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Can I ask a really horrible question, for those of you with teenage girls

(65 Posts)
blackgarden Thu 22-Feb-18 22:01:17

If you were dying, and you had a teenage daughter, would you want to spend time with her?

It’s nearly 20 years since I lost my mother and I don’t know, I suppose the older I get the stranger I find it that my parents just banded together and shut me out entirely.

HateSummer Thu 22-Feb-18 22:10:49

flowers I’m really sorry for what happened.

My mum found out she was dying when I was 16. She pulled me out of my first year of A-levels and took me away for a 3 month holiday alone without my siblings who were all much older than me. It was just my dad, her and me. I’ll never forget that time I spent with her. She died a month after we came back. sad

DoJo Thu 22-Feb-18 22:11:42

I suppose it depends on a lot. I can imagine not wanting her to remember me 'ill' if I was really suffering or completely bed-ridden or similar. I can imagine being so overwhelmed by my fate that I would worry that I would be an emotional mess and not want my children to have to deal with that.

But I can't imagine ever allowing my child to feel shut out deliberately - it sounds like any of the options above might have been better than you feeling like you were. I'm sorry that you went through that - is there anyone in the family that might be able to at least shed some light on what might have been going on from their perspective?

LalaLeona Thu 22-Feb-18 22:13:56

I would. But maybe they were trying to protect you in some warped way. Perhaps mum didn't want you to see her so ill. They did the wrong thing but maybe they had their reasons in their heads? Iyswim

blackgarden Thu 22-Feb-18 22:13:58

Hate, I think I’d want to do that now! But she went on holiday with my dad ... I got left at home alone a lot.

RoyalBelum Thu 22-Feb-18 22:14:17

It depends on the state I would be in frankly. If I am my normal "me" with a short time, probably spending time with her unless I would make her miss out on things.
If I was in a terrible state, I would rather protect my kids from being too involved with it.

I imagine your parents wanted to do the best for you, they might have got that completely wrong, but as a parent you can only try.

user1472206348 Thu 22-Feb-18 22:15:25

Cuddle, talk, pass on wisdom, cry together, write memories down, record us singing silly songs so she would have my voice forever. plan her future wedding, try and fill the space i would leave behind with advise

BayeauxT Thu 22-Feb-18 22:16:30

I didn’t want to read and run - this sounds very painful for you. I have a teenage daughter and yes, I would like to think I would spend as much time as possible with her, making memories, but I also think I would be terrified at the thought of dying and leaving her. I think sometimes when we’re scared we kind of shut down our emotions. I’m a bit like that. Hope you find some answers 💐

ShawshanksRedemption Thu 22-Feb-18 22:16:50

I guess it would depend on the illness and how I was coping with it. It could be that your parents felt they were protecting you by keeping you away from illness and death without realising what an effect it was having on you by keeping you away. Is your dad still alive? Have you spoken to him about it (or any other family members)?

blackgarden Thu 22-Feb-18 22:16:58

They sent me away on a school trip - I don’t know what sort of school trip they thought I would have while my mother was dying at home.

SkippyTheKangaroo Thu 22-Feb-18 22:18:22

tricky question. I always thought I would want to shield my children away from me if I was terminally ill.

You have made me think.

teaandtoast Thu 22-Feb-18 22:24:00

Perhaps they thought the school trip would be good for you? Fun with your friends, a chance to see somewhere new and a chance to get away from the burden you were all living under.

Also a chance for your parents to grieve together without trying to seem ok for you? Let it all out, cry, rage and smash crockery.

blackgarden Thu 22-Feb-18 22:27:03

Well yes, exactly. They got to grieve, I didn’t. I just had to carry on as normal.

backformoreanditsmyfault Thu 22-Feb-18 22:29:33

blackgarden flowers

That is so sad. I am sorry. I know this probably sounds like a pat answer but I wonder if maybe counselling would help?

Verbena37 Thu 22-Feb-18 22:32:06

So sorry this happened in the way that it did.
We’re you with your mum when she finally passed away?
flowers

AdoraBell Thu 22-Feb-18 22:33:36

I would. A teacher at DD’s school has just resigned to spend her last few months with her daughter having spent the last couple of years balancing her love of the job with making wonderful memories for her daughter.

