There are so many emotions around sharing this piece with the world. I actually wrote it last summer and asked a dear friend to read it in the event I was murdered. Even if we lost touch, I made him PROMISE to be the one to read my words. At that moment, I needed people to understand the depth of my love, rather than the just the beauty of my smile. I was forced to accept certain realities. No sadness. Just acceptance of raw realities. My realities. Moving back to the USA could cost me my life. I was being abused by a person with uncontrollable anger. Being in the USA carried a certain risk. The abuser already held a loaded gun to my face and the next level of abuse is to pull the trigger. Again, no sadness, just honest truth. And acceptance. I share these words because there seems to be a wave of people from Downers Grove I need to acknowledge. My healing journey is not being respected and they are putting my life in danger. Will the abuser be able to control his anger? If not, then my blood is on their hands. Does anyone actually know my physical location? hahaha NO. It’s all irrelevant. I am of sound mind. I am safe. I’m not scared. What is meant to be will be. The words below are from a place of empowerment. If anything so I can hold myself accountable to continue living up to the perception of who I think I am. So without further delay. Here is the eulogy I wrote and the message I wanted to share. I asked my friend to read it but rather than wait and see if this abuser can control his anger, I’m just going to share on my blog. This is my legacy and my contribution to the world. The depth of my love and ability to plant seeds of love and understanding.
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“Jessica was an incredible person. Not necessarily from this world. She was the person who was fearless on the outside but fought some pretty nasty truths behind closed doors. She trusted me during one of her darkest hours. She lost one of the last people who protected her. I promised myself I would never cause her harm. I had never seen Jess like this. Mourning the loss of her hero and protector. Being vulnerable but staying focused on her goals. Jess was always blamed for things. Her family would come down on her for everything. It seemed no one took responsibility for their behaviour. Her Grandfathers were always and unquestionably in her corner. They balanced the scales of love vs abuse. They were her heart and soul. Her lifeline for sanity and wellness.
Through it all, Jess always believed in family. She hoped the bad times would just pass. We didn’t talk about the struggle. She needed a distraction and I offered her just that. Jess loved me with something fierce. I was her safe harbour for most of her trips home. I broke a promise (the only thing she ever asked of me). I broke her trust. I admitted fault and we parted ways for a few years. Even though I broke her trust, she never once lashed out at me. She said I caused her pain. She said that we could no longer be friends but she thanked me for being honest. Somewhere during the years apart, she even sent a letter of gratitude to my parents for offering a safe place and making her feel loved. It’s not easy to admit wrongdoing to Jess. Jess demanded perfection from herself and yet made so many allowances for others. She had this ability to see the magic in others but struggled to see the magic in herself. She was the happiest person on the outside, constantly being told her existence was inspiring. The goals she crushed. The way she treated others. The fearless way she galavanted around the world. Almost as if she was protected by being a love bug. Jess defined love. Jess attracted love. Jess was love in all aspects. Jess was free when she was travelling. When Jess was home, she was plagued to love those who habitually caused her harm, an abusive family. On the inside, Jess believed the lies that she was not worthy. She believed she was a burden. She believed she was difficult. On the inside, Jess believed all the lies her family fed her.
I never understood why she gave people so many chances. I never understood her ability to forgive others. I guess Jess operated on a level most of us never understood. She believed love conquers all. She didn’t blame people for past mistakes. She didn’t even lecture you. She needed you to hold yourself accountable and believed the only way to move forward is by being honest. Her pretty brown eyes could make you melt. And her million-dollar smile… her smile was so bright you literally felt the love radiate from her being. Even her disapproving look… it wasn’t aggressive. It was almost as if she was asking “Why are you doing this? Why must you break my heart?” For the few people she let into her heart space, there was a vulnerability that just begged people to act right.
If Jess knew you were struggling with something. That would be the first problem to solve. She liked to help others dissolve their fears. She reinforced positive messaging. Anything is possible. You can do it and I’ll be here cheering you along the way. Jess is the first person that comes to mind when sh!t hits the fan. She’d do anything in her power to help ease your suffering. Jess was always in your corner. That’s the Jess I have adored for over 20 years.
