As my colleague Karen pointed out in her post “Why the death of Elizabeth Edwards breaks our hearts”, when we hear of another mother dying, it’s hard not to think about our own mortality.
Specifically, as mothers, we think about leaving our children. Conversations I’ve had with other moms have revealed that my fears about dying when my children are young are pretty universal: we worry that they’ll need us, that they won’t know how much they were loved by us. It seems that fear is even greater than the idea of us missing out on the experiences of raising our children.
We want are children to be OK. We want them to know that they are loved, in a way that only a mother can tell them.
Hearing the news about Elizabeth Edwards and reading subsequent posts has brought that fear to the forefront for me and many other mothers. Please, we think, please don’t let that be us. But the truth is, as Elizabeth herself pointed out in her last statement on Facebook, all of us know that our days are numbered. We will, someday, leave behind the people we love most in this world.
The question is not if we’ll die, or even when, but what will we leave behind when that time comes?
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