Monday, February 4, 2008

Just Checking

I'm not sure how this is for everyone body else. But I think about my children's mortality a LOT. Maybe too much. This comes as no surprise with Kid's upcoming surgery and last week's neuro appointment. But sometimes I wonder... do other moms think about this? And if so how much? Do other moms start to worry that they better pay more attention, read more books, and play more because they don't want to have any regrets?

Just the other night I was watching a TiVo'd Hallmark movie (I am SUCH a sucker for these by the way), and of course it was a tear jerker (when are they not?), and of course because I'm death fixated it was a one two punch featuring both infant mortality and leukemia. Well sure this would make anyone cry. I get that. But the next thing I watched was some other TiVo'd show ALSO about a child dying and that is when I started to get a little loopy and started to wonder if I was being sent a message... you know that Kid wasn't going to make it. Now don't freak out and give me a million comments that you are sure Kid is going to make it... it is just eye surgery. Yes I know that (hope that). But what I'm getting at is how when I'm already kind of spiraling down this path it is like everything I come across furthers my downward journey.

This happens to you right?
And when it does do you also start trying to decode the message? You know... like is it an obvious straightforward "your kid is going to die... get ready" message or a reverse message like "see all this heartbreak... this will not happen to you". Cause that is what I did. Unfortunately I couldn't decide between the two.

25 comments:

kenady said...

I'm not sure if I get into it that deep, but there are plenty of things I get paranoid about with the kids. For example... I never take the kids to the playground/park when there are lots of kids/parents; I only take them when it's quiet and when it starts to pick up, we leave and I'm sure you have already deduced that I do this because I fear they will be kidnapped. And sometimes when I'm driving I get creepy feelings like this is it... this is the night that I die or one of the kids dies, etc. We all have a little bit of it, just some more than others. You're not alone.

I think the movies play on your already anxious feelings surrounding Kid's surgery. I'm sure, as you already know, that everything will be fine.

Heather said...

Ack the downward spiral is awful, and having lost people close to me, I often do this. Maybe it's just neither? Maybe it's a coincidence? Maybe you subconsciously sought those out to serve some emotional purpose? Whenever it happens for me, I'm typically anxious about something else and just displacing it onto irrational/paranoid fears.

You know we're pulling for you and Kid.

Dinah Soar said...

Most moms worry about their children and it is normal to fear losing them to death. When you are 80 and they are 60 it will be too soon to lose them. In our psyche a child should always outlive its parent. But life doesn't always happen as we wish.

It's best not to watch too many movies and such that depict tragedies...life is hard enough without adding additional angst. The stuff we allow to enter our mind stays there and will impact our thinking and being.

When you find yourself spiraling down, as you say, watch happy things, funny things, think good thoughts...you'll find that you will feel better...it is true that our way of thinking leads to our way of acting/behaving/believing.

My children are grown now and I would be devastated if they died before I did. I don't allow myself to entertain that thought, for grief will come when it comes and I don't want to endure it prematurely. Later is soon enough.

I trust that God, who loves my children even more than I, should he decide to take them, has a good reason. And that they would be in a better place, because I believe Heaven is a real place. I find that comforting.

We must make our peace with the cycle of life and death...perhaps that is what you are trying to come to terms with...

Nutmeg said...

I think Heather hit it. You subconsciously sought out those things to help you express your concerns and give you an outlet.

I KNOW I do this at times.

I'm currently still in the midst of the "what the heck is wrong with the kid" thing and while consciously I'm aware that it is probably nothing that is going to kill him, I definitely let my head go there sometimes.

For me the thing I really get going on is MY Death and leaving behind this really brilliant, funny kid and he will grow up without a mommy. I guess this is sort of sensible, since I've spent a lot of my life wanting to alternately die or kill myself. Now I sometimes fixate on all the ways I am definitely going to die in the near future.

I'll be thinking about Kid and you on Wednesday. Tomorrow we go have an unpleasant test which will likely reveal no helpful information. I can't imagine if he were having to have surgery... AGAIN!

Stay strong, Furiouses!

Deborah said...

This is interesting to hear because I thought I obsessed about this when my kids were young. Oddly, when I was pregnant with the older child, I got really, really paranoid, almost to the point of not being able to be around certain people. I attributed that to extreme hormone fluctuations!

