How My Father’s Death Made Me Worry About My Kids More Than Ever

I’m a paranoid mom. I know we are all a little paranoid, but sometimes I worry that I worry too much. In fact, I’m quite sure I worry too much. Yet, I can’t stop worrying. I worry about my kids’ safety, about their health, about their happiness. I’ve always worried, but the degree to which I did seemed to reach a summit after my father passed away. I think it’s because it was the first time I actually saw, right in front of me, that the life of someone you love dearly really can be snatched away from you suddenly. And I simply can’t bear the thought of life without my kids.

Each day, as my son walks out the door and heads to the bus stop, I say a little prayer that he’ll not only have a great day, but a safe day. As I drop off my toddler at preschool, I’m not sure who is in more pain mentally. He cries for me as I leave, and all I want to do is wrap my arms around him and never let go, yet I know he must learn to be without me. That he must learn to socialize with other kids. That he too must grow up. I also know that once I leave, within five minutes he won’t be crying anymore. Yet it’s still so hard that I often find tears creeping into my eyes as I drive away. And again, I pray that he has a great day, has fun, and is safe.

At night, after I put my kids to bed, I can’t help but watch them sleep for a moment. They are so tranquil, so peaceful, so sweet. And then for some reason my thoughts turn to what if something happened to them and my stomach turns to knots. Again, I say a prayer – please keep them safe, health, and happy.

My father’s death happened fast and by surprise. He was sick only for a few months, but he was very sick during that time. The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. They ran test after test on him, and he sat in the hospital bed shivering uncontrollably, yet always in good spirits. When visiting him one evening, he even asked if he could get me anything. That’s just the type of person he was – always taking care of others. It frustrated me beyond words that the doctors were having such a hard time figuring out what was wrong, because that was precious time that they could have been treating him.

When the test results we needed to hear finally arrived, they were not good. He had a rare form of bone marrow cancer, Myelodysplastic Syndrome. But he was strong. They believed that with chemo and a bone marrow transplant he would make it. We were worried, but also relieved. Yet, in the back of my mind the fear and worry began growing stronger. I couldn’t speak of it though, because that would make it all real.

He underwent his first round of chemo – it was successful. More sessions were planned. He was getting stronger and was to go home after three months in the hospital. And the day he was to come home his gall bladder began to fail. Emergency surgery was required.

And he never made it home.

His body was too frail to handle the surgery and it lost out. We stayed with him that night in the hospital, and I held his hand as life left him. I’d never felt such pain as I did that night.

Afterwards, is when the severe case of worrisome and panic about my kids began to overcome me. I saw how quickly life could be taken away, and how it didn’t even have to make sense. My dad has always been so healthy, and this had come out of nowhere. What if something like that happened to my kids? How could I go on?

After my father passed I found I was telling my older son to be careful more often. Don’t jump on that bed. Don’t hop around from rock to rock. Be careful! But my husband calmly reminded me that being overprotective could stunt him. He needed to be able to grow, to make mistakes, to not be held back by fears. I had to stop putting my fears on him.

I often panic internally. I hate that these thoughts enter my mind and refuse to leave. I want to wrap my children in bubble wrap so they never scrape a knee; I want to keep them at home instead of letting them play outside. I worry someone will take them. But I can’t let them see that worry, because they need to grow up confident. Sure, I give them boundaries and rules and tell them to be safe. I follow precautions. But if I did what I really wanted – keep them beside me always – then they’d never grow and mature and become confident and strong men. But it’s so hard.

Each day, even though the panic and worry are still at large within me, I find that I’m able to let some of it go, sort of. At least on the outside. No one sees the fear festering inside of me. I must be brave. At least for my sons. Worry within, but show bravery. And that’s what I’m trying to do.

