I Don’t Want You to Die Before I Grow Up Mommy

I Don’t Want You to Die Before I Grow Up Mommy
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“Mommy, I don’t want you to die before I grow up.” Says my 7 yr old as she comes into my room with tears in her eyes. I was writing and immediately stopped everything to sit her on my lap so we could talk.

“What’s wrong sugaface? Why are you crying?” I said as I held her in my arms and rocked her gently.

“It’s just that I don’t want you to die before I grow up. I love you so much.” She says as her little body shook with anxiety and obvious painful memories.

As I held my little sweetface in my lap, I just let her cry as I listened and thought about what could have sparked this reaction. I thought back to how this little angel lost her grandmama a few months ago and didn’t cry. It wasn’t shocking to me that she didn’t cry when she learned the news that her favorite grandmama had passed away. She wasn’t even sad that she could not attend the funeral. I understand that people process grief in different ways and I was here to support her in whatever way she needed to deal with it.

So when she was crying and talking about how she doesn’t want me to die before she grows up, I knew that this was a possibility for the tears. I kissed her head as I say, “are you thinking about your grandmama?” She nods her little head and says, “yes mama. I loved her and she died. I didn’t grow up yet. I don’t want you to die before I grow up. Please don’t die before I grow up.”

How do you respond to that? If you are anything like me, I didn’t know what I wanted to say however I knew I didn’t want to make any vain promises or tell any lies.

I don’t know whether or not I will die before she grows up.

And that’s the truth.

I have tears in my eyes as I write this because this touched me so greatly and prompted me to ask parents the tough question, how do you talk to your children about death?

One answer. Truthfully. Whatever that truth may be, tell your children the truth. This builds trust and confidence in ways you wouldn’t even imagine. Don’t worry about whether they can handle it or not because truthfully little people can handle a lot more than we give them credit for.

I have had to have some tough conversations with my little girl so I viewed this as another tough conversation we needed to have.

I looked at her so lovingly, held her little face in my hands and said, “baby, although I cannot promise you that I will not die before you grow up what I can promise you is that every moment we spend together will be special. Let’s just use the time we have together now and love each other so much that we will always be able to feel the love even if one of us dies.”

This really resonated with her. She felt my heart (putting her hand on my chest and all) and knew it was real. Then she was able to process and grieve for her grandmama in a way now that she was not comfortable with doing months ago.

She looked up at me and says, “you know I really miss my grandmama but I know she loves me still and I will always love her. Even though she’s gone.”

So parents, I urge you to take time out of your busy schedules and have the tough conversations; engage with your child, listen to them, allow them to cry but whatever you do, have the tough conversations.

For more tips on how to engage with your child on a deeper level, feel free to check out my FREE presentation on 3 Ways to Raise a Superstar Child.

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