Try as we might, we can’t protect them forever.
There will come a day when as a parent we won’t be there for our children physically anymore, and that’s terrifying.
I know this is dark and depressing stuff and the reason why I bring it up is that in my house my 5 year old is currently going through the fears about dying phase. We have had a few members of the family pass away this year and she’s old enough now where it’s something she is starting to think about. There have been a lot of BIG feelings that are happening when she starts to focus on people close to her dying.
When I was several years older than her I went through the same fears and the feelings that she is experiencing now so I understand why she’s fearful. It’s unknown so for a child (and even adults) that scary, it makes those left behind sad, and it’s inevitable. Today she was focusing on me dying so in her mind suddenly being without the one person who loves you the most, that’s always there for you, that’s her safe space, it’s the scariest thing any child can imagine. Hell even as an adult its terrifying thinking about losing a parent.
On the flip side I’ve worked in an assisted living for close to ten years now so I have seen my fair share of death and grieving. What I’ve noticed though is that after the mourning and grieving has “passed” (even though the pain never really goes away) the children of my residents are alright. Even though their parent isn’t there to care for them physically anymore, or to talk or laugh with them. There are still people that surround them. Who care for them. Who listen. Who make them smile and laugh again.
They are alright.
I know that one day when something happens to me that my children will be alright.
They are loved.
They are cared for.
They are surrounded by people who will be there for anything they need.
They will be alright.
However until that time happens (a long long way from now) I will continue to show them how much I love them, how beautiful they are, and raise them into being confident and self-sufficient human beings.