Detroit Lions’ Marvin Jones pens emotional letter to his children, 11 months after death of infant son

Detroit Free Press

Dave Birkett
| Detroit Free Press

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Marvin Jones thought about not only quitting football but moving to Spain and starting life anew after the death of his infant son, Marlo, last December.

Jones made that revelation, and said visits from Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, coach Matt Patricia and other members of the organization helped him get through what he called “an unimaginable tragedy” in an essay to his children published Thursday on The Players Tribune. 

“I was really hurting,” Jones wrote. “Early on I’d try to act ‘normal’ all day and not show any hurt, and then I’d just lie down in bed at night and it’d all come out at once. So, yeah, those first few days, it all just felt like too much.”

In the days after Marlo’s passing, Jones said Matthew and Kelly Stafford, Patricia, Kenny Golladay, Danny Amendola and wide receivers coach Robert Prince were among those who visited his Northville home.

Jones and his family also made a brief appearance at the Lions’ season-ending loss to the Green Bay Packers two days after Marlo’s death, where they received an emotional ovation from fans and hugs from an assortment of teammates.

“It was so moving what they did for our family,” Jones wrote. “I’m getting choked up right now just sitting here writing about it. But back then? In that moment? I’m not lying when I say that their visits, that support … it changed something inside of me.

“I went from wanting to be closed off and isolated from pretty much everyone to realizing beyond a shadow of a doubt that our family needed all the love and support we could get.”

Jones said this summer, in his first interview about the tragedy, that “thousands and thousands” of people reached out to share their stories of personal grief.

That helped Jones find strength, he said, and realize “my son’s in a better place, so that makes me happy.”

Asked Thursday about Jones’ essay, and his visit to see the receiver, Patricia said he has marveled at Jones’ strength.

“As far as the last year, just wanted to be there for him,” Patricia said. “You love a guy like Marvin Jones. He lights up the room every time he walks into it, so from that standpoint, just support him, love him and just proud of him.”

Jones, in his essay, wrote that his wife, Jazymn, “is in the process of starting up a foundation that will help other families who have gone through what we all experienced over the past year.”

He also revealed that he and Jazymn are expanding their family, an idea they initially were opposed to. Jazymn is due in February with a baby girl.

“You guys can know that she is here because of Marlo, and because of what he meant to you guys. What he still means to all of us,” Jones wrote. “Your baby sister will be another of about a million reminders of how special Marlo was.”

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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