Telling your kid his dad is dying

After the nurse reported that Rich was septic, he agreed to hospice yesterday. We met with the hospice nurse today. Based on his condition, she estimates he'll be with us another two to four weeks. With his sharp decline lately and the new people coming to the house, I wanted to talk to Ian about it last night. 

I took him to dinner up the street and told him that Daddy's cancer was not going to get better and he would die soon. These are some of the things he said over dinner.

“Daddy isn’t going to get better. The doctor’s all agree.”
“So he’s going to have cancer for the rest of his life?”
“Yeah .... About that ... He’s not going to live for very much longer. We don’t know exactly how much longer but he’s going to die.”
"Are you going to marry somebody else? So I can get a step-dad?"

"I'm sad that Daddy is going to get killed. By cancer."

“Are they going to put him to sleep like a dog?”
“No. Vets do that to sort of push the dog that’s very sick and dying over the edge. The hospice nurses won’t push Daddy but they will keep him comfortable while he dies.”

"Is Daddy scared about dying?"

"But Daddy is young ..."

"Almost everyone in our family and friends has a disease - Feenie, Gia, you, me (his cold). Jenna is pregnant and that's kinda like a disease."

I told him in addition to the special nurses, there would be counselors if any of us wanted to talk about being sad or worried.
"I'm pretty sure Daddy isn't worried."

"I want to tell Ms. Boutwell." [his teacher]

"I'm pretty sure Daddy's friends are going to be sad. Tom! And his Dungeons and Dragons friends!"

"What if our next daddy dies?"
"Everybody dies at some point."
"No, like in middle age."
"Then we'll shop for another one."

"In how many months will Daddy die? He could die any day?"
"Yes. Probably not today or tomorrow. But the hospice nurses will help us know when."

"Hey Mommy. Can I wear a t-shirt when we go to Daddy's funeral?"
"You can wear whatever you want."
"Yay! Most people will probably be wearing tuxedos. Will it be at the same place as Nana's?"
"You made me wear a button shirt for Nana's funeral and I didn't like that."

"When Daddy dies are we going to still own our house?"

"I feel so bad for Daddy. He's so young!"

He cried a little once we got to the driveway. I asked him if he wanted to sleep with me that night and he said yes. Then he fed the dogs and we went upstairs for a bath.

I emailed his teacher this morning and she said he walked up to her and told her right away. She let him talk to the school counselor and do some writing during the day. He wrote a letter to Rich at school and happily showed it to me, Rich's dad, and the hospice nurse when he got home from school. My kid is so awesome. Everyone needs a kid to help deal with death. They really have it figured out. 

January 19th

Dear Daddy

I really love you and don't want you to die. I am very scared because I think you are a awsome dad. And Mommy is scared too. I hope the nurses make you confordable with it. So that's all I have to say for now. I love you. Please wright back when your not dead. I promise I will wright another note. Bye and I love you. 

(this is an e)