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Old 03-23-2010, 07:56 PM   #1
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How do I tell my son that I'm going to die?

I'm 37 years old, a Marine Corps veteran from Iraq, and have come down with pretty much everything under the sun from migraines to seizures, was told it was from chemical weapons. I just recently learned that I have Lymphoma and it is terminal. It is just my son and I, he is five yrs old, his mother took off when he was 2, and has never been back. I know my parents or my sister will do what is best, but my son and I are not only father son, but best friends also; He is my entire world, he understands what his mother did and has always asked me to promise him that I will never leave him, and I always have, I have always told him that I will never leave him and I will always be there to protect him..I dont know how to tell him what is going on and its just tearing me apart....any help would be great

 
Old 03-24-2010, 08:57 PM   #2
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Re: How do I tell my son that I'm going to die?

Ask him what he knows about dying....you will be surprised. Then go from there. He needs to know that he will be cared for after you are gone and that there are people that he can count on just as he has you.
I have a 5 yearold myself and she can tell you all about the angels and that my grand parents are in heaven with jesus.
I cant imagine what you are going through.... But i believe that gods children will be provided for, may the lord bless you and your sons days together.

 
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:17 PM   #3
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Re: How do I tell my son that I'm going to die?

Let him know that you love him, respect him and that this is not your choice. That you would not be leaving him if the choice was up to you.
I hate the position you are in. You have my upmost respect and my prayers.
I pray you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. If you do not, I pray you will seek Him into your life so the afterlife will be with Him instead of without Him. The ONLY sin that cannot be forgivin is blasphmy against the Holy Spirit. (claiming Jesus is not God).
I pray you know Him.

 
Old 03-25-2010, 06:40 PM   #4
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Re: How do I tell my son that I'm going to die?

My husband was in the army and was killed when my oldest of 3 son's was 5. The situation was a little different for obvious reasons, however, the chaplain came to meet me at the hospital before I went to the school to pick my son up and gave me a walk through on how to handle it. He said to just very pointedly and honestly tell him the truth, without a lot of gory detail of course, and allow him to ask questions if he wants, or to just withdraw a little if he wanted to. It didnt make much of an impact at first. It took a few hours until the officers and friends and everybody left the house for the night. I think about midnight he started crying and asking questions. He had a rough 2 days.....It just happened to happen on the thursday before veterans day weekend so fortunately we had the next few days of no activity to just figure out where we stood. He actually went back to school the following tuesday and the little guy did amazingly well! However, this was just a little over 2 years ago and we have since moved back home. Bought a house right next door to my parents in fact. My dad became a dad to my boys and they are all very close. My dad recently had a series of 5 strokes, a heart attack, he was diagnosed with copd, and now is moving into kidney failure. He's terminal, and we dont have much time. I did not know how to tell my son either, that he would be losing his grandpa, who for all intended purposes, was now his father. But I remembered what the chaplain said, so I sat him down two weeks ago, and I told him the short hand of it. He cried a little but tried to hide it from me. Bless his heart. So I asked him if he had any questions. HE HAD TONS! I was really shocked at this. The only answers that I could really give him were those that pertained to his disease. Everything else, I just had to tell him that only god knew, but that right now we didn't have to worry about any of it because grandpa was still here with us. Then I told him that we could allways pray for comfort, that both grandpa find comfort while going through this, and that god would take care of us also. He liked that idea and we did just that. He wants to spend a little more time with grandpa these days, but for the most part, for now, he is back to his regular little self. I'm sorry this was so long. I ramble sometimes. But I hoped that was able to help you a little. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Melissa

 
Old 03-25-2010, 06:46 PM   #5
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Re: How do I tell my son that I'm going to die?

Also.....look for something to pass on to him....a sign if you will. My husband allways liked to watch the clouds. So everytime we see a hole in the clouds with the sun peeking through, I tell him it's daddy looking down and saying hello. Also, my grandma passed away last spring. She allways collected on dollar bills with the mint mark 11 on them. So everytime I get an 11, it feels like my grandma is saying hello. This will give him a fun, tangeable way to remember you afterward, and to still feel connected.

 
Old 03-28-2010, 05:48 AM   #6
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Re: How do I tell my son that I'm going to die?

Just talk openly and honestly with him like everyone has already suggested.. Let him know it is alright to grieve when you die but not to let it ruin his life, that you want him to live and be happy.

