Category Archives: death and dying

Everything No One Tells You – A Parenting Revelation

I went for a run this morning. It was just my 3rd workout post baby. The moment my feet hit the pavement I knew it was going to be a tough run. Everything felt heavy and weighted – including my heart.

No one tells you that when you become a parent, with the birth of that first child, that sound of their first cry and that first time their eyes meet yours….something changes inside of you. Instead of solely a simple, elated and boundless love you end up with concern, fear and worry. You worry about everything from clipping your newborns finger tips when you cut their nails to how many different ways you could lose this child you just met.

My ‘mother induced anxiety‘ kicked in on this morning’s run. FullSizeRender (4)

I am not someone who listens to head phones on a run. I like the quiet. I long for the quiet since I became a mother. I can think, create, relax and meditate. I still hate running…just enjoy time to myself.

I thought about the article I read of that poor 13 year old girl the victim of an attempted kidnapping IN FRONT OF HER MOTHER in a grocery store.  I thought of how Brave that mother had to be. What would I do?

I pictured the worst case scenario and how I could or would react in the same situation. I have 2 hands….I have 3 children. I thought about all the people in this world who don’t get to save their child…who don’t get to be with their child….who don’t get to have a child….

I heard  a car coming up behind me as it slowed and immediately the fight-or-flight kicked in. Do I look back or run? I wish I had a gun. Why did I leave my mace at home? I need a taser gun. Guns….maybe he has a gun….maybe there are more then one of them.

I turned my head slightly to the side to catch the car and anyone in it within my peripheral vision. I noticed a hand reaching out the window and instantly realized it was the newspaper delivery man….same one who almost hit me on a morning run last summer.

I waved. Just keep running.

I tried to focus on birds, on the noise my feet made as they hit the ground. Tried singing a song to the rhythm of the noise.

My worry kicked in regarding family finances. Crap, I forgot to send that check in. I am sure they will send me straight into collections for being late. Then they will mess up my credit. I should call my husband and have him fix this. I cannot call him, he has enough to worry about. How can we get out of this debt? How do we have so much debt just because we had a baby? What is medical insurance actually good for anymore?

Another car came at me, but this time much louder then the last. A middle aged man with what I would usually refer to a ‘clunker’ of a car. Back bumper missing and trunk ajar from a previous accident.

I was reminded that there are so many others who have it worse than me.

dead snimalAbout 2.5 miles in and almost home, I saw something in the road.

It was a squirrel. A dead squirrel.

Now, I know this sounds odd, but this squirrel reminded me of something; to have faith. When this squirrel died his arms were stretched high in the air….like someone in complete surrender to a higher power.

Almost audibly I hear the words; Let go and let God.

I want to be Brave and Let go and let God.

I think of a friend who lost a baby shortly after birth and how her faith helped her to prevail and heal.  Let go and let God.

I think of a woman I met last summer, who is now a friend, who’s spirit I admired her limitless, in-your-face, happiness even though her husband was out to sea for months and she was basically a single mother of 3 small children. Let go and let God.

I think of a friend who has suffered more loss then anyone should in a lifetime, never mind before her 30th birthday. Let go and let God.

I think of a mother who’s child is fighting cancer and a mother who just lost her daughter to cancer and Mothers and Fathers who are facing the disease themselves. Let go and let God.

I want to be brave.  I want to Let go and let God.

I signed on for a new adventure this last week in hopes of relieving some of the daily stresses of being a mother, wife and business owner.

I have to be Brave. I have to let go and Let God.

Be encouraged that someone is looking out for you ALL the time. So whether you find peace in cross-cross-apple-sauce medicating to the hum of the AC, or  in the 2 am feeding in which you hear sucking and gulping as you literally nurse your child to life – try to listen. Try to hear that voice that is speaking clearing and directly and allow it to take those worries away.

Throw your arms in the air and simply Let Go….and Let God.worship**Check out my sweet friend Beck L McCoy and how she is being brave! www.BeckyLMcCoy.com or www.facebook.com/BeckyLMcCoy**

 

 

Parenting for Real – Teaching Your Children about Death

Last week, our family lost the most amazing man. He was a caring Father, Son, Friend and Great-Grandfather to my children. He never spoke unless spoken too and never spoke ill of anyone he knew or encountered.

This is a man who immigrated from Italy when he was just 12 years old with his Mother and Sister back in 1933. He was the son of a shoemaker in New York. His younger sister went off to college and Grandpa-Joe went off to war in the US Army Corps Search and Rescue for downed pilots. This is a man who served 2 consecutive terms with the search and rescue team only to be relieved by another radio-man who never returned from his tour.

Grandpa didn’t have cancer, heart disease, or even a headache. He turn 94 years old less than a week before he passed, and died at home, with family.FullSizeRender_2

In Italian tradition, as I am learning, you have a wake/viewing, service and burial for each member of your family. This was worrisome to me, as my daughter suffers from Social Anxiety and Sensory Integration Disorder. This means, that any new situation or change in routine, typically tends to send her into a full physical and physiological panic attack. I was worried about having her see Grandpa in the casket, worried about the crowds of people, worried about questions she may have at the burial.FullSizeRender

There were lots of questions; “Why is Grandpa sleeping?” “Why are his hands tied up?” [Rosary] “I thought Grandpa went to Heaven, why is he still here?” “Mom….IS THIS HEAVEN?”

As my two-year old ran around shouting ‘Wake Up Gam-pa!” My 4-year old pondered the concept of death. To her, people were crying because Grandpa was tied up in a box and no one could wake him up. To her, adults were sad because they missed a man who was actually right in front of them. To her, this man of faith, was simply sleeping because he was tired. To her, death was an easier concept then to most adults.FullSizeRender_1

Bean wasn’t scared, she wasn’t worried. She wasn’t confused. She simply asked questions out loud and we as parents, hoped we had the right answers. A good friend put is perfectly when she said, “There is no fear in death but only an understanding of Heaven.” Perfectly stated if you ask me.

I learned that my child’s simplistic view on life is one we should adopt as adults. I learned that the way she was comprehending death was the same way Grandpa lived his life; in the moment. Bean woke the morning after Grandpa passed telling me she was angry because he went to Heaven before she could give him the card she had spent the afternoon crafting….I had not told her that Grandpa had died. The days following she woke with multiple dreams of Grandpa and short but vivid visits from a man she only got 4 years with.FullSizeRender_3

Do not fear facing death with your child, but instead take away some of how they do it and apply it to your life.

  • Be childlike in your faith but mature in your thirst for an understanding and history of it.
  • Defend those you love with passion, courage and consistency and without reservation or fear.
  • Love deeply and without boundaries
  • Mourn those you lose without losing yourself
  • Find the ‘happy’ in any and all circumstances

You see, this opportunity to ‘face death’ and ‘teach’ my daughter about death was really about me, learning from her. It is not something to fear, but only a part of life. Eternal life.

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