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View Full Version : the thought of one's children dying alone

2005-08-20, 00:44
My oldest daughter Saffronia, who is three years old, used to sleep in our bed until my wife started encouraging her a few months ago to sleep in the other bedroom with her baby sister. Now Saffronia tends to sleep a lot by herself in the bed, until the early hours of the morning. When it first gets light around 05:00, she comes to our bed and sleeps there until she wakes up around 09:00. She does not sleep well and often wakes up in the middle of the night crying due to disorientation or a bad dream. When she wakes up it is a pain in the ass because we are tired and we wish she would just go back to sleep. My second daughter Leilani, who is six months old, sleeps well through the night.

A few weeks ago Saffronia woke up crying at around 02:12 in her bedroom, on a work night that I had gone to sleep at 23:20. Normally I wake up at 04:00 for work. When she woke up that time due to her crying, I was hoping she would just go back to sleep. But instead she kept calling us in her disorientation, and then went to her bedroom window as if we had gone outside and abandoned her. When she was calling us that morning, I was annoyed but then upon hearing her it reminded me of something and that changed my whole attitude. I thought of or was reminded of an imaginary situation of her alone in a plane about to crash in her final moments, calling for us when we were not there. The thought of her being alone and calling for us in such an imaginary situation saddened me that night to the point that I had to see her, and I went to her room to help her go back to sleep. I stayed up for the day and couldn't sleep after that.

That night the thought of my daughter dying alone made me realize that I was lucky to be able to be there for her and comfort her. The idea of her dying alone is terrible, and I can only hope that if Fate or Allah has it for her to die, that I am there with her to die too. From a scholarly Apollonian perspective, it doesn't make sense if one wishes one's own death, but in circumstances such as I imagined I would prefer to die with my daughter rather than have her die alone. I understand why my oldest sister is reluctant to send her daughter on airplane flights alone, for this very reason. She is scared that her daughter's plane will crash and she won't be there with her in her final moments.

The idea of death on an airplane flight is an easy one to imagine, and is perhaps overly feared due to its high profile and low probability. But it is just one of many scenarios that may occur in which one's child can die alone. It will be hard for parents such as myself to leave my children alone for any moment, if all the possibilities are considered or imagined.

Sometimes I wish that I were omnipotent like a god, so that I could always watch over and protect my children.

I was reminded of this topic recently when reading about the killer Dennis Rader known as B.T.K., who was a good Christian and a pillar of his community, when he killed the Otero family. He killed the parents first and then hung the eleven year old girl named Josie in the basement. Here is the excerpt from the news article:

Little Josie Otero had already watched him strangle and suffocate her parents and younger brother when he led her down to the basement he would later describe as his dungeon. The victim he called "Project Little Mex" and admired for her dark hair and eyes had her white cotton panties yanked down over her rope-bound ankles and the black Mary Janes below.

He struggled with her long hair as he hanged her from a sewer pipe. She squealed "Momma, Momma." And then Josie, all of 11, asked him what would become of her.

"I said, 'Well honey, you're going to be in heaven tonight with the rest of your family,' " the killer, Dennis L. Rader, told investigators after his arrest, recounting how he let her toes dangle just a fraction of an inch from the floor to slow her death, and masturbated afterwards.

Imagining this scene of the girl dying and calling out for her mother, who was already dead and unable to help, is the saddest part to me.

In consideration of all the imagined horrors that may befall my children, I will consider myself lucky if I wake up in the middle of the night and have the opportunity to comfort them.

So on the night when my daughter woke up, once I thought of it by imagining her final moments alone in a plane crash, I felt grateful instead, that despite my tiredness, I was given the opportunity to comfort her in her distress.

2005-08-23, 11:02
desire becoming pain
it is such a shame
but perhaps we need such an illusion to go beyond it

kids will be silly like people with dimentia
good luck man