How to Tell Your Kids You Have Mesothelioma Cancer Part II: (The) Follow Through

September 29, 2014

We talked about what to say when you tell your children you have mesothelioma. If you recently had to have this talk with your children, our heart goes out to you and your family.

Now, let’s talk about the next step: the follow through.

Here are the top two things you need to know:

Follow Through Tip #1

Bring meaning. Your children will need the routines and rituals you used to share to help them as individuals once you are no longer there. Maybe it’s as small as a specific song that you and your family love or a joke that you shared with just one of your children… whatever it is, make sure that all of your children have something to fall back on, a memory, routine or ritual that you used to share that they will always remember, and be able to practice.

On the day that you tell your children that you have mesothelioma, that’s a great time to incorporate meaning. You could give a gift, a letter, something you were saving to give them at a certain age… the item doesn’t matter, but the meaning behind the item does. Make sure your children know that there is meaning to their lives and to yours, and that there are memories they can always fall back on to remember you and seek your guidance along the way.

Follow Through Tip #2

Build that support group. Some children have two parents, step-parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and godparents — some don’t. If there are other responsible and dependable adults in your children’s lives that they already know well, speak to them before you tell your children so that your children know that this adult will continue to be a strong part of your children’s life, and that they will step in even more when you are not there. If your children do not have other adult figures in their life right now, it’s not too late.

Perhaps it’s a trusted teacher, member of church, elderly neighbor or a parent of one of their dear friends… there has to be another adult out there with the courage and compassion to step in and be there for your child when you are not there — and to let them know that they will be there for them now. Of course this person will not ever be the same as you, no way. But your children need to know that they will never be alone, and that, for instance, since you won’t be able to attend their high school graduation… their Great Aunt Jenny has promised to step in and be the loudest person hooting and hollering in the stadium. Your children need a support group — or a cheerleader, if you prefer that phrasing. Now is the time to rally them all together.

Now tell us, is there something we’re missing? If you or someone you know has a piece of advice that helped you tell your children you have mesothelioma cancer, please tell us below or on our Facebook page.

And if you or someone you know is suffering from mesothelioma, please call us at (866) 538-0485 or email us here to find out how we may be able to help you help your family by filing a mesothelioma lawsuit.