and in a way, we were family.

When I showed up in the Weezer picture, she had been at it for years already. She welcomed me into the camp with open arms and taught me the rockwife ropes. I can only hope that I’ve learned to weather this blessed and challenging life with half as much grace and humor as she did. Jen was real. She managed to be the salt of the earth, while always carrying the latest Louis Vuitton bag. Above all, she was devoted to her family and friends.

When Scott and I were desperately trying to have a baby, Jen was already pregnant with their second child. Many of our friends with new babies acted uncomfortable around us. Jen was a notable exception. She was able to truly listen to me, sometimes offering advice, sometimes just being a sympathetic ear. More than once she prescribed immediate retail therapy and dragged me out in pursuit of some much-needed distraction. She was able to be present for my pain and so she was fully able to be present for our joy when Tariku finally came home. She threw me an amazing baby shower. Jen threw a lot of showers. She was the girl who wanted to give you a party.

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I love the story about Jen working as a barista at Starbucks when the “Undone” video first came out. People would come into her work and say, “I saw your husband on MTV!” She would just nod and smile but she hadn’t even seen the video yet, because they couldn’t afford cable.

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I remember a flight to New York one time, during which Jen was holding Ian and I was holding Tariku. We were across the aisle from each other and both the boys were being fussy. I was far tenser than she about having screaming babies on a plane. I remember looking at how she was rocking her son and shaping my arms around my baby in the same way, learning from the wisdom of a more experienced mother. Soon they were both quiet.

There is so much she taught me. I will take it with me. I will remember her sunny smile always.

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8 Responses to 'Remembering Jen'

  1. Jeffrey Shriner says:

    Jen ( and Pat )were so nice to me when I first experienced being the new “rock star dad” I was so blown away by how real Jen was, showing a genuine interest in me and making me feel welcome backstage. My thoughts are with Pat and family in this difficult time.

  2. ARacely Tate says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Jen, Patrick, Charlie , and Ian at my local Target Store. She and Patrick were so nice and down to earth. This is very, very sad.

  3. Margie says:

    So sad to hear the news. My thoughts with her family and all of her friends.

  4. Emily K. says:

    My heart goes out to Pat and family, as well as the band and all it’s familial extensions. <3 I can't even imagine the emotions right now.

  5. Rachael says:

    Jillian, I love this!! I’ve Jennifer since we were in 6th grade!!! She has always been the woman you described!! How lucky are we to have known her!! My heart goes out to her family and I miss her terribly!! I’m praying for Pat, the boys, her family and all her many friends!!

  6. Kayla says:

    Jillian- I read your blog frequently and so appreciate this post. My little family and I are headed to Cali to honor and mourn Jen, who is my aunt. This was beautiful to read, through tears that are so grateful for memories but so … Frustrated with the loss. Thank you so much.
    K~

  7. Friend of =W= says:

    I wanted to say I’m sorry about what happened to Jen and wanted to send condelences to Pat and his family at this difficult time. I know it hurts to lose not only a spouse but a mother as well. Hope Pat and his sons get through this all right.

  8. Emma Gold says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Jillian. I am so saddened by this news.
    I was lucky to’ve met Jen years ago and even though we only met a handful of times, she was always so friendly, warm and treated me like someone she’d known for years. She was a beautiful person who will be missed by many.
    My thoughts are with Pat, their children, her family, friends and =w= family. Xo❤

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