Monday, February 15, 2010

Jenna Gruben

I met Jenna in Aspen a few years ago. We had seen each other at various races and I mentioned how I always slum-it - sleeping in the back of my CR-V, camping on the ground, or sleeping with friends. Jenna gave me her email address and told me she LOVES having guests! Runner guests. Helping runners at races, helping coordinate friends and places for people to stay. She was like that. She was always involved in everything going on.

Jenna has been a major player in the ultra-runner scene. She had a smile that ROCKED!!! She had so much energy - positive energy. Who didn't she know? Who didn't know her? She was like Visa - everywhere you want to be.
She had class and style.

I don't like that she's gone, but she sure did live. A lot. She lived more in her 32 years than most do in a lifetime. While that may not be any consolation for those closest to her, it sure was a privilege for me to know her.

I'm not the kind to cry. I've come too close to death myself, a few times. The hardest thing was believing I wouldn't get to see my son grow up, but somehow I'm still alive and my son is almost grown.
So I wonder about Jenna's parents. My heart goes out to them. Thinking about what they must be enduring right now puts me into a rather funky mood. No parent should have to see the day their child dies. I don't know if the fact that Jenna was so great is a consolation or makes it more bitter for them because she was too valuable to lose. If the world was populated with Jennas, there'd be no war, and everyone would be the most that they could be, and everyone would have a great big Jenna smile to share with everyone else.

I think there's a big hole now that can't be filled. My mentality has been that we should all be more, and never say "can't", but there will only ever be one Jenna. No one can take her place. In the end, isn't that the most any of us could hope to accomplish? To make ourselves so special and unique that we're always remembered? That's a life lived right.


  1. Never knew her but this is just a very sad story.

  2. So very sorry. And so very moved by your words.

  3. This was really sweet, Jeff. Thanks for posting.

  4. Jenna, you spent time with us in Upstate New York, you ran with us, you smiled with us, we will never forget you, peace now, Tim

  5. Jenna's parents are deeply touched by all the hearfelt words of FOJ's. With all you having connected with Jenna around the world makes me feel blessed by a greater power who put a smile and love in one great person.


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