Jeremy "JerBear" Haywood September 22, 1981 - November 04, 2007
Jeremy died in a freak motorcycle accident Sunday afternoon, November 4, 2007.
Jer was incredibly passionate about everything dear to his heart and soul; motorcycling, family and friends. He also believed that "words are powerful" and loved to write poetry. Jer was loved by all who knew him and he will be dearly missed.
Born in Burlingame and raised in Menlo Park, Jeremy went on to make his home in Mountain View. Jeremy was employed by Merrill Corp., an outsourced office services company within the legal firm of Morrison & Foerster in Palo Alto; affectionately known as "MoFo."
Jeremy is survived by his Mom: Jeanne Gess, Dad and Stepmother: Ray and Beth Haywood, Sister: Nicole Haywood, his Son: Jeremy Ray Ryder Haywood, born 6/22/2008, partner Sarah Flohr, Sarah's daughters: Kayla and Jessie, Grandmother: Donna Speed, Grandparents: Walt and Henri Lea Gess, Grandparents: Ralph and Judy Haywood, dear friends: Chuck Woolman and Matt Sexton and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Jeremy's memorial service was held at Spangler Mortuary in Menlo Park on Friday, November 9, 2007, at 2:00pm. Over 600 people attended to celebrate Jeremy's life.
To Jeremy with Love, Nicki(Poozers)
Before Sunday whenever someone would ask me what my biggest fear was, I’d say public speaking.It gives me the shakes and makes me dry heave.Now if you were to ask me it would be living tomorrow and the rest of my life without my Big Brother.This has been incredibly hard on everyone and we all have joined as one in this time of grieving.Jer and I had that unspoken connection between siblings and could finish each others’ sentences.Ever since I was born he was the only one who could make me laugh no matter what.I could be so furious with him and think I never wanted to talk to him again and he’d just give me a look, that Jeremy brother look and I’d be in tears of laughter.Unfortunately now they are tears of deep suffering.Where are you to help me laugh, Bear?I need you.I feel so selfish wanting you back for my own pain to ease.I never would have thought I would have to say goodbye to you so soon.I don’t know how so I think I’ll just stick with see you later, because I will.I would like to thank everyone for coming and showing your love to our Angel, our Bear and especially our Sonshine.
On Sunday I lost my Big Bear I am weak, tired and have no more tears I can’t believe you’re gone, it’s so unreal I can’t think, sleep and I’m forgetting how to feel You could always make me laugh like no other Right now I can barely smile, I miss you Big Brother I would never have imagined our journey would end so fast How do I reset our clocks back and make it last? We had that crazy sibling connection, you and I Why did you have to leave me, why!? I ask WHY!? I’ve been robbed of the rest of my life to share with you How do I describe to those who never knew, how you are so real and true. I’ll do my best to take care of Mom, she’s so lost We just want you back Bear no matter what the cost You would always protect me when harm came my way And I never got to thank you, so if I may…. Thank you for protecting me Thank you for teaching me Thank you for loving me the best way a Brother could ever love a Sister.
I love you so much. Hugs and Kisses
Read by Nicki at Jeremy's services - November 9, 2007
My Precious Jeremy,
How in the world am I supposed to find a way to walk the Earth without you?From the very moment you were born you brought Sonshine into my life and the lives of many, many others.You were such a beautiful and perfect baby and I loved you from the first moment I saw you.As John Denver sang so sweetly “Sonshine on my shoulders, makes me happy.” And you did Jeremy - you made me very, very happy.You loved to be rocked to sleep while I sang that song to you.
When your sister was born, you and only you, could make her laugh for the first 8 months of her life.She adored you Jer – you were her “DonDo” later to become her Bear.You never lost the talent to make your sister laugh no matter what the circumstance.
Throughout your teens, you managed to stay out of serious trouble while everyone else was getting into it all around you.You had a good head on your shoulders and you knew right from wrong and on the occasions when you did “mess up,” you were always sincerely remorseful and full of apologies.Of course as your Mom I loved you unconditionally and no “mess up” big or small could ever have changed that.It was always so clear to me and everyone around you, that you had an “unusually” caring heart for such a young man.Truly, you were the one all the parents loved the most.
The years went by so fast Jeremy.In a blink of an eye you were 18, out of school, working full time and living life as an adult.I was so proud of you and what you had become.I told you often how much I loved you and that you were and always would be the Sonshine in my life.I was always so lucky that you were such an affectionate and demonstrative boy/teen/man and never hesitated to hug and kiss me and tell me you love me.You showed your Mom affection in front of your friends, always!Other Mom’s were jealous of that Jer, while I beamed with pride.
In July of 2003, you began to talk about moving out of our home and finding your own place.“It’s time, Mom,” you said, “I am almost 22, it’s time.”In this same discussion we had “words” about something entirely different so I sent you a Yahoo! Greeting that same day.In my message I promised you that I would work on being a better listener and I told you I was sorry.I assured you that I would always be there for you and that I was so very full of pride for the amazing man you had become.I told you that I would love you forever and would miss you terribly when you moved into your own place but I understood you needed to grow and become a man without your “Mahie” underfoot. Here is your response which I will cherish forever.
