How to Tell Your Child Goodbye

This week I have had to face one of the most terrifying things in my life… telling my son goodbye. I found out a couple of months ago that I had a tumor nestled in between my heart and lung, surrounded by major blood vessels.

Breath a sigh of relief… it does not appear to be cancerous. However, the circumstances have left no option but to remove it. Because of the tough spot that it is in it will require a strenuous open chest procedure and there is the possibility that I could lose all or part of one of my lungs. The procedure is not easy breezy. The recovery is long and painful. I’ve had to prepare myself for the worst. I’ve had to worry about it being so close to my heart and so entwined with major veins. The surgery is tomorrow morning. And what if the worst happens???

Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with a blog about kids. Well, today I told my son goodbye. And I wanted to share this experience with you. Because today I would have wanted a guide on how to do this. How to tell my son that he would not see me again and how I could make sure he didn’t suffer.

I didn’t tell him bye with words. I didn’t want to frighten him. Besides, chances are, I will be just fine. But when faced with a situation like this I realized that I did not have all of my stuff in order. I wrote up a will and gave instructions on what medical decisions to make if I wasn’t able to. I also wrote love letters.

I’m not scared of dying. I’m afraid for my loved ones. The last thing I want is for them to suffer. And, as much as I don’t want to face it, life is short and unplanned. Anything can happen any day… it doesn’t matter if it happens tomorrow when I go under, or next week in a car wreck, or 50 years from now.

I wanted to comfort those closest to me and to chose words that could help get them through the grieving process. I cried and sobbed as I put my thoughts to words. It was horrible.

The emotions going through me were excruciating. Just the thought of my son having to go through life without me was too much to bear.

So, how did I tell my son goodbye? I didn’t.

I wrote my son a letter.

I told him I loved him. I told him how proud I was of him. I told him all of the things that he could do. I told him to become who he wants to be. I told him that I would love him to the end of days. I just wanted him to be happy.

I wrote about things he wanted. I recorded the milestones that he passed and at what ages. I wrote about how he refused to be born so they had to do a c-section. I shared funny and sentimental memories that we shared together. I wrote about trips we took.

I told him I loved him over and over again.

I never told him goodbye.

Because he is my son. There is never going to be a goodbye. I will always be his and he will always be mine.

And, now, if something should happen to me, he will have that letter to read and remember me by. He will know that he is the most important person that has ever lived (IMO). He will know that he is my special person. He will know that I loved him.

Yes, it did break every piece of my heart to write.

Saying goodbye to my child, without really saying goodbye, is probably the hardest thing that I have ever done.

And, if I stay alive until I’m 100, he will never have to know about this letter. It’ll be our little secret.

Because, if I’m alive until I’m 100, I will tell him everyday how special and loved he is.

I will make sure he knows.


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