my chest feels tight

My chest feels tight

My chest feels tight, I have a lump in my throat, swallowing seems impossible and each breath I take feels like I’m gasping for air. I can’t breathe. This is how I feel most days but it’s even more heightened today, the day Jack’s life was taken from him. I can’t focus, my brain feels like it’s constantly being shaken, and I feel like I’m not here anymore………. I’m in survival mode.

I stand in Jack’s bedroom and gaze over every tiny detail of his room. I look around and my eyes are instantly drawn to his work helmet sitting on his shelf. He never brought it home from work but for some reason, he did that day. After we lost Jack, before deciding to take his helmet out of his car, we had moments when driving his car where his headlamp would suddenly turn on, we’d talk to him and it would continue to turn on 3 or 4 times. Today, I ask him to turn his headlamp on, I wait…… but it stays off.

My eyes drift to the photo of him and his girlfriend on his bedside table and envision what their life would be like now, I quickly tear up and turn away, only to be drawn to his hat. He loved his hat; he wore it everywhere he went. I hold it nearly every day and when I trace my fingers over it, I’m reminded it was the last thing he wore. This brings me to my knees. I see the indent of the driver’s front seat embedded on his hat. My poor boy.

I have to sit, in fear of falling down. As I sit on Jack’s bed, I can see him lying there asleep. Lying on his tummy with his leg half raised and his right hand resting on his forehead. He’d sleep like this most nights. I listen to see if I can hear his faint snore in my head (it’s in the early hours of the morning and my house is so quiet and calm) and I listen so closely, but I can’t hear it. The closest thing I will ever get to listen to my beautiful boy snore again are on videos, I am so grateful to have.

I go to Jack’s wardrobe and look at his clothes, I smell them to see if there is still a hint of him on them, sometimes I can smell him. Each piece of clothing I can vividly remember him in. This brings a smile to my face as the memories come flooding back. As I look through his wardrobe, I take a special box out and open it. It holds his wallet, watch, work cards, his mobile phone and other special things we will always keep. The most precious things I hold dear, the locks of his hair and his fingerprint impressions. I bring his hair to my cheek just to feel him again and run my fingers over it, stroking it like I would when he was little. How grateful yet devastating that I have them.

I gather myself and move towards the lounge where I gaze upon Jack’s hand casts, I was fortunate enough to be able to get done. This part of Jack’s journey brought me to meet the most beautiful lady who I now call a very dear friend. I stand and stare at his hands over and over again, looking at each line and crease. The detail in them is incredible and I wish I could reach into the boxed frame and hold his hand just one more time. I always loved his hands.

I take a moment to catch my breath, I close my eyes, and think to myself is this real? Did this really happen? It feels like a bad dream I can’t wake up from but then the memories from that night at the hospital come flooding back. My husband telling me that Jack was gone. The blood-curdling screams, the hyperventilating, the craziness of feeling the world falling out from under my feet and then me seeing my beautiful boy lying lifeless in the morgue, kissing his beautiful face, telling him to wake up, while a police officer stands outside fighting back tears.

This is my grief.

This is what losing part of your soul feels like.

This is the nightmare I don’t get to wake up from.

At 12.34am on this day 4 years ago, my beautiful boy’s heart stopped beating and my heart broke. I will miss him every moment of every day for the rest of my life.

Jack, there is nowhere you could go that I won’t be with you. You have my heart my beautiful boy, I love you.

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