From: jeremy haywood [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 12:04 PM To: Mahies Subject: Re: Mom sent you a Yahoo! Greeting
thank you very much mama, that made my morning and it made me cry. just a little though! so, no worries. and to you mom, i promise i will put every effort forward into keeping my personal issues from my mind when speaking or responding to you. you deserve all the respect and love i can give.
my mom, i love her very much my mom, warm hearted to the touch apologizing for chopping up the hutch you were there for me , when i broke my foot, hobbling with a crutch you were there, when i split my head throwing up everywhere, you made sure i was fed i love you mom, more than you'll ever know there is no way, simple words could possibly show i want you in my future, please help me grow cause i am frightened, and cant do it alone but like any kid, i want to be on my own have a good chance with a mom like you, many of life's lessons, to me you've shown but i know it's not all about me one day mom, i will be able to return all the favors , gracefully i really want you to know, that i understand acceptance is the hardest part about being a young man. my mom, i love her very much
Thank you my precious Sonshine.Thank you for all the beautiful things you’ve written to me over the years, thank you for your hugs and your kisses, thank you for being such a caring and protective Big Brother to your Little Sis, thank you for being a wonderful family man,but most of all Jer, thank you for being my precious Sonshine. I love and miss you more than words can say. Mahies
Read for me at Jeremy's memorial services, by my beautiful Coley. November 9, 2007. Thank you precious babygirl.
My name is Linda ***** and I work at *************. Jeremy and I were really good friends.
First of all, I wanted to express my deepest sympathies to you and the family. I am so sorry for your loss.
I just wanted to let you know a couple of things that Jeremy said to me last week because I am not sure I will have the chance to talk to you at the services.
Jeremy and I had a 1/2 hour conversation last week. Now I am sure you know this, but he loved you very very much. He talked about you and said that he loved you and that you were everything to him. Not only did he say this last week to me, but he has told me this many times when we would hang out after work, etc. He always said "I love my Mom so much".
Your son was an angel. The only thing that comforts me is that he is home now with the angels where he belongs with the other angels.
Jeremy was there for me when I was diagnosed with cancer. and he even came to visit me when I was recovering from surgery. He always made me feel good and always would make me feel special. He even told me that I was his hero and that I was the strongest person I know. I am so glad that I have those memories because Jeremy is MY hero.
I cannot tell you how much he was loved here at ******. Everybody agrees that he is the greatest loss we could ever imagine. His smile and his positive attitude made everyone happy.
I am deeply saddened by this loss and I will never forget him, EVER!!! Jeremy was my little ray of sunshine everyday. We used to follow eachother on El Camino on the way home every day. I cried on the way home yesterday, everytime a motorcycle drove by.
I will be at the services on Friday and can't wait to meet you. May God bless you and the family at this time. I will be in prayer for you all.
With my deepest sympathies, Linda
From: Shelby Date: Nov 7, 2007 4:31 AM
People come in and out of our lives, both those close and a bit further at such an alarming pace it is hard to keep track. And sometimes it is actually those that you do not see as often as others that can do something so random, and seemingly soinnocuous to the rest of the world it may not seem as much.But it is one of those little moments in time that helps shape you and stays in your heart forever. I first met Jeremy at my friend Vicki's wedding.It was one of those happy festive events that was slightly tainted by my own introspection and subsequent not so happy mood.I suddenly felt out of place and like the ugly step friend at a beautiful ball. One of my good friends looked like a beautiful princess as she married as did several of my other friends with their dates and such.I was having a hard time in my personal life, my job made me unhappyand I just felt sad, alone and like a hideous ugly failure.As though a huge blue veil was over my head to match the little blue dress I wore that day. So along came a kid with a smile that lit up the room. Cracking jokes and talking to me and just being a fun person.He had plenty of others he could have talked to. Friends and family that he knew more, but he kept coming over to check on some girl he could not help but notice was not totally at ease.And after when I was still a bit down and also a bit tipsy on wine he drove me around till I was steady and safe to get in my carto make my way home.Every other time I met him at gatherings such as birthdays, parties, andshowers he was just the same. Full of life and laughter and lighting up the room.
Like I said, it seems so little in the grand scheme of things.I am sure I said thank you, and I am sure my gestures were shrugged off as no big deal.But when you are not feeling the best and someone takes just that little time it changes a part of you forever.Perhaps the world is not so big and cruel and everyone is not all bad and out to hurt.Sure there are many, but if you are truly lucky you also find a Jeremy here and there.So maybe that is the lesson I can take in the sadness of learning his life was cut short. Just take the time to be a little kind to the people around you. You just may not realize the impact you have.Again maybe the beauty is also people like that do not realize what a big deal it is.But the those that they touch should appreciate that as a tribute to them.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Remember take hold of, your time here
I read the following passage(one of several that wrote)that came to me early Friday morning
The word "hero" is curious. It conjures images of someone or something that is literally larger than life. Of physical strength and prowness However to me the real heroes are those that likely go unnoticed. And maybe it is cause what they do is truly so rare that the rest of us do not take the time to realize the beauty and power of their actions. The real heroes to me are those people that savor and appreciate life to the fullest extent. For no matter if you life five or one hundred years life in actuality is quite short. How many of us can say we embrace all of the things that life encompasses on a daily basis? And out of that select few how many of us encourage those we meet to do the same? Show me more of those people. The world needs them more than ever. Keep your celebrities or contrived images of what a hero is. I prefer those that make the world a better place by simply being in it. For it is not the money you make, the awards you accumulate or the stature you achieve. It is those you can teach, reach and impact with something as simple as a smile that will enable you to live even when your physical being may not be with us..
