Q is worried about dying

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by buddy, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Q had a tricky morning and I ended up driving with him to calm him before the bus came. I hate when that happens. Anyway we ended up playing that I was a bus driver and he was laughing so hope his day is ok. Still, for the last two days he has asked me if he is going to die. He keeps saying he is not going to live long anyway. I ask him why and he says he doesn't know he just feels that again like has happened before. He said that he prays to God to let him think of friends and other things but it doesn't work, he keeps thinking he is going to die.
    He always likes me to tell him he is fine so I did and encouraged him to keep talking about it but darn it makes me so sad for him. no anti-anxiety medication has ever worked and mostly we just have to help him thru it. I know it is this big adjustment and he will be fine but it seems so unfair sometimes to have such big worries when he has already so many challenges. Just feeling sorry for myself and Q I guess.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I wonder if it would help if you asked him what part of dying worries him so much? After all, we are ALL going to die at some point. Is he worried it will happen too soon? Is he worried that it will hurt? That he will miss his friends? That he will miss out on something he always wanted to do? Is he worried about the afterlife? Or does death just seem unknown and scary?

    Maybe once you break it down it is easier to address the specific concern..?
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, Daisy Face's point seems wise. What is it exactly about dying that worries him, or what does dying represent to him?
    Seems like Q has done extremely well thus far in making this transition and I suppose "blips" are only to be expected, though that does not make it easier for him or you.
  4. Confused

    Confused Guest

    I have a fear of dying because I just don't want to die. The thought of not breathing and just not being here scares me. I dont have any issues like Q, but wanted to share. Hmm, I use to and still get thinking about it. The best thing to do is like DaisyFace said, figure out why. I know you said he prays to God to let him think of his friends and it doesn't work- I understand. So just keep doing things that reminds him God gave him his life and wants him to keep doing things like having fun, learning and helping himself and others. That he needs to enjoy life and this is his job. You understand his fear, but he needs to try to keep pushing forward and keep busy. Its easier said of course. But this has helped me :) If I think of something else, I will let you know.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is this maybe because he was so sick at one time? Is he afraid it will happen again?
  6. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    What kind of concept of death does he have? Have you share any spiritual belief with him? Has he ever experience death in his life?
    I just happened to have this conversation with V as his cat died last week. On top of all the tears, it brought a lot of questions. Not an easy conversation.
    If you have some definit believes, could you make it understandable for him? If the fear is rooted in an aspiration to understand/explain, then you might be able to talk to him at his level.
    on the other hand, if it is an irrational fear that takes its source in anxiety/depression, it will be trickier. Not feeding into it and trying to distract him might then be better that talking about it.
    Differenciating the two, not easy!
    I hope you find the words.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Could be a more simple explanation, though... he's been through a LOT the last few months. Now that things are getting better, he may be having "delayed reactions" to that stress. If so, as you and he settle into a more "calm and routine" pattern again, this should fade away.
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have no way of knowing how the conversation originated (and I absolutely don't want to make light of it in any way) but based on too many years parenting I know that sometimes the strain of parenting complex difficult children tends to set parents up for hyper concerns and replies that would not result from parenting a easy child who perhaps used the same words.

    I'm not sure I can clarify what I mean but I will use a couple of examples. The "slang term" in the late 60's early 70's was "retard". It was never used in reference to a developmentally delayed child or adult. It was used like "don't be a dummy". My first difficult child got kicked out of public school. It was devestating and frightening and shocking etc. etc. A couple of days later I heard two neighbor boys say "don't be a retard" to difficult child. It was like a burning knife plunged into my heart. I took time to calm down and then went to visit the parents with-o difficult child, of course. They were nice people who apologized for their sons term choice...but...they did assure me that although they didn't like it the expression was common for the age group and therefore would indicate that she was an accepted friend. It was a matter of perception.

    Church was another worry. difficult child didn't just memorized the words. The dramatic words grabbed attention.
    Reference to "the pains of hell" resulted in discussions of pain...no matter how I tried to simplfy the verbage. SO...I suggest thta you be very cautious in reacting to bizarre or dramatic statements because it could be that there is little deep concern below those statements. Does that make sense?? LOL DDD
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    These are all such thoughtful and interesting comments. Thanks everyone... I'll see if I can respond to some of it but some I just have to think about ....

    In general Q does understand about death. He has been to funerals and our cat died two years ago and he asked if it was normal to cry about things that much. He has often said that after he dies he will come back and not have a broken brain etc. I have (even though truth is I wonder at times) told him that he wont come back as Quinton. At first I played it close to our religious beliefs and said his soul would be in heaven and his body wouldn't work anymore at all (not all at once, but as the conversation played out I had to clarify to this level). At some point over the years he kept on with the "coming back" thing and I did tell him that some people believe our souls can come back in another form...but he would not come back as Quinton if that is true and sure enough he GOT that, I underestimate him at times. So he has not said he is going to kill himself anymore for THAT purpose (that is why I was wanting to clarify for him because his thing really was to just fix the problems and resume his life).

