In 2009, Jessica Moreland lost her husband to a motorcycle accident. Jordan Rice lost his wife in 2011 to cancer. Jessica wasn’t interested in marrying again until she met Jordan. Their love story of loss, love and triumph is one that only God could have written himself. Find out how Jordan popped the question to Jessica, and their advice to young widows.
How long have you been married?
It will be three years on June 22, 2016. [Wish them a happy anniversary below].
How did you meet?
Via Facebook. Jordan sent Jessica a friend request after mutual friends mentioned her in a conversation with him. The friends assumed Jordan already knew Jessica because they knew a lot of the same people and had very similar life stories of being married and widowed in their 20’s.
Jordan, how long were you married to your late wife Danielle?
How did Danielle pass away?
10 months after we were married, Danielle was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of cancer, called cardiac angiosarcoma. She battled cancer bravely, and at one point she seemed to defy the odds and head towards remission. But sadly, the cancer came back, and she passed away 10 months after her diagnosis.
Jessica, how long were you married to your late husband Jarronn?
2 and a half months.
How did he pass away?
Jarronn loved riding his motorcycle, and one night after work, he went for a short ride with some friends. While just a mile from our house, he was ejected from his bike and suffered several injuries. Doctors in the ER tried to manage his internal bleeding, but the strain was too much on his heart. He died not long after arriving at the hospital.
Did you guys immediately know you wanted to marry again?
For Jordan, yes, because he knew it was what his late wife Danielle wanted. Knowing that she was facing a terminal illness meant that they were able to have lots of candid conversations about what life would look like for Jordan after she passed away. While Jordan couldn’t imagine remarrying and feeling as excited about another spouse in the way he had been about Danielle, he was confident that he would eventually remarry. For Jessica, she couldn’t imagine remarrying. It took several months to process the loss and feelings of guilt. She also couldn’t imagine being as excited about another spouse in the way she had been about Jarronn. But over time, her desire to have a family and live fully opened her up to the idea of getting married again.
While falling for each other, did you feel any grief or anxiety about what others may think?
We connected very quickly, so any anxiety we felt came mostly from knowing that our relationship would grow and move very quickly and some people might be surprised when we popped up married. 🙂
How did you know you met “the one”?
Our former relationships with our late spouses definitely helped us identify each other as “the one.” We knew that feeling of connection, understanding and excitement from our previous marriages. But we were both surprised by how quickly we had that feeling of knowing “the one.” It was during the first weekend we met face-to-face.
Jordan, how did you propose to Jessica? What were your families’ reactions?
People are sometimes surprised by this (maybe even appalled, ha!), but I didn’t do a formal proposal. Because we were pretty certain early on that we were going to get married, it had mostly been a matter of when. Our families were over the moon from the time we met, so we could have gotten married six weeks after meeting, and they would have been thrilled. Since they were so encouraging, we decided to go through counseling with a therapist we trusted, as a voice that was more objective about our relationship. She had us work through a compatibility questionnaire to help us identify areas where we had gaps and needed to work through differences. We answered the questions separately and waited for our results. When the results came back, the therapist said we were the most compatible couple she’d seen. There were nine areas, and we were off the charts in all of them. So that night we went home, pulled out our calendars, and picked a date when we could get our families together for a wedding.
Are you two able to comfortably talk about each other’s past life?
Yes, absolutely. Whether they are happy memories or sad memories, we’re able to share with a freedom of knowing the other person won’t feel threatened or insecure about the love that we share. It’s an incredible blessing. It’s also nice that we can talk about very sad things and not feel the need to fix the situation either.
What’s your advice to young widows?
First, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Being a young widow/widower can feel so isolating. You don’t meet a ton of people in your shoes, and most times you look around and see people your age who are newly married or about to get married. But the reality is, there are people out there, like us, who know exactly what you’re feeling. It’s also important to take things one day at a time. Some days, you might cry all day, other days, you might laugh all day. Let yourself embrace all of the emotions. Don’t rush the grieving process, and be honest about what you’re feeling. When you lose a spouse, you’ll see reminders of that person everywhere you look. As you continue living, do your best to create new memories, whether that’s in traveling, learning a new skill or serving others. Finally, know that our present emotions are always subject to change. One day, sometimes when we least expect it, the pain begins to lift.