Family

To My Children: If I Should Go Before My Time

This is a little heavy but it’s been on my mind.

Recently, on social media, someone commented that her parents never told her they loved her. She said she thought they loved her but they never spoke the actual words “I love you.”

This got me thinking. I’ve been through things, like a cancer diagnosis, and that will make you think.

My daughters are 17 and 14. I plan on dancing at their weddings and holding my grandchildren. But, if life should deal me an unfair hand, as it has for so many other people, I wanted to make sure I said a few things to them. They know I love them but I felt the need to make sure I wrote down some important words I hope they always remember.

This is written for my kids but also for your children. Maybe, you’ve wanted to say something like this to your kids and haven’t had the words…until now.

To my children:

It’s strange to think that one day I won’t be here with you. When I sit and think about this, it makes me sad. It’s not something I think about often, because who wants to think about death? I can think of lots of other ways to spend my time. However, I have things to say to you and I wanted to make sure you hear them.

Diagnosed with Cancer Support book

In case I’m not around to nag you, here’s a list of important words I want you to always remember.

  1. Miss me. Think of me. Remember me. But, don’t let my death become the focus of your life. You have beautiful lives ahead of you. Make the most of your time. Don’t get stuck in grief or focus too much of your energy on what you’ve lost or don’t have. It’s wasted energy and time.
  2. Carry me with you, especially when you watch a sunset or see stars in the sky. I’ll be smiling down on you, covering you with my love and wrapping you in a warm embrace.
  3. We’ve had amazing fun moments. Times when we laughed so hard we cried. Remember the good times and don’t focus on the bad moments. When I yelled at you, it was because you deserved it and needed to hear what I had to say. One day, you’ll be a parent and then you’ll understand.
  4. Nothing is perfect in life: not you, not me, not our relationship. The same goes for your other relationships. If you’re looking for perfection, you’ll never be happy. Instead, look for the good in people. It’s there.
  5. The world is a beautiful place. Look for the beauty that’s all around you, even in your darkest moments. Even when you don’t think you’re strong enough to handle something. Remember, I know you are.
  6. Don’t take anything for granted. Ever.
  7. Spend money on things that speak to your heart but remember life is about the people in your life, not the things your have. It’s fun to have nice stuff, but it’s even better to have people to share your life with.
  8. Don’t fight over my jewelry. Seriously.
  9. If Daddy gets remarried, be nice to his new wife. I’ll always be your Mom, but you have room in your life for a new friend.
  10. If I’m in a hospital bed for a significant amount of time, please make sure you pluck the chin hairs from my face. It’s not sexy to think about, but someone’s got to do it.
  11. The decision to marry someone is one of the biggest decisions of your life. Take it seriously and marry for love.
  12. Find someone who will be willing to stay up with the baby, change diapers with you and laugh even when times are hard. Everyone has hard times.
  13. Get a job you love so much you forget it’s work.
  14. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself and who love and accept you for who you are. Ditch the rest. You don’t need negative people in your life.
  15. Be honest, always, but deliver the truth with kindness.
  16. If I don’t get to meet your children tell them all about me. Every last juicy detail. Especially the juicy parts.
  17. Treat yourself with kindness and respect and demand this from other people.
  18. Take care of your body and don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Ever. Remember, happy people are beautiful.
  19. Cherish each other and be good to one another, always. There’s nothing like a sibling.
  20. Never forget how much you were loved. Always and forever.

Love,
Mom

10 Comments

  • This one made my eyes tear up and smile. You are so wise Dara! Your mom is looking down at you and smiling.

  • Beautiful Dara…cried refreshing tears the whole time..planning to share with my closest friends…

  • I’m much older but I flat lined two years ago but came back & I wished I had written something to my daughter’s even though they are both married & mothers. This is so wonderfully written & exactly what I was thinking with a few revisions. This is so important to remember how devastated they would be & how this would make all the difference in the world. My two were planning my funeral & I have talked with them about all these things & they have expressed just want it has meant to them.

    • I’m so thankful that you survived that scary health situation. Thank you for your kind words. I think it is important to let our kids know how we feel, and I know it would bring them comfort. Much love to you.

  • going through this now…..wanting to say nearly everything you have….and soon….but don’t want it on facebook or cold…Can I get permission somehow to share this with my children…I have little time…

    • Hi Kim,
      I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this. I’m sending you much love and positive thoughts and prayers. I would be honored if you shared this with our children, in any format you desire. I hope you find some peace and comfort in telling your children everything you want them to know. Don’t hold back – say all of the things you want them to remember. It will make a huge difference to them. Much love to you and your family.