Friday, 27 January 2017

When your child hurts

As far as I am aware most parents hurt when their child hurts. I say most because of the reports that appear in the media about child abuse in homes and child maiming or death instances where parents are found to be negligent or worse guilty of abhorrent treatment of their children. So, I repeat, MOST parents hurt when their child hurts. Whether it is with a common flu or 'minor' ailment to severe health issues which might mean heavy and drastic treatments.

But not only when your child is ill do you 'feel' their pain. Problems at school, relationship upsets, job struggles, personal struggles to name a few instances when I as a mum can truthfully say, " I hurt right along side you." If possible there are moments when you want to take their pain away to ease stress, sadness and in some instances - despair. I know, it is called life, lessons learned, their own walk. I know... it is just, well I just don't want them to have any kind of hurt!

(This blog is written from a MUM'S perspective. I realise dads feel things too - only I cannot describe those emotions because I am a MUM. So don't feel left out dads. I understand you too feel the pain- your way.)

When I was 13 my mum gave birth to my baby brother. Although a healthy looking baby, pretty hefty health issues were discovered. I recall my mum praying that she would rather loose the use of her legs in order that her baby would walk. He had spina bifida with a twist, and kyphosis of the spine. It turned our family's world upside down.

I am proud and pleased to mention my brother is a dad of 3 and just recently celebrated his 50th birthday. A miracle child in more ways than one. Mum mum did keep the use of her legs - with 5 hip operations and 2 knee surgeries. But hey, maybe she would have had to have those anyway! Who knows.

Being a MUM of 3, I too have had my shared sad moments when ills and unhappiness entered the lives of my children. Being an oma I now feel unsettled and connected with my grandchildren when they have their moments. A few years ago the intense disbelief and grief at the death of my step grandson, that pain lingers even still. Recently one had a ski accident, thankfully no lasting effects, there have been all sorts of health issues per child as per usual. The various levels of distress at times do creep up on me. NO, I am not a sad, forlorn, depressed person in any way or form. I think it is a natural healthy and emotional connection I experience with my children and grandchildren.

I 'feel' the happy moments too. My internal system detects up and downs - without even trying. I call it a blessing.

And now, for the BIG STUFF. What happens when you hear that your adult child is ill. Someone who has an independent life, family and friends. Does that pain then no longer affect you? Well, let me tell you, it still hurts. And for your child you want to be strong, encouraging, understanding, a rock, the shelter to run to. You want to have the wisdom, energy, the courage to be there hiding your own fears sadness and concerns. And as a mum you too need time to let the dust settle, come to terms with and get a grip on .... !

I received a long and detailed account of someone's daughter going through more than a wee rough health patch. More like a jungle. Not only does the patient have to digest all the information and let it all 'land' but those around close to her are also affected. And the ripple spreads.

In this big pond of loving and caring people, of which I am privileged to be one, we all want to swim with her. Our arms are there to catch her when she fears she will fall. But not only the patient - the MOTHER too will also need a floaty - an air cushion of love to ease the pain she feels - because HER CHILD HURTS.

Right this minute, and I know it will ease, I too hurt. For the mums with pain, because 



  1. I am not a mum, but I believe you Anita. The Bible says we should rejoice with those that are happy ans mourn with those that are sad... Kind of feel for one another...

    1. Yes Marja, that's quite right. Sometimes I think we forget that. Part of being empathic. We need to walk along side people and be there. Something that happens less and less I feel. By example many will follow.. or so I would hope.