A Pet Peeve

by Jill Francis on March 18th, 2015

 My family can tell you I always gripe when I hear a parent on television or in the movies tell their child "I need to leave for a while, but don't worry, I'll always come back".   My two sons Cringe when they hear someone  say those words because they know I'll go on a tirade about how parents should never promise something over which they have no control. Accidents happen. Life has no guarantees and sometimes, parents do not return. I would hate for my last words to my children to be a promise I wasn't able to keep. 

By the time my youngest son was fourteen, he had experienced the loss of a school teacher to lung cancer and walked with two friends as one lost a parent to Lymphoma and another to a drug overdose. He watched the family that held together and the ones that fell apart. Each of the children in those families learned life is precious and fragile. They learned parents don't always return...and they learned it the hard way. Some of them had a chance to say "good-bye". One did not. His dad simply did not return. 

So let's teach our children of the preciousness and fragility of life. Let's create family cultures of openness and honesty and acknowledge the truth that life may be short and end abruptly but that families can stay together. Let's talk to our children about life and death and the Circle of Life and remove some of the fear.  Let's be honest with them (in an appropriate time and setting), that sometimes mommies and daddies do not return. 

And let's make our parting words to our children words of love and affirmation rather than what may be a false promise. Let's NEVER depart angry and let's make every goodbye a Gracious Goodbye

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suzanne - March 18th, 2015 at 4:16 PM
Jill...on the day my Mother died of colon cancer(almost 7 years ago), she was of sound mind, in the hospital on a Morphine drip, and in and out of consciousness. No one knew how long she had left. I had been in NC for a week or two caring for her (with Hospice help), and I was leaving to come back home for a couple days. My brother, my mom`s older sister, and a few cousins were at her bedside when I left.. I leaned over her bed, kissed her, and told her "I would be back"! She squeezed my hand and smiled. I left that day feeling that it made her happy . I also felt that she was possibly holding on until I had gone. Halfway back home to VA I got the call from my brother that Mom had passed. I don`t feel sorry that I told her I would be back, because it gave her a moment of happiness at the end...and I felt it was a "gracious goodbye"
Jill Francis - March 20th, 2015 at 11:10 PM
Great point and great perspective, Suzanne, thank you for making them and offering a different point of view. :)

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