I would also like to suggest that you make some video's for him of you talking to him. Telling him things you want him to know about you, the dreams you have for his life, things you have learned in life, things that happened in your life, funny stories about your life. Just talk to him about whatever is in your heart that day. Leave him many video's like this that he can watch over the years after you are gone and could possiably show to his own kids when he is grown and has his own family. Anytime he wants to hear your voice, he just plays one of the video's. Always tell him how much you love him and that love will not die when you leave.

 
Old 03-30-2010, 06:31 AM   #7
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Re: How do I tell my son that I'm going to die?

I still have not been able to breech the subject with him. It is so hard. Everyday, he still asks about one of our cats that passed away 6 months ago. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I thought I would live a full life, I took three rounds in the chest over in Iraq and survived, I thought that meant God had a plan for me. I have been making some videos he can watch when its time. So, for now, I will just keep trying..

 
Old 04-01-2010, 07:16 AM   #8
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Re: How do I tell my son that I'm going to die?

Also, write him some letters that you want him to get over a series of time. Perhaps at his birthdays. Tell him how you hope he has grown, what you expect of him, how you want him to act, etc. Tell him how you were growing up. If you could do small letters of each year of your life for his birthdays, it would connect him to you.

I would also get a something special that you can leave for him to recieve from you for the first big holiday-whether it is his birthday or christmas or whatever. Whether it is a chain and a special charm to wear, or a bible or something that you know he will keep that means something between the two of you.

May god give you the strength to carry on and the courage to face your son with all he needs to know.

BTW you can tell him that God saved you from the war so you could come home and be with him and tell him yourself about people dying. Tell him everyone dies, just some earlier than others. God just needs you in heaven earlier than he had planned in the beginning. But it doesn't mean that you won't be watching over him from above and guiding him away from trouble. tell him that every time he sees_________ it will remind him of you.

Last edited by ibake&pray; 04-01-2010 at 07:21 AM.

 
Old 04-01-2010, 07:24 AM   #9
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Re: How do I tell my son that I'm going to die?

first off i am very sorry to hear this. God Bless you. You are in my thoughts.
children know a lot more than people think. Using pictures and drawings will help a child understand. since he is only 5 his brain is not fully developed like that of a 7 year old. some concepts he wont understand until AFTER they occur. might i suggest you make a video diary for him as well? This way you will always be with him. He would this. another suggestion is having a therapist assist you while speaking with him. children tend to take note when someone else is in the room, especially since the two of you have a close relationship. If there is someone "new" the child tends to make note of this.

Stay strong my dear.

 
Old 04-17-2010, 01:14 PM   #10
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Re: How do I tell my son that I'm going to die?

I'm sorry, I'm not sure how to help, I just wanted to let you know that you are in my prayers.
God bless you and your precious son.

 
Old 04-18-2010, 11:35 AM   #11
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Re: How do I tell my son that I'm going to die?

I personally dont like the idea of a video diary unless the plan is to show them to the children once they are no longer children. More of a memory to be brought up much later on. When my husband died, I found some video's of him and it really didn't set very well with my children. It confused them more then anything. They thought if he was on t.v., surely he could come back. Also, then they started asking questions about batteries and bringing him back to life like we do our toys. I do like the idea of a photo album, or a picture book that the two of you work on together. And like I said, a video is great for later on in life. Make sure whom ever it is left to understands that it is not to be given for a few years. Otherwise it is confusing and painful for everybody.

 
Old 04-26-2010, 06:46 PM   #12
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Re: How do I tell my son that I'm going to die?

omg. ive just read your message and its, soul destroying. iam a 38 yr old mum of 3, and i also have a five year old son who adores his daddy. i also lost my mum 6 months ago and ive cried like a child since. littlens tend to bounce back and dont feel pain like adults do. my advice to you would be, dont worry to much how you are going to tell your baby your going to die. please please please stay positive and live for today. god could take anyone of us tommorrow if he wants to. i dont want to preach religion to you wen you have this horrible twist of fate, you sometimes wonder if there is a god. i have on a regular basis. he took my mum and she was a lovely person. dont thinkl like i did, it eats away at you. stay strong if you can and if you cant then lean on your family. thats what family is all about. if you ever want to chat iam a good listener. take good care of yourself and all my love and thoughts are with you. x

 
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