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The Standard

Life is what happens

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, May 15th, 2012 - 21 comments
Categories: families, health - Tags: ,

Creating a life is a uniquely pleasant experience. There is nothing like it. Not just at the time of conception. So, having deliberately conceived children, then watched them grow and finally “leave the nest”, go out and conquer the world then form their own family, I am now going to watch one of my children die of cancer. So many other people are/have been in the same position. When you conceive a child, be aware of what you are doing. Life is what happens, not what you plan.

21 comments on “Life is what happens”

  1. freedom 1

    Tautoko, Kia kaha
    the path ahead is difficult but always remember you are not alone and when you stumble, as you will, reach up, we are all here to take your hand


  2. Jono 2

    Ah dude, I am thinking of my pre-schooler and my pre-born with a couple of days to go and my heart is breaking for you and yours, and for them.

    To quote Louis CK, “It’s not your life. It’s life … Life isn’t something you possess. It’s something you take part in, and you witness.” In all its messed up glory.

  3. Cin77 3


  4. twoandtwoisfive 4

    What comes after does not alter what went before. There is no god and no afterlife. Your child will live only in memories. Cherish those memories. All of them – without editorialising – and you will retain a memory of a complete and real person.

  5. Olwyn 5

    It is a sad thing to have to outlive your child, and my heart goes out to you. I only hope that there will be moments of joy, along with the inevitable suffering, in the precious time you have left together.

  6. just saying 6

    I’m terribly sorry guest poster.
    One moment at a time, one step, then another.

  7. Best advice here is that your child will live on in you. I think also s/he will take part of you. You can dedicate that part of your self to that part of the life your child will not live.

  8. lprent 8

    It was a issue that I was rather aware of last year waking up in hospital after a heart attack (and regaining my short-term memory*) to find my parents there…. Because I haven’t had kids it isn’t something I will have to face. But it was something that my parents were facing.

    * Apparently my memory was so bad that I’d doze off and reboot with exactly the same statements over and over again. Where am I? Why am I here? In other words displaying a Bill English memory.

  9. belladonna 9

    This is what a parent dreads most of all. Just hope you can make the most of each precious moment.
    My heart goes out to you.

  10. muzza 10

    So many have become bogged down in what they believe life to be, what they think it means, and what they perceive to be important. The lifestyle that has been “embraced”, and in many ways forced onto all of us, no matter where we fit into the system, is taking more and more energy from us. Whether people want to accept it or not, these constructs are taking energy, every minute of every day, that is your life, and the life of those we love!

    Energy underpins all the systems we have come to rely on, and that have become used to trap us, at a seemingly ever accelerating pace, while we become sicker and less in tune with our natural selves, because we have been trained to see ourselves as what is around us, and to become those same contructs!

    The only things that are genuinely important in life, are relationships with people, and how those who stay on , remember those who are no longer with us. How we relate, how we react, how we interract, in any given situation is vital to being able to control, what little parts of life is still under our own control.

    Each to their own, but the here and now with those in our lives, is life. The rest of it is stuff that needs to be handled in various ways.

    Kia Kaha Guest Poster, family and all of us!

  11. Hateatea 11

    Ka haere te mihi tautoko ki a koe, ki tou tamaiti hoki. I send messages of support to both you and your child (whatever their age, they are always your child).
    I cannot imagine your pain and your sadness. I can only hope that you have some quality time together and that the journey you undertake is accomplished with love and the supportive strength of family, friends and expert medical professionals.
    Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui

  12. rosy 12

    I’ve been thinking of something profound to say, but I can’t. You’ve got it right – life is what happens. Some people say things happen for a reason, it’s not true – things happen, is all.

    We were there with our 2 year-old granddaughter when she lived and died with cancer 3 years ago. And we watched our precious son go though what you’re going through. No-one knows in advance how they will grieve and chances are you’re going to experience the very best and very worst of yourself and the people you care about. Be gracious… Forgive.

    And know that best wishes of many, many people will be with you and your family.

  13. Carol 13

    Sorry for your sadness. All life is precious.

  14. Adele 14

    Thank you for reminding me of how much love I have for my children – despite the son being somewhat lazy, somewhat broke, and somewhat welded to the couch – with remote in one hand, and god knows what, in the other.

  15. RedLogix 15

    I read this post much earlier today and my mind has drifted back to it frequently since. I’ve nothing profound or poetic to add to the thoughts above except to pitch in with the rest of us here and to say… that you are not alone.

    Thanks for letting us know, and while us cyber critters may not be able to offer much in the way of practical support know that many of us understand how hard this will be. Do not hesitate to reach out when you need to…

  16. r0b 16

    I should have commented as an introduction to the post – the guest poster is a an active commenter here at The Standard. Like the others here guest, my heart goes out to you and your family.

  17. Read this post and tried to back to my own blog but couldn’t. Everything else pales when it comes to love. Love for your family, your children, beauty you find in life and the fear of having to let go of what you love most.

    I feel for you and wish you all the strength you will need while you and you child go through this experience. May you cry and laugh and grief together until it’s time to let go and in doing so may it give peace in the end.

  18. Hilary 18

    Thanks for posting this, as this is a situation many of us will probably face at some time, and it is healthy to have such a discussion however painful. I don’t know what age your child is, but it doesn’t really matter as a child is always your child. My daughter had leukaemia many years ago when she was little. Fortunately, she didn’t die, but many around her did. It is always hard, of course, but there are some things that seem to help. Good palliative care, and being able to talk about the illness, your own fears and talking about your child long after they have died, seems to help.
    We have some strange ideas that grief is something with a limited life, and people should ‘get over it’. I don’t think you ever do, but the pain eases. There are no rules. It doesn’t help to say ‘I know how you feel’ because no one else does. The other unhelpful thing is to say something about them not reaching their potential. A person is a person, not a potential something else.

    What helped us at that time was people who just came and helped, eg with meals, childcare, treats. Didn’t ask – just did. And people who didn’t run away as if cancer is catching, or death is too scary, but just stayed around, and were there.

    So I hope your family has access to good palliative care, you are well supported by the medical profession, friends and the community. Best wishes.

    • deuto 18.1

      i would like to add my support to all of those above, who have said it much better, particularly Hilary. Like Redogix, after reading your post yesterday, my mind has kept drifting back to it ever since. Although your focus and energy will be focussed other than here in the times ahead, please be assured that we will continue to be here for you.

  19. prism 19

    This is sad to read. We are hearing often about this sneaky thing cancer, happening where and when we don’t expect it. The random nature of chronic health problems despite all our care is hard to cope with. I hope your time together can have smiles to offset the lurking sadness. You may have to remind yourself to take photos of your family together so you can celebrate the life lived even though shortened for future times.

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