If Only

posted by Momo Fali on April 26, 2010

The little girl from my kids’ school, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in November, died on Saturday. I was at a party for school faculty and staff when we got the news.

As we hugged, cried and toasted Ellie, my mind drifted to how I was going to break this news to my children. The two of them have suffered an abundance of loss. If only I didn’t have to tell them.

It is hard enough for an adult to deal with death, even though we know it’s coming. Even though we are fully aware that it is part of the cycle of life. It still hurts. I don’t like to hurt my kids. If only they didn’t have to know this pain.

Death makes our fragility abundantly clear and the death of a child reminds us that, as parents, we aren’t always in control. If only I could protect them forever.

My mom was babysitting on Saturday evening and as I walked in to greet my children and tell them Ellie had passed away, I wiped my eyes and took a deep breath. If only I could be strong.

As I gently broke the news, my eleven year old daughter started to cry. I pulled her close. If only they could bounce right back from this.

Then I turned to my hard-of-hearing son and said, “Did you hear me, buddy? Ellie died today.”

He looked up at me and said, “Oh. I have the hiccups.”

I found myself completely jealous. If only we were all so innocent.

    Comments

  • Kori


    There are no words, ever, when something like this happens; there just isn't. I will send up prayers for the family, and friends, and everyeone else affected by this.

  • OHmommy


    I'm so sorry for the loss. My prayers are sent to all of you.

  • Jill


    My son died last month from brain cancer. He was 25.

  • UP


    Kids amaze me with thier resilience. Recently at school, one of our Junior Scholar Athletes lost her 15 month battle with Bladder Cancer. It has been a true study to watch the kids rebound and watch her teachers rebound. It seems so unfair – the moreso to the adults who have had a life to live when she didn't.

    Hiccups are easy. I'm jealous too.
    UP

  • wenderly


    Awwh, God love him!! You're all in my prayers!

  • Sadia


    I'm so sorry. My heart goes out to your family, and Ellie's.

  • Heather


    I am so sorry that you guys have to go through this again. I really feel for your kids. They have been through so much. ((((Hugs)))

  • anya


    You are the compassionate, warm and kind woman you are because of your life experiences – both the good and the painful. Even children have to have these lessons.
    But I still wish we could protect them sometimes, too. God blees.

  • Corey~living and loving


    many hugs for you loss, and for your worry over your kids.

  • ZDub


    I'm really so very sorry.

  • SurprisedMom


    I am so sorry for your loss and your daughter's grief, but I thank God for children's innocence like your son's.

  • AlisonH


    Momo, and Jill up there–I'm so sorry! And you know, grownups sometimes say non sequitors that make as much sense in response to things that they don't know what to say to, but with kids, we understand that a lot better. Thank goodness for the little silly moments with children. They help.

  • Monica


    If only we could all hear bad news from a mom like you.

  • DysFUNctional Mom


    I'm so sorry. I wish we could protect them from all of the pain until they're grown. (Oh who am I kidding? I want to protect them forEVER.)

  • Davina


    Thank you! You know just how to explain how we are all feeling and dealing with this.

  • WeaselMomma


    I have no words.

  • Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]


    SO so terribly sorry for you and your kids.

  • Jenna Consolo


    You're amazing. You took something so tragic and heartbreaking and still made me smile at the end. I love the way you wrote this post. But I am so sorry for the loss of little Ellie.

  • meleah rebeccah


    Oh No. I have NO WORDS. Im terribly sorry. My prayers and thoughts are with you all.

  • Bean


    Beautifully said.

  • Bean


    And Jill, I'm so sorry about *your* son! 🙁

  • Oscar


    Oh Honey I'm so sorry to hear this – I am way behind on reading – forgive me.

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