 

Image via Flickr by Tom Woodward

My Random Musings
Kellie S

Kellie S

Kellie Sandrik is the creator of the online magazine Hooray for Moms. She has been writing for more than a decade about everything from parenting to travel to money-saving tips and more. She is the proud mother of two boys who drive her nuts and make her fall deeper in love with them on a daily basis. Her favorite thing to do is experience new adventures with her boys and husband.
Kellie S
Please share, follow and like us:

Kellie S

Kellie Sandrik is the creator of the online magazine Hooray for Moms. She has been writing for more than a decade about everything from parenting to travel to money-saving tips and more. She is the proud mother of two boys who drive her nuts and make her fall deeper in love with them on a daily basis. Her favorite thing to do is experience new adventures with her boys and husband.

14 thoughts on “How My Father’s Death Made Me Worry About My Kids More Than Ever

  • October 21, 2016 at 11:17 am
    Permalink

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I think it’s only natural to worry about those you love the most, especially when your world has just been turned upside down in such a brutal way. It brings into sharp focus the fragility of life. But hopefully in time you can relax a little more and see that life is short, but life is also for living. Thank you for being so brave and sharing these thought-provoking insights. #EatSleepBlogRT

    Reply
    • October 21, 2016 at 9:16 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you so much for your kinds words. I was always worried before, but it’s surprising the degree to which my worry reached after my dad’s death. I’m very slowly letting some of the worry go…or at least trying. I really appreciate you reading the article and your comments.

      Reply
  • October 20, 2016 at 10:41 pm
    Permalink

    Heart wrenching, I haven’t lost a parent but I can only imagine how hard it is. I already mimic you behaviours with my children, and I have to try hard to not allow my kids to miss out because of anxiety. I can only hope that our worries get easier as they age and time passes…. yeah right. #eatsleepblogRT

    Reply
  • October 19, 2016 at 4:16 pm
    Permalink

    Parenting is so rewarding yet really heart wrenching too. Thanks for your honest post. Mich x #BloggerclubUK

    Reply
    • October 19, 2016 at 7:44 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you for reading my post and for your comments. You’re right, parenting is heart wrenching, yet so worth it because the reward is much higher.

      Reply
  • October 19, 2016 at 11:28 am
    Permalink

    I am so sorry for the loss of your dad, I lost mine a year ago and it’s hard. My worry started when my eldest got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and and I really worry about all of their health and any little symptom really concerns me #bloggerclubuk

    Reply
    • October 19, 2016 at 7:43 pm
      Permalink

      I’m so sorry to hear about your loss as well, and the diagnosis. Being a mom is such a scary thing in general, then add on losses and diabetes and the stress level and worry just rises higher and higher. I’m thinking about you and appreciate both your comments and you sharing your story as well.

      Reply
    • October 18, 2016 at 9:32 am
      Permalink

      Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to read my story. It was tough to write, but also therapeutic.

      Reply
  • October 17, 2016 at 11:15 pm
    Permalink

    I’m so sorry that you’ve been through this and understand how it would make you more anxious about those that you love dearly. Well done for trying to take control and I hope writing about it has helped you too. Thank you for linking up to #EatSleepBlogRT

    Reply
    • October 18, 2016 at 9:30 am
      Permalink

      Thank you so much for your kinds words. You know, writing actually did help me a little. Just getting it down on paper, you know? It’s therapeutic.
      Thanks for the chance to link up too!

      Reply
  • September 6, 2016 at 7:46 pm
    Permalink

    So sorry to hear about your Dad. Losing a parent is so difficult and leaves such a hole. I know that it is easier to say than do, but worrying won’t protect them or stop bumps or scratches from happening. When my daughter was young, she was my wild one. I use to worry and then one day, I just turned it over to God. I told him that he needed to protect her because I was going crazy. I was ok with that and he did protect her. He got her through so much and she is awesome today.
    Thanks for sharing at Over The Moon party,
    Bev

    Reply
    • September 6, 2016 at 8:45 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you so much for your kind words. You’re absolutely right, I do need to stop worrying so much and leave it to God. Thank you for sharing your insight, visiting my site, and and your kind comment!

      Reply
  • August 31, 2016 at 9:26 pm
    Permalink

    Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enjoy these articles? Please spread the word :)