Jennifer Wickboldt

her voice
soft like honey
seeps into me
i can feel
in my ears
sweeten the
harsh world
with your
lavender voice
caressing my pen
torturing my fingers
write i must write
for you
and you

Jennifer Wickboldt wrote the poem above, one of many available sprawled over old tripod user pages. Friday evening I had a long conversation with her. Later today she is being cremated. I can still see her sitting in my apartment, the apartment she used to live in before I came here to Baton Rouge. She was asking me about passover and mezuzahs. And she liked the band Red House Painters. She was very cute and had a boyfriend who loved her very much, many friends, and a dog named Latte. She was a magic person, so of course, she was constantly assaulted by demons who feast on vivacious creative people. Sunday morning they got their wish, convincing her to do herself in. She traded her future away for salvation from a troubled past. I am so sorry.

As my father says, tragedies like these remind us to hold each other tight and never take for granted the time we have with each other.

About Aharon N. Varady

Aharon's Omphalos is the hobbit hole of Aharon Varady, founding director of the Open Siddur Project. He is a community planner and environmental educator working to improve stewardship of the Public Domain, be it the physical and natural commons of urban park systems or the creative and cultural commons of libraries and museums. His advocacy for open-source strategies in the Jewish community has been written about in the Atlantic Magazine, the Yiddish Forverts, Tablet, and Haaretz. He is particularly interested in pedagogies for advancing ecological wisdom, developing creative and emotional intelligence, and realizing effective theurgical praxes. He welcomes your comments, personal messages, and kind words. If you find his work helpful to your own or you'd simply like to support him, please consider donating via his Patreon account.

12 comments to Jennifer Wickboldt

  • shane

    thank you. thank you for the poem, the kind words, and giving jen a lasting tribute on the net. i’ve been meaning to thank you for some time. had a dream about her again last night.

  • Thanks for checking in Shane. I have those tripod pages backed up… at least the publicly accessible files, just in case they at some point get dislodged off the Internet. It would be nice if we could provide a lasting space for more of her creative writing and drawing. Jen’s parents might appreciate that too and make available her journals like I hear they did at the funeral.

  • pennie

    jennifer was a very dear friend in high school. i’d like to talk to you. i didn’t know she’d gone and just felt i had to contact her tonight and now this old news. do email me, please. my heart is broken and i’d like to know that jen had some people somewhere who loved her.


  • Elly Henderson

    I loved her…..I am lost for words …

  • rick

    uhm…i have a special place in my heart for jennifer. we met in high school and then she moved away to Baton Rouge. we kept in touch every once in a while. i visited her once. i last spoke with her in 2003. i am saddened to hear that she is gone. i need to know more. i need to speak with someone who knew her. please.


    I am Jen’s father. She was loved. You can write or call me, any of you who wants to. 225-921-1022 or

  • Liz

    I am completely and utterly brokenhearted about this…I was extremely close with Jen while she lived in Southern California…I spoke to her last in 2005…Jen was an extremely sensitive and fragile which added to her beauty.

    I miss her, and will always love her.

    R.I.P. my beautiful “Mousey”

  • Patricia Vasser

    Miss Jen too…my niece and goddaughter. Thanks for making a tribute to her.

  • Judith

    I’ve been listening to so much music that she introduced me to many many years ago. I am sadden to hear that she is no longer with us. She was vibrant, creative, passionate and a bit of a rebel as I recall. RIP.

  • Esther Harris

    My name is Esther. I went to elementary school with Jennifer. She sat next to me and was super bright and friendly. When people teased or were mean to me, she would always be so sweet and friendly to me. Because she was a gifted student, she would have to leave the class daily for a period of time to go to that classroom. She would reassure me that she would be right back. She was so different and funny and nice and when she moved away, I was devastated. But she told me, that I would be okay. I thought about what happened to her over the years…It’s amazing how a person who was beyond her years at the age could mark a person’s life like that. She would never know how grateful I was and am to her for being my friend. I was extremely shy and painfully timid but she was like a light. She came across my mind again this morning and I said to my self, I will look for her today. She is doing something great, I know. Instead, I found what I found and am heartbroken. I thought this can’t be true!?! But it is. You see, I want you to know that she was super awesome to a kid like me. She showed me what a real friend looks like and to only accept that in a friend. Thank you Jennifer. You changed my world. Although I could not have said it then, I will always remember you and you truly have been thought about and lived in this part of the world for over 30 plus years!

  • Ali

    Thanks for this beautiful tribute to the most beautiful soul.

  • Jan Henson

    I met Jen via America Online and got to meet her in person in 1995 when a bunch of us (all online friends) from around the country gathered in New York City for a weekend. It was a great time. Jen was much younger but we became instant friends, unfortunately we lost touch less than a year later. Going through an old box of mementos I ran across a business card from an Italian restaurant where she had written her name, address and phone number. I decided to google her to see how she was doing and came across her obituary, and this site. I enjoyed reading her poetry. I am saddened by how her demons bested her. The world lost someone special, someone that brought me (and I assume others) joy and that I have fond memories of knowing and meeting. I have a few photos from that weekend that I will treasure. Thanks for posting this. RIP

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