Friday, March 18, 2016

I Don't Want To Regret

Audrey, Reese, Garrett, Morgan 2005--the year I was diagnosed stage 0.

Warning as of March 21: Below is a post I wrote a few days ago to express some emotions that I was feeling about the process of dying. Anyone who reads about cancer or disease in general understands what it does to a living being. It can be horrific.
A few people have said after reading this post that they are concerned about me, mentally. Please do not be. I was simply writing about feeling sad knowing my children will have to go through pain at the end of their lives. This is clearer to me now as I confront my own mortality. I love my children. They give my life meaning. If we all could "go gentle into that good night" (not what Dylan Thomas wrote--just the opposite) by dying in our sleep then the issue in this post would not have caused me to think about it. So with that said I hope this is not another issue in our society that people would rather sweep under the carpet or put their fingers in their ears and pretend these thoughts don't exist--maybe not for all, but surely I am not alone.
My life as a parent has always been to protect my children from pain. Unfortunately, I cannot protect them against the pain caused by dying. Until recently, I had not thought of birth as a terminal condition--but it is.
If you continue reading, please read with caution and know that I am fine and so is my family.

 I Don't Want to Regret

I don’t want to regret giving life to my children, but lately my thoughts drift there.

They will die. Most likely there will be pain. Pain will come from leaving life’s pleasures or pain from the body dying, probably both.

How do I not feel sad about that? I don’t want to cause them pain.

I lost my mother to death before my children came into being. My father died 51 days before my first born daughters breathed for the first time. With my parents’ deaths fresh in memory as I became a parent, I thought about death--my children’s, Greg's and mine.

Back then death was to be avoided not something we had to go through--anytime soon at least. I was too busy living and loving life to give too much of my time to thinking about the end—the actual end--my children would experience eventually.

In every selfish wonderful minute I have spent with my children not once did I think I might one day regret bringing them into existence, but now . . .

I fear I will regret.

Not their life, not my or their enjoyment of it, but that their lives were started in the first place.

I don’t want to regret—
But if they never existed, they would never have to die.


  1. I hope you and your family are okay. This post was disturbing from a mental health aspect.


    1. Hi Cathy, Because of your comment and a private message from another, I have more information at the beginning of this post to explain what I was thinking and feeling when I wrote it. I also use the word "caution" for future readers that want to avoid this topic.
      Birth is a terminal condition. (I think I have stolen those words from someone--will have to look it up later). It is a truth. The pain that my children will experience at the end of their life is a truth. My role in their terminal condition is a truth as well. While this thinking may be uncomfortable, I do not view it as part of the umbrella of metal health in a negative sense. It is sad for me of course, but it is also a truth.
      I am sorry if this caused you worry for my family. We talk openly about our deepest thoughts (the youngest was not involved in this discussion though). My oldest children are aware of this post and knew exactly what I was trying to express. So, please do not worry. We are all fine.