Lions receiver Marvin Jones Jr. shares struggles after death of young son

Detroit News

Justin Rogers
 
| The Detroit News

Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. has always worn the love of his family on his sleeve. He’s never missed an opportunity to talk about his children or his wife, Jazmyn, and he’s frequently sharing their adventures through social media. 

But after the Jones family suffered tragedy last year, with the sudden passing of their youngest child Marlo, Marvin has understandably had little to say. After all, what is there to say when processing such unimaginable grief? 

Now, nearly a year after Marlo’s passing, Jones opened up about the experience and how the family has come through the other side of it in a touching post on The Players’ Tribune

In it, Jones is writing directly to his four other children, noting he not only considered retiring from football, but moving to a different country to get away from it all. 

“Leave the country,” Jones wrote. “Move to Spain. Hunker down. Just us and Mommy. That sort of thing. Never talk to anyone ever again, never have to face anyone or discuss anything, just shield us all from the entire outside world. You know what I mean?”

Instead, the Jones family had their sorrow overwhelmed by love; from family, team and the community. Teammates kept showing up at their home, extended family came into town to offer support and neighbors and local restaurants provided care packages. 

“The other big point to remember — and this is maybe the most important thing of all in terms of your lives going forward — is that the good people in this world outnumber the bad by a wide margin,” Jones wrote. “Those who are kindhearted and eager to lend a hand … those folks are everywhere.

“Please never doubt that for a second.”

From there, as Jones explains, the family healed their wounds through each other, by spending quality time together during the pandemic. 

“Everything became so simple and genuine and pure,” Jones wrote. “You guys made it all about love, and appreciating our time together, and that really put everything in perspective for us. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me and Mommy.

“It was like we were both 12 again — playing kickball in the house, trying to remember the rules of handball, having epic Barbie doll playdates, doing double Dutch (DOUBLE DUTCH!!!) together. All of a sudden, we were back in the ’90s.”

And as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, Marvin and Jazmyn began looking for ways to pay it forward. The family donated resources to first responders, those working the front lines, while Jazmyn started the process of setting up a foundation for families who have experienced the death of a young child.

And to bring their experience full circle, Marvin shared some uplifting news — the Jones family is growing once again, with a daughter on the way. 

“After Marlo was born, your mom and I had decided that there weren’t going to be any additional brothers or sisters joining our family,” Jones wrote. “But after his passing … you guys let it be known that you had other ideas.  

“…It was probably the fastest and easiest change of plans in the history of the world. And now, when your baby sister arrives in February, 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.”

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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