Some days I would swear to you that I have the strongest most resilient daughters going. I’ll tell you they’ve accepted my fate, and that when I go it won’t be a shock. I’ll tell you that they will get over it in time. I’ll say “They’ll be ok.”
People often ask me “How are the kids doing?” Only they aren’t enquiring in general, they really want to know how are the kids coping knowing that their mother is dying? I find it quite difficult to answer, mostly because it’s sad to talk about and because I don’t actually know for sure because I know they hide their real feelings from me much of the time. I shouldn’t be surprised-they learned from the best. I’m the master at pretending everything is fine and dandy, the one who doesn’t moan and just gets on with things.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my children and how they will cope once I’m gone. It’s something that scares me far more than dying itself. The guilt can overwhelm me, and I often feel so helpless knowing there’s nothing I can do about the impending situation. I thought I knew what feeling helpless was like before, but nothing was, it was all fixable, it just didn’t seem it at the time. Terminal cancer taught me the true meaning of feeling helpless and it’s soul- destroying.
I probably haven’t helped myself. Recently I’ve followed a couple of young women on social media who have lost their mothers and write very honestly about the pain and anguish they feel. I feel like I need to know this from another’s point of view even though I know personally- losing my own mother when I was just twenty one and pregnant with my first child. It’s not enough to have first hand experience, curiosity gets the better of me. I long to hear positive things, comforting things, or just a sign that my daughters will be ok, but it’s still too raw for these ladies, and I wonder if I’m just adding salt to the wound?
Put simply, my death will affect everything in my daughters’ lives. The time I’ve spent wondering who will be there for them to help them through the first few painful years. Of course, I wish I could be there, I’d know just what to say and do. The not knowing how they will cope in life when I’m gone is so hard to think about. Will they wish that they lost me when they were young so they’d have no memories of me? Or, will they be glad that we had our time be it short, together?
Every morning I wake up I’m thankful for another day, and I pray every day that we will have longer together. None of us want the final day to come; that I am sure of. Maybe that should be my answer when people ask me “how are the girls doing,” because that’s the raw unspoken truth isn’t it? I hope that when the pain subsides, the girls will learn many positives from losing their mum at a young age. I want them to follow their dreams, be bold, courageous and determined in life; but know too that there’s not an infinite amount of time in life to do everything. Nobody knows that more than I do…