Most of us have lost loved ones and have had to deal with the concept of death. Because I come from a large family, I have been to more funerals than I could possibly count. I’ve always understood that with life, comes death. But what I’ve never understood is why some people die well before their time. And why is it that some suffer what seems needlessly why others don’t?

My cousin Tommy died at the age of 24. He was serving in the Peace Corps and had a diving accident. An angel on Earth, he was simply beautiful inside and out. He had so much yet to offer those whose lives he touched. I’ve never understood his death and have yet to make peace with it.

Our local paper has been featuring a story for the last three days about a mother whose 11 year old son is losing his battle to cancer. The story has ignited an unbearable fear inside of me .. the fear of losing my own son.

I often think of Tommy and others I have known that have passed at a young age. I hear stories about parents that have lost their children and I ache for them. And I can’t seem to stop thinking about the fear of losing V. Thankfully, it hasn’t yet turned me in to the type of mom who won’t even let her child go outside for fear of something happening. I don’t keep him on a short leash, I don’t follow a half step behind him trying to protect him. But I do get terrified at the notion that something tragic could happen to him – just as something tragic is happening to the 11 year old who is losing his battle with cancer.

For the last several weeks V has been complaining that his tummy hurts. We’ve ruled out constipation and dairy products, and yet his tummy still hurts him every single day. It comes and goes and never really lasts that long. I’ve been meaning to call the doctor to talk to him about it. It’s been on my list of things to do – but after reading about this 11 year old, it shot right to the top of my to-do list and now I find myself wondering if something might really be wrong. Logically, I know the odds are drastically against anything being terribly wrong. But since logic flies out the window where the fear of losing my son is concerned, I find myself with that awful ache in my stomach again. An ache I’ll have to manage until next Monday, when we have our appointment.

Is this annoying border-line obession over the fear of losing my son normal? Do all parents share this same fear, some more than others? Will it ever pass, or will V be 20 years old and I’ll still be worried about his well-being? I certainly hope I can learn to relax by then!!

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