    I too remember being afraid of dying, I can relate to that. I think for Q it is not about the dying process. It is about not wanting to die young. He wants to be the oldest person left. He worries about a similar concept when we go places he barely can enjoy the experience because he doesn't want to be the first to leave. He never likes to feel he is missing out on the party, LOL. This little rash he has had recently?? (I think I posted??? He has these little pimple like bumps) he is worried is a disease and he will die soon and I told him that TeDo's son has them too and lots of people have them and he felt much better). He will actually ask me if he gets a cold... Will you please tell me I am not going to die?? He always says thanks after so I think this is one of his ongoing obsessive worries. It started when he was quite young, maybe 2nd grade but has increased recently.

    Remember I said during the first week after I took him out of school that EVERY anxiety and upset he had had for his life was coming up. He would lie in bed and tell me he is still worried where his pokemon cards (that are ALL gone and he has none of for years but were a big deal maybe 5 years ago) went one weekend when we took a trip. (we found them, he just wonders why they got lost etc)....he has been bringing up things he did that got him in trouble and wondering if it is ok iwth God that he said sorry, does he really forgive him etc. So another layer of it is his worry that he will go to Heck. Again, he got that idea from his little childrens bible but I do not tell him that. Without giving him free ride to go off and hit me whenever he wants, I have said God knows when you are having trouble because of your "issues" (that is what he calls it). He knows when you are trying your best and knows that it is extra hard for you. I remind him that he is loved every single minute by God and me and even when I am angry with him I still always love him. He brings that up himself at times so I know he understands it. (even the other day when I went off the deep end he said to ME, did you just say that because you were so mad?? and I said yup, that was it, you know I always love you right?? he said yes so I do try to comfort him).

    Mostly I think for him, while there are layers, he has this obsessive thought problem.....he worries and loses sleep over it, and it has been about bad guys, osama bin laden, death, spiders, snakes, different subjects. Right now he is stuck on death.

    Still, the only way I have been able to help him before is to let him talk and help him thru it. Sometimes I just have to do what you do with little kids (like I say there are no bad guys in our city).... or he can't sleep at all. He actually tells me what he needs me to say at times. Says it helps him turn off his mind. So, I do it.

    So, I will take the angles you all shared and listen carefully for how to approach it because this one keeps popping up and I'd like to help him end it.
  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    It really sounds as if Q is just an extra-sensitive soul who feels things very, very deeply...

    I think the way you already reassure him goes a long way.

    It might also help him to let him learn a little bit more about why things die. Like when your cat dies, I'm sure you spent some time explaining that the cat was old and his heart was worn out and that sort of thing. It might reassure him that death is not as random as it seems...
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Really good point (again)
  12. keista

    keista New Member

    Sorry, I disagree with this point. I also think that our ultra rational American need to explain EVERYTHING that makes us forget that life is truly random and there isn't always an explanation.

    If you explain the "why" as in - broken and not working anymore, it's time has come. Everything has a predetermined time and we can only guess what it is. Sometimes it's a lot shorter than we expect. If you add the age factor in, then it will only give Q a false sense of security, and the first time he experiences a death that happens long before what we would expect it's time to be the fallout can be catastrophic.

    From what you've said, in my opinion you're doing a great job reassuring him.

    For me personally, it's not death I fear, it's leaving ppl behind. Son had gone through some mild anxiety with catastrophic thoughts like us being engulfed by a volcano or a tidal wave, or even the end of the world. I explained that if something major would happen, then it would wipe out everyone he knew and life as he knew it. After thinking about it, he decided that that would be acceptable.
  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Yes, that's true...

    I guess I was thinking more about the "manner" of death than the "why" of death. As in: Little Timmy died because he ran out into the street and was hit by a car vs G-d decided it was time for Timmy to go to Heaven. or Aunt May died of skin cancer but not everyone dies of skin cancer and not all skin problems are cancer. It's just a way to explain the "how" so that an anxious person can maybe differentiate.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I agree, DF.
    It doesn't eliminate ALL the randomness... but it does reduce some of it, AND puts many possible situations into either "I have power over that" (I don't run into or bike into the street, I don't smoke), or "it doesn't really apply to me right now" (old, or serving in the military, or whatever). Which reduces the "mountain" size of the obsession. Even just being able to cut it down to size, helps.
  15. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Buddy....I see it in a different light! :)
    For me it represents that for the first time in a long time Q is actually feeling a bit better....to be afraid to die actually also has the hidden message that he wants to live?!
    The other side of the coin is if he tells you he wants to die....my difficult child has been there before.....:( Then wanting to live is great!
    I agree with the trying to find out what he is actually trying to say....but if its an obsessive thought.....well only your gut will guide you if you need to push this topic or not......Strenghts and hugs coming your way!
  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    OK, all the things I have said are true, he has done this before but for this round, I again asked him when he mentioned it yesterday and said....why do you think you are going to die soon???

    {Don't laugh at me you guys}

    He said, remember you said, "life is short".

    O H...................M. Y.........................W.O.R.D

    (yes we talked about compared to how long the world has been around, every person is only alive a short time in that....it is just an expression--which is a concept he understands--etc. I say some dumb things )
  17. keista

    keista New Member

    :rofl: Sorry, can't help it. Mostly because been there done that! If this taking things literally weren't so annoying, it would be adorable! Will make for great stories in the future, though.
  18. buddy

    buddy New Member

    yeah, I know, but I had to be honest with you all!
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Buddy... that's even funnier than the one that crossed my mind last night when I was trying to go to sleep. I wondered if you had inadvertently said something like "this (whole experience) is going to kill us"...
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great comments!