Thursday, June 2, 2011


18 years ago today my brother died in a car accident and changed our family forever. I was 14 years old and ever since that day he didn't come home anymore I lived a "what if..." life. Thinking about what tragical incidents could happen to other family members, friends and friend of friends. The amount of phantasy in my head I'm usually happy for did not help with that at all and no matter how hard people tried to convince me that I shouldn't imagine what might not come - I couldn't stop. Until I became a mother myself.

Obviously I was scared. Scared that this terrible experience in my life would turn myself into this overprotective mother that is worried all the time. And I'm thankful for this wonderful little person that has taught me so much already.

Before our son was born I was reading a book about pregnancy and birth and the author actually suggested to sit down and at least shortly think about the tiny but terrifying possibility of a miscarriage. And for the first time I couldn't. It stressed me so much that I knew instantly it wouldn't do me any good. The fear is there anyway, all the time but finally I managed to shut it out. Ignore it and believe that everything would be alright. And it was. Partly. The little man was diagnosed with a heart defect shortly after birth and there it was again. Right in front of me. The "what if..." situation. The fear and anxiety.
At the same time I met another mother who became a good friend and introduced me to some buddhistic principles. Live in the moment was one of them. Forget about the past and don't think about the future. Be right here. Right now. I learned that Buddhists try to achieve this state of mind where they deal with such situations or really bad experiences the way that they still take something out of it, that it doesn't wipe them out completely and send them into a depressive valley, that they accept these things as much as they happily accept all the joy and wonderful moments.

I wanted the same. I didn't want to become a Buddhist like that but I wanted to enjoy life right now without this long time partner "What if..." on my side anymore. I didn't want an "if" at all anymore. So I tried. I tried to be there and don't think about tomorrow. And it was good.

The day the little Lman had to go into surgery Jan came into the hospital early in the morning so he would be there to take him onto the OR with me. I was desperately waiting for his arrival to hand the little man over and let myself down into the mess I was feeling inside. But Jan was a mess himself and all of a sudden I had to get up and stand for myself. I had to pull myself together and be strong. I didn't think about this at all and that was a good thing. I wasn't prepared and so I just went through. And survived. As much as Jan survived and the little man. That taught me that the buddhistic thinking is right. There is no way to prepare yourself for any situation in life. So don't waste time and wreck your brain and try. instead - enjoy the moment. Live now!

But even more important - look at your child. Enjoy him and let him change you. Don't just stand there as this fully grown adult who is in charge of this little person. Allow the little person to be in charge too. Only so you can walk this way together and grow.

One day I will not tell him about his uncle he never had but about the brother I had for 14 years of my life.


  1. Nadine, I'm so sorry to hear about your brother, but really admire the way you keep his memory alive through celebrating his life. I think that your approach to talking about your brother with your child has important lessons for all of us parents.

  2. Hi Kristen,
    thank you for your comment. It is quite important to me that I am open and honest with my son. About all sorts of topics, mainly probably because I didn't experience that with my parents and the hushing and NOT talking about uncomfortable problems drives me nuts... It's a difficult topic I guess tho.
    Thanks for checking in on my blog and hope to read you soon!