I think I agree with Heather, that maybe watching the movies, and your reaction, was a way of getting those anxieties out of your system? It's not so strange to worry about a child who is undergoing any kind of surgery. And that mother instinct kicks in and we do tend to take that anxiety to extremes sometimes. I cried when they got their little heels stuck at their first doctor's appointment. And again, it's all normal maternal instinct.

I hate to tell you but it never goes away. Don't get me started about my older (and she was 20!)daughter learning to drive.

I guess all this is just to say: you're fine! You're just having a normal reaction to a stressful situation. And you have a lot of support here.

Julie said...

This is what I do when my mind starts creeping into those thoughts...cover my ears and sing "La La La La La" really loudly:)

Mary said...

I have 3 children who are in their twenties now, but I still remember obsessively worrying about accidents and other things that would harm my kids. It drove me crazy and was very disturbing. It eventually went away -- somewhat -- but I completely understand your worries. I don't think that there's any "solution" -- you just have to live through it and move on. Maybe it helps to know that a lot of other moms go through it too.

Danielle said...

I do to a degree. My husband and I had this discussion a while back, you know, the one about WHY I worry so much??? I told him that I worry because he DOESN'T. I have to worry for the both of us!
In all seriousness, those thoughts can cross my mind quite frequently, and I can get myself sick if I let it go too far, so I try very hard to "go somewhere else" when I see it coming on. I can't let myself get cross the line, it just makes it that much harder to get back, KWIM?

Mrs. Furious said...

Thanks everyone... this really does make me feel more normal.
It is not like you go to a playdate and someone says "hey I was just imagining getting killed in a head on collision on our way over here!" So I've never really asked anyone if they do this or not.
Seems like to some extent or another we might all have our weird fears.
I know my best friend won't eat yogurt or ice cream that doesn't have a plastic seal on it for fear it might be poisoned... never thought about that as being the same thing before.
And not too coincidentally I got my period yesterday... so that might have had something to do with my emotional state. For those of your who were keeping track of that and worried about how this might go down with the upcoming surgery... fear no more... I made it through :)

Andrea said...

I thought I was some what of a freak or a really bad mom for having the occasional thought about something happening to my daughter kinda relieved to see Im not the only one.

Mr Furious said...

Dads too, evidently. I often run up against "was that a sign I should pay attention to?" types of thoughts when facing big moments.

etbroderick said...

Ugh. Totally been there. I have always been a bit of a an emotional mess and paranoid. Always cry like crazy at movies like the ones you watched. The difference for me now that I am a Mom is that I sometimes do not recover well--for hours/days. I honestly am much more selective now about exposing myself to these things b/c I have had some minor panic attacks once the idea has been brought up (movie, book, commercial, telethon.) I literally will not let myself "go there" in terms of worrying about Finn's worst case scenario. I have always, since childhood, had this weird fear that if I think something, if I "put it out there" it is more likely to come true, so when those things start to creep in I shove 'em down however I can. I have had some crazy crying fits worrying about if I were to die soon. Finn not remembering me. God--I can't even write about this anymore! I think you are totally normal. It likely goes along with parenting, but I think being a mother especially. It is part of our nature. I am sending you all my love and prayers!

Kiki said...

Mrs Furious, I can relate to this on two levels, one is that when I just flew to Dallas last week I was convinced the plane was going to go down, with me on it. Ken tried to comfort me by telling me that no planes had crashed lately, which immediately sent me to thinking that my plane was the one that was going to go down...and all before I had had children, started my own business and lived a lifetime with Ken. Then he told me something that helped...he said,"This is not how you are going to die." I swear, I felt so comforted by that. But I easily convince myself that planes crashing, or not crashing is a sign...

The other thing is that I fear death because I haven't accomplished many of the things I wanted to in life, mainly having children...that is hard to stomach some days.

So...just know that we all will keep you in our thoughts (and prayers, if you want)!!!

Gigs said...

