I’m trying to remember when I felt like this before. Like an elephant is sitting on my chest, like my throat is so tight and constricted that I can feel its tendons, like my eyes are 100 percent water, spilling out at will, down pathways on my face that have been dry for as long as I can think of. I’m trying to remember: When was the last time my heart was breaking?
The death of my mother was one time, but her passing was prolonged enough to let me prepare for it, to the extent anyone can. At the most intense moment, sitting at her gravesite, I felt like I could hear every leaf blower in a 50-mile radius, felt as if I could feel the sun’s rays turning my skin darker shades with each second, my skin irritated and jumpy, making me want to crawl out of it. I’m feeling it all now again, but no one has died.