To Jack, with love

(Shared with permission )

After my dad passed away I started writing. It helped me process my grief. Then 14 months later my mom died. I was able to write a bit and start to process the sudden loss of my mother. (I have been encouraged by so many to keep writing. Thank you for your kind words).

Two months after my mom died…………Jack. JACK!

How do you write about the greatest loss you have ever endured?  His parents? His brother? His fiancé (my daughter), his friends, family and anyone who knew him.   How do you find words?

 I will try.

Jack came into our lives when he and Alexa started dating at 16. We loved Jack from the moment we met him. We could see how much he cared for our daughter, even at 16.  We could see his kindness, his humour, his light.  He just fit.

I remember after a year or so of them dating, I was thinking, “I wonder if they are too young to commit to each other through high school? Should they experience dating other people?”

This thought evaporated quite quickly. They were perfect for each other. I do not say this lightly. I do not say this because Jack has passed away. I say this because it is true. I never heard Alexa talk badly about Jack and neither did her friends. They just loved each other.

I am sure they argued, but they just dealt with it.

Jack and Alexa

One of my favourite memories:

Jack is a few months younger than Alexa so when he turned 18, Clint and I took both of them to the pub for his ‘legal’ drink. As if alcohol never touched their lips before that (yeah ok).

Clint and Jack go to the counter to order. Clint orders our drinks, and then Jack says, “I will take a coke.” Clint is horrified. “What the hell Jack! Get some booze!” They come back to the table and I gasp in horror. “YOU ORDERED COKE?” Jack then pulls out his own flask and starts pouring his booze into the coke. He says, “They charge a fortune for booze. I ain’t paying for that!” (Even though we were paying). Clint says, “GENIUS!” and high fives and laughter ensued.  


We have years of memories. Memories that will last a life time. But I want more!

Fast forward a few years. Jack and Alexa move to Sheffield to build a life whilst Jack is at University working on his Mechanical Engineering degree and Alexa gets a job.

Jack with his proud parents

When he graduates, I do not think anyone was more pleased to be done than Jack (and Alexa). Jack is so intelligent. Alexa used to send me photos of his math homework. The equations were the size of the wall with letters and numbers and symbols. Basically, made up stuff that surely isn’t real. I mean honestly, who puts letters in math equations?

After graduation, all of us parents could not be more excited to have them return to their hometown after several years of schooling.

They settled for a while until Jack was hired as an engineer at a company in Derby. Off they went.

Jack and Alexa make friends wherever they go. They are inseparable. Not in a controlling way. In a healthy, “we love to be together” kind of way. Best friends. Soul mates.

The worst nightmare happened. November 30th 2019 we all got the call that Jack had a fall and passed away. No parent should ever receive this call. No fiancé should ever witness such a traumatic loss.

Instead of writing about the horror. I want to write about the amazing person Jack is. I say, ‘is’ because he will never be a ‘was.’ He is here. I know it. His spirit is alive and well. But this does not take away from the absolute pain and heartbreak of his parents, his family, his friends, me.

As I type, I weep. My heart is truly shattered. Shattered by the loss of my son-in-law. Shattered watching his parents try to survive. Shattered watching his brother try to cope with the loss. Shattered watching my youngest daughter bury the love of her life, her soul mate. Shattered watching his friends cope with not having their crazy friend around them. Shattered watching my oldest daughter struggle with losing her one and only favourite brother-in-law. Just shattered.

People say, “Time heals all wounds.” This is a wound that will never go away. So please do not say this to me.

When you have a wound this deep, a part of you dies. A part of your soul is so crushed that nothing will repair it. No amount of time. That wound will remain.

I am not trying to be morbid, negative, or depressing here. I am not trying to bring people down or come across as one who “lacks hope.”

I am being real.

I would never wish this upon anyone. Those who have lost a child will unfortunately understand. Jack was not my biological child, but he has been a part of our family since he was a kid. I do not have a son. He felt like my son. I love him. I miss him.

I cannot even begin to imagine the heartbreak, the loss, the pain, his parents feel every moment of every day.

Jack Watson

I will miss you every day, until we meet again Jackson.


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