Okay, I have this too. And I don't express it ever because it comes across sounding weird. One of my guys is this exceptional being who always gets accolades, wins everything he enters, is smart, funny, well-liked by kids and adults, empathetic... He amazes me constantly. He was recently recognized at a school assembly for helping this little Spanish-speaking first grader learn to speak and read English, and the teacher was choking up trying to explain what his kindness meant to her and the boy. Seriously, people, it is odd how many people comment on his nature. And the thing I've actually talked to my husband about is the notion that the good die young. Because he has been "noted" as one of the good ones, I worry about him dying before he grows up. (I think I also have this idea because I had a very close friend in high school who was similar in nature - one of those people who could have done anything - and she and her sister died in a freak car accident the summer before we went to college.) So I don't see signs or anything like that, I just have this nagging worry in the back of my mind that he's too good for this earth. Okay, now I'm kind of freaking myself out, so I have to stop.

Torey said...

I'm glad it's not just me!!!! I do this all the time. And it actually was so bad after Gup was born, that I had to go to therapy. It helped me realize that this is normal, and it's ok to feel that way but I still have to concentrate on NOT dwelling on it.

Often when I'm driving, and I pass an intersection, I spend the next few minutes thinking about a car coming careening through that intersection and killing us. Or being in a terrible accident and Gup being hurt and not being able to get to him. . .

I worry when he's asleep that he's not breathing and I won't know. . .And don't get me started on him being with someone else. Ugh.

And, oh. . .the signs. I constantly think someone is trying to tell me something. I'm never sure what it is though.

Trust me, this too shall pass.

Julie said...

I feel so much more normal after reading the other comments. I come up with scenarios a lot...especially when my husband travels. Or if I am out with just one of my kids (so 2 of us would go and the other 2 would be left:( ).

I have learned to let go on many things. I just have to have faith that all will be well...and if not, then I will have to be strong and deal with it when it happens. There is only so much I can control. I remember putting my oldest on the bus for the first time in Kindergarten...woah, that is the first of many hard ones of letting go. Although, I know we are talking about much more morbid things.

That said, I HAVE to know that husband actually arrives at work each day. Either by phone or email.

Julie said...

It is not like you go to a playdate and someone says "hey I was just imagining getting killed in a head on collision on our way over here!"

LOL! So true...

Mrs. Furious said...

I'm getting everyone's comments... but I'm hurting right now and I just can't comment back for a bit.
I'm going to drink some Dr Pepper and eat a choc chip cookie and hopefully when I get back this afternoon I'll be in a better place. But since Kid is at school and Baby is sleeping it's a good time for me to lose it.

Preppy Mama said...

I am such a worrier and I don't know why. I had this death fear/obsession when my son was really little. I was afraid I was going to crash the car and kill him. I had the weirdest fears of him dying and whenever I watch a movie or show where someone has lost a child (like the Hallmark movie) or has a really sick child it sets my wheels turning and I get panic stricken and obsessed for a while. I can't imagine what you are going through, but I do know I get that whole mortality thing. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

workout mommy said...

I do the same thing, especially with all the terrible things on the news. (kids being murdered, abused, etc) It gets to the point that I just cannot listen to or read these stories because I honestly end up losing sleep over them.

We're all thinking of Kid for her surgery!

Kid Art said...

What a great question, and I would love to comment on it later... but right now I'm just worried about you Mrs F... I hope you are doing ok (insofar as that is possible at a time like this). Love and good thoughts to all your family.

Emily

Mrs. Furious said...

Emily,
Yes I'm doing okay. I even made dinner despite desperately wanting to order takeout!
I got it out for a bit and once I got Kid from school I've had to move on for their sake. I'm sure the next two days will be tough. It is somewhat harder knowing exactly what we are going into oddly enough.
But I'm hoping a good long workout and my Tivo'd Prison Break will keep my mind off of it for a bit tonight.

Mrs. Furious said...

Once again I want to say a heartfelt Thank You to everyone who has been thinking of us today. I really appreciate everyone's friendship. It means a lot.

P.O.M. said...

I am not a mom, so I can't answer from that point of view. However, I have 2 nieces and I seriously worry about them all the time (for no reason). When the first was born, I stayed with my sister for the first week. We stayed up all night just watching her chest to make sure she was breathing. So, I think it must be even worse for moms.

Stay strong.

Anonymous said...

hey (Cheryl again)I do this too, it's good to hear I'm not the only one. I can get myself completely, irrationally worked up about these fears and scenarios. Then I stress myself out thinking that I'm jinxing my boys just by thinking about it. I also play out ways I would save my kids in the event of someone breaking in or something. I guess it since they're the most important things in our worlds we fear everything that could possibly hurt them.

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