Jess believed in people. Jess [mostly] believed in herself. She always had silly stories to share of her travels. Jess was able to light up any room and make people feel the magic. She always had a 3-5-7 year plan. If you asked, she could break down her life into smaller pieces and walk you through exactly how she was going to accomplish whatever goal she was chasing. She didn’t really live life in her comfort zone. She set goals most only dream about. And each goal was somehow attached to someone in her family.
Her goal of being an international corporate powerhouse. Yeah. That was because her parents were always fighting about money. Jess thought if she could solve the financial problem then the fighting would stop. So she promised her mother she never has to worry about finances. Jess would do whatever it takes to financially look after her mom. Did Jess know how to execute this promise? No. The only thing she knew was to spin the globe and start overseas. She booked a one-way ticket to Hong Kong and just made it work. Who does that? Jessica Marie Corvo.
Her goal to accomplish Ironman Triathlon. Yeah. This was because her dad was upset about missing her National Track meet. This was a 10-year soft spot so Jess decided to find some sort of athletic accomplishment to make him feel better. Did she know how to swim? No. Did she own a bike? No. She was a seasoned runner but she was a sprinter. Jess’ life was 400m at a time. How does a 400m sprinter decide to do an Ironman? Who does that? Jessica Marie Corvo.
Jess had her faults. She was very harsh on herself. And when she failed at managing her pain, she was not tolerant of any sort of BS. Most of the time, she remembered to breathe but those times when she hit her limit, she knew exactly how to cut you into a million pieces. She always had a way with words. Jess could make you feel like you were on top of the world but if you betrayed her, she could also hold you accountable and make the Earth shake. I guess it’s part and parcel because it took quite a lot to reach that point. She was always so mindful and controlled with her words.
The biggest message Jess wanted me to share was of her broken heart. She spent so many years waiting for people to change. Forgiving and allowing the terrible behaviour to occur for so long. I mean. Her biological father held a gun to her head. Her biological brother asked her what she did to deserve it. Her mother prioritized her love for a husband over protection for a child. The ONLY people to offer an unquestionable safe place for Jess were her grandfathers. They were the only people in the world confident enough to put her abuser(s) in their place. Part of Jess died when her grandfathers died. She loved them so much. I remember she was living in Singapore when Grandpa Corvo was diagnosed with liver and lung cancer. Jess came home 5 different times that year. Sometimes she spent more time in the air than on the ground. But the beautiful thing about Jess is that she didn’t see it as a sacrifice, she saw it as a privilege to have those moments with people she cherished. Did Jess love? Yes. She loved with every ounce of her being.
Jess was being spiritually attacked and was suicidal in 2014. She talked about it without talking about it. I think that’s when she realised the importance of being your own hero. That is when she realised that she was alone. Perhaps her grandfathers were still protecting her from the Heavens but this was the first time that she was forced to acknowledge that she did not have a protector. She was unwilling to speak about the family abuse. Heck, I saw her on most visits and she didn’t tell me much other than ‘he’s crazy. can I stay here tonight?’ Jess kept all the dysfunction close to her chest. Almost as if not acknowledging it meant that it didn’t happen. But her heart was broken. You could catch glimpses of her pain in her eyes.
Jess tried to fix her broken heart by showing kindness to everyone that crossed her path. She’d offer to take pictures of people so the photographer didn’t feel left out. She would share her leftovers with a homeless person on the street. Jess was inclusive and did a lot of things because it was the right thing to do. She did things to remind herself of humanity. Each time that she was in the midst of an abusive storm, Jess would think of her well-wishers and write them letters of gratitude. Who does that? Jessica Marie Corvo does that.
I know there are people sprinkled all over the world that have benefited from knowing Jess. I also acknowledge that there are some people that did not understand her kindness. Men often mistook her kindness as an invitation to be creepy. But Jess did what she needed to do to view these people as misguided rather than offensive.
Jess had such a beautiful heart and to think that we are here today because someone did not know how to celebrate her contributions to the world. Most people from Downers Grove stay in the Chicago area. Jess broke free and was able to sprinkle love and kindness literally around the world for over a decade. She planted seeds of love and kindness.
She fought some massive demons on the inside. The emotional and mental abuse that she suffered was not right. Jessica Marie Corvo was living proof that the darkest days can still yield the brightest smile. I wish that I did more to speak up but somehow I know that Jess didn’t expect anything other than love and understanding.
May her soul rest easy. I hope she is finally surrounded by love.”
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