My great-uncle died suddenly in his chair. He was 90. I guess you should expect it when someone is 90, but I did not. Funny how you get used to people dying in hospital or after an illness. How many people do you know who went peacefully in their jeep? I mean, sleep…

I watch Lamia all the time though. Because I am terrified of her never waking up from her sleep. How bizarre is that? I expect an 8 month old baby to die without warning but not a 90 year old man.

I wonder if that is something all parents go through, or if it is exacerbated by the loss of Sprog. My wife and I spent the whole pregnancy worrying that something would happen and she would lose the baby. We never worried like that when she was pregnant with Sprog. It probably did not help that one of the early tests came back with a high risk of having a baby with Downs. The test was supposed to reassure us, and instead did exactly the opposite. I know every parent worries, but I suspect we take it to extremes. We put off buying diapers for the longest time, and even now it is hard to get my head around stocking up when they are on sale, just in case she does not live that long, you know? I am putting these death vibes on my daughter and it is just not cool.


7 Responses to “Mortality”

  1. First, so sorry to hear about your Uncle. Sudden death, even peaceful death, is jarring. Upsets our view of living in a safe, predictable, controllable world, yanno?

    I don’t think we ever thought “Better not buy too much formula b/c Danno might die” but we were very paranoid. Danno figured out at about 12 weeks how to flip on his stomach and sleep and no matter what contraption we used to keep him sleeping on his back he got out of it. So we were deeply terrified of SIDS, so much so that we bought an “Angel Care Monitor” that would go off if he stopped moving (including breathing) for more than 20 seconds. Trick was that the sensor pad under the mattress didn’t cover the whole mattress, and since he was a traveler sometimes he would just move off the sensor pad. Still, it gave us peace. This kid was always pretty fearless once he got moving so it was tough sometimes to also not react when he fell so he’d learn that falling was OK and that if he WAS really hurt we’d be there.

    My sister would also spend hours in her infant son’s room watching him breathe, making sure he kept doing it.

    I do wonder if some of this though isn’t related to your losses and your wife’s. I think though that as long as you don’t walk around seeking to put Lamia in a bubble because you’re afraid something will happen to her than you’re probably not affecting her too much.



  2. I stalk my children at night. Even BB who is now 2.5 years old. Last night I found myself standing over LB’s crib, watching him breathe. Just for another minute. Just to make sure. Just a bit longer.

    I don’t know if all parents do this at the level I do… and I don’t know the answers to your questions. But I do know that you’re not alone.

  3. So you worry about your child dying suddenly, but didn’t really expect it for your great-uncle? That is not logical, but it is totally understandable. Maybe you worry a little extra because of Sprog, but worrying unreasonably is part of being a parent.

    Sorry about your loss. I lost my wonderful great-aunt when she was 96 — it was still very difficult. She had been old all my life, it really did seem like she would always be there. It’s always a difficult experience.

  4. *Nodding emphatically*

    I spent most of my pregnancy waiting for the other shoe to drop. After we came home from the hospital, I obsessed over SIDS. When he had to have ear tube surgery at 13 months old, a ten-minute procedure that is literally performed millions of times a year, I seriously thought I would have a breakdown until they finally brought me my baby. I kept imagining someone running to get me, saying “Something’s happened, we don’t understand it, we’re so sorry…” Now that he’s 2-1/2, I still have nightmares about losing him, about him being kidnapped, hurt, lost, taken.

    I suspect many first parents have some anxiety about their parented children that is directly related to relinquishment.

  5. Hey Brad,

    Just catching up. (Tell your wife she is a TRAITOR btw, for cheering for the Celtics! Absolute TRAITOR!)

    Okay back on point:

    Yesterday a salesman came to the door. Selling magazine subscriptions. I told him that I did not have any cash on hand. Just then Elise came to the door; he looked at her and said, “I’ll accept first borns.”

    I YELLED. Literally, yelled: “NO!”

    How embarrassing.

    Yeah, the loss does strange things to us. Yeah, it’s probably what other parents go through to, but it seems to get exacerbated a bit in us.

    Fun stuff.

    The positive side for me is that I really can’t relate to the whole “We all have days where we wish we weren’t parents” thing. I never have a day like that, never. Moments? Yeah, but the moment is immediately followed by the memory of what “not being a parent” actually is, and suddenly I’m overjoyed to be wiping spilled yogurt on the bedspread for the umpteenth time.

    So it’s good and bad.

  6. heatherrainbow Says:

    I think it is definitely normal, but on high alert with your adoption loss.

  7. Totally normal reaction, would it surprise you to know I still go into my 19 year old sons room and make sure he is breathing? Or my 16 yr olds as as well as the baby who is 13? Yeah, sometimes I think you never get over it. I know when I have been with my oldest and watched her sleep I still watch to see if she is breathing. Of course even knowing where she is, let alone being with her is a blue eyed miracle, one that still blows me away. It does get better once they get older, but no the fear never quite leaves you.

    I am sorry for your loss, and will add your family to my list of good thoughts.


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