From: Claire Bear Date: Nov 6, 2007 7:57 PM
jeanne, hey its claire, so i dont really know what to say... but i am terribly sorry for has happend to jeremy. my dad called me at work and asked me what was going on, and i had no idea. i hadnt been home yet to check my myspace, so as im driving home trying to make sense of what i had just heard, every memory i had of jeremy started going through my head.
i remember daycare , preschool and kindergarden with him, jeremy was my first best friend, i remember sleepovers at your house, and camping and driving the boat. i remember he man and she rah, transformers too, i remember playing mouse trap in the bedroom and not letting sophie and nikki come in, i remember saying i was going to marry him( i was 5) afterall he was my first best friend. i remember he found a caterpillar in the hallway at clifford elementary and he told everyone it was a maggot, ewwwww that was gross. i remember staying at your house after we moved to france, i lost my first tooth there,, when we got a little bit older and he had his first girlfriend, i was jealous, that was my best friend... but we kept getting older , things happened and we lost touch, but now this...i wish i could have known him better as an adult... but i will never forget him the kid who will always be my first best friend.
again, i am so sorry for your loss, i wish i wasnt so far away, but mom and pop said they will be there on friday, im sorry i cant be there, i love you and i will be thinking about you and your family, love always claire
From: Jerry Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 10:31 AM To: Jeanne Subject: The first time I met Jeremy
Who could forget the first time they met Jer!
David brought him home one day. I think Jer was about 15 years old. This lanky ball of energy with a buzz cut that wouldn't shut up or sit still for more then 30 seconds. He came right up and shook my hand, talked to me like he always knew me,
All I could think was who in the hell is this kid and why is he in my house! heh
David also had another friend there that was to spend the night. Without asking David to ask me, Jer just came right out and said could I spend the night too! [ that was Jeremy never shy] I said well David already has someone over this weekend but maybe you can next week.
Well the next week came and guess who's coming to dinner? Yup Jer! I think that's the night I met Jeanne, as she dropped him off i went out to her truck to met her and she asked " Are you sure you want my son to in your home, have you met him? ha ha
(it's no secret that Jeremy was a hand full as a teen. Far from being a bad kid, I think there was just to much for him to see and do then there were hours in a day, and Jer wanted to do it all.)
Here it is a Saturday night and whats the most important thing you need to do with teen boys in the house? Yup FOOD! So I went to get some pizza or something and when I came back there was Jeremy kickin back watching TV in his boxers, yup in his boxers. I asked hey Jer are you comfortable? He replied yep, with his smile.
That was Jer, he made himself at home like part of the family, and he was. He never disrespected me or my home and he was always welcome.
Were all gonna miss you Jer.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
RIP Jeremy... We will miss you... Current mood: sad
The first time I met you, I thought you were Carl. You two looked so similar! I remember, I walked into **** and dropped off some of the New Hire Orientation stuff that Mike wanted copied. I dropped this off with Carl, who told me to come back in about 15 minutes.
After 30 minutes, I came back and found you sitting where Carl was sitting earlier. Thinking it was the same person, I asked if my copy job was ready and you said, "Which job?" I said, "The one I dropped of 30 minutes ago. You said 15 minutes, but I gave you more time lol." You told me that no one had dropped off any copy jobs to you that morning. Hm, I was so confused. I thought you were pulling my leg; I even told you to "Shut up". A few minutes after I had gone back and forth with you on this issue, Carl walks up with the copies... Ohhhhh shit, I was so embarassed! We both got a good laugh- I apologized profusely (I'm sure my face was red- I could feel it!). To make me feel better, you told me that even your friends confuse you and Carl from a distance. *Phew*.
I remember our elevator conversations- the elevators at ***** were so slow! You once told me that sometimes you wish you didn't have a cart and could just take the stairs.
I remember the day I found out that you grew up with Jason Coulter - you called him Coulter. We were all supposed to go out, but always postponed. Now it's too late. I'm so sorry.
I remember the day there was a hit and run at the Toll Plaza. Someone hit a motorcycle (driver passed away) and then took off. I remember you and James talking about it - how you were saying you always have to stay tuned to people/traffic around you, behind you, etc. You guys were telling eachother to be careful.
As I write this for you, tears have filled my eyes and are beginning to overflow and run down my face. Jeremy, I will NEVER forget your laugh, never forget how you were always so helpful, never forget how you used to come get candy from the "candy pail" during your mail run... NEVER forget you.
May God give your family all the strength they need to get through this; and, may God give you peace. As you look down upon us from Heaven, always know that we love you, we miss you and we'll never forget you.