I’m sorry for your loss OP, and also for the way you were left feeling thanks

category12 Thu 22-Feb-18 22:35:30

Maybe they thought they were protecting you by what they did? Clearly got it wrong.

JaneEyre70 Thu 22-Feb-18 22:35:33

My DHs mum died when he was 18. She'd paid for him to take his girlfriend away for a week, and they were away when she died. I've always been a bit "but didn't you go straight home" when he's told me, but he is very accepting and knew that his mum didn't want him (or his sister) there when she passed. And in many ways, I think I'd want my DDs to not be there and to save them the distress.
We all have different ways of dealing with grief, I would imagine your parents thought they were protecting you - however misguided. Yet sometimes our imagination can be far worse than the reality. I'm really sorry for your loss flowers

BoomBoomsCousin Thu 22-Feb-18 22:48:14

I don't think I'd want to spend time around my non-adult children if I were dying. I would really just want my DH or close friends. People I could swear with, not people whose emotional life I had responsibility for. I understand that's probably not best for them, so I'd certainly try to do something like take them out of school for a long holiday. I admire parents who have been able to approach it like that. But I'm not sure how well I'd be able to, it would hurt to see them and know I wouldn't be around for them or get to see them grow up - not to mention trying to come to terms with dying myself.

I think the idea you should keep children away from death is still quite ingrained in many people. An assumption that young people will bounce back, don't grieve, etc. that is still fairly prevalent. As you can attest it's not at all true. I'm sorry you weren't given the opportunity to have as much of your mother as you deserved. And I'm sorry your mother had to go knowing she left behind a child who still needed her behind.

Storminateapot Thu 22-Feb-18 22:48:14

I have terminal cancer and I have a teenage daughter (and 2 teen sons too). They are my prime concern, I am devastated that I am not going to see them far into adulthood and the damage it will cause them to lose their Mum young. Time with them, as much and if best quality, as I can possibly get is all I want. Facing leaving them is agony.

AjasLipstick Thu 22-Feb-18 22:49:01

I'm so sorry OP. People deal with it differently. My sister's friend died and towards the last months, she pulled right away from her children.

It's called something but I don't remember what....removing yourself emotionally.

botoxbeckons Thu 22-Feb-18 22:49:28

OP, it's not clear from your post if your dad is still around ...? If he is, is this something you can raise with him? Difficult, I know, but no harder than living with all these unresolved questions. So sorry for your loss, and for the hurt it's still causing you flowers

Sprinklestar Thu 22-Feb-18 22:53:10

Storm - I’m so sorry. You sound like a lovely mum.

wibblywobblywoo Thu 22-Feb-18 22:54:09

flowers OP

I'm sorry for the loss of your Mum and for your feelings as to how your parents handled it all but from what you've said they didn't make those choices maliciously or to 'exclude' you, rather to protect you from what was unfolding at home, to keep your 'world' as normal as possible in the circumstances...... I expect they thought that was the best thing they could do for you..... I doubt they had long to ponder and discuss all the possibilities and the ramifications of each choice and there would have a lot of other choices and decisions to be made as well.

You feel they got it wrong, well, then they got it wrong, but they were trying to get it right...... as it was a death, a singular event, it's not that they were getting it wrong over many years by denying you stuff or mistreating you etc. - it was a decision made at an incredibly difficult time that you are looking back on with far more time to do so than they would have had to make their choices....... Hindsight is always 20/20.

Don't dwell on your conclusion that they 'did you wrong', see that they tried their best to do the right thing for you and see that as a positive even if the actual choice made wasn't right.

JugglingMummyof2 Thu 22-Feb-18 22:54:51

Yes I would want to spend time with my teenage girls for ME.
However, if it was to happen now, in DD1 GCSE year I would not want to derail her and so would want her to carry on as normally as possible so as to minimise the impact on her - to spare her I suppose.
My view on this may be clouded by a family situation - too outing to specify - where someone blames every problem and lack of achievement educationally on the loss of a relative at a certain time in their life. If I thought I could spare them then yes I would. I would think I was being kind.

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