To commemorate Jordan's life 5 years after her death, we have been posting a series of blogs every day for the past few days. This 9th piece was written by Claire, Jordan's friend.
"El Girasol" means sunflower in Spanish. Jordan & I talked about how much we loved that word because, translated literally, it means "turn toward the sun." We talked about trying to find the beauty in the mundane, focusing on the things in our lives that gave us hope and strength. Every time someone asks me about the tattoo on my foot, I think of her. I think about whether I have time to explain what it means, and whether I want to. Some days it's easier just to say it means sunflower and allow myself to be written off as a girl with a dumb tattoo. Other days I take the time to explain that it's for her.
As much as I hate to admit it, Jordan's death has become the first thing I think of when I think of her. Those first few minutes after finding out what happened remain as vivid in my memory as ever, and I still feel sick every time I think back to that day five years ago. One of the ways I've found meaning in this experience has been by learning more about suicide & doing my best to educate those around me. But today I don't want to think about her suicide. I want to think about Jordan. Because I still miss her, and it feels good to look back & remember my friend. Over the last few days of working on this post, I've been going through old photos, videos, gchats, and voicemails. These are the things I remember about Jordan:
1. Jordan & I talked about snacks. A lot.
- 11:12 AM Jordan: ooh wowie. where?
- me: 4154 LSA
- wanna go w/ me? THERE ARE SNACKS
- 11:13 AM Jordan: well, i was gonna say no, but now i say hell yeah
- also, idealist grad school fair
- 11:14 AM me: they're hammering in the kitchen
- Jordan: get in on that action, baby
- mon oct 3 from 5 to 8
- in the union
- i'll tell you again when it's closer if you wanna come
- THERE MIGHT BE SNACKS
- 11:15 AM me: yes i wanna come :)
- 11:16 AM Jordan: bueno Bueno
2. Jordan exuded this calm, subtle confidence that I always admired. I listen to the recording of "Sea of Love" she & I made in the BunDun living room one afternoon, and there's such a wisdom and gravitas in her voice. I remember what it felt like to be around her when I listen to that song. Like swimming in a cup of hot chocolate (she would've liked that analogy!)
3. Jordan was a good friend, and a good roommate. She always found loving & hilarious ways to remind us about our roommate responsibilities.
4. I miss her. I always will. Jordan taught me what it means to be brave, to care deeply & relentlessly, even when it hurts. She taught me about yoga, how to make pickles, and about the wonders of marshmallow fluff. I feel lucky to have known her. I'm so proud of the work that her friends and family have done in the wake of her death to destigmatize mental illness & suicide & fund depression research. And I feel confident that she left an impact on the world. She certainly left an impact on me.