How do you tell your teen her mom doesn't have long to live?

How would you tell your only child at 16… her mom had 10 years to live, now she’s down to 3?

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I can’t imagine what you’re going through! As a mum this is heartbreaking but don’t spend your time worrying about that just yet, spend your time making the most memories with her, making her smile, and being right by her side exactly how she’d want to remember you. There’s no easy or right thing to say but you’re so brave going through what you’re going through as is your daughter! Nothing anyone posts will make the heartache of what you’ve posted go away or can tell you how you proceed so I say go and live the life you do have right in this moment, picture every memory, write a book for your daughter to look back on, get her to join in sticking photos in, create a bucket list, travel, do everything you can manage!! Mum to mum you’re both in my prayers :pray:

I want to say first I’m so sorry. My children were 2, 5 and 14 when my husband, their father became terminal. While the 2 and 5 year old were young they saw their father decline and we could only explain in simple terms that daddy’s heart was sick. For our 14 we were honest and told her what was happening. I can tell you that a strong support system is key as well as a therapist before and after. We always thought we were prepared and our children were prepared. But in reality when it happens you still aren’t prepared - it will blindside everyone. Have open conversations with her as well as with her teachers, school counselors, school administration staff, family and friends. It helps when they’re going through it now as well as after the grief hits. It has been 9 years for us and the grief is still strong. It will not go away, but we’ve learned to have grief in our daily lives. There will be waves of emotions before and after. Most important we made sure we created a lot of memories, took pictures, spent a lot of quality time as a family. My heart aches for you both and I’m sending you all much love and strength.

Please don’t tell her the time frame they gave you, just let her know when Gods ready it’ll happen you are in my prayers so is she and God has got you my dear just Pray hard and I will for you all too

I would be honest and upfront. I was 16 when my mom found out she had ovarian cancer. The doctors were optimistic that it was going to go into remission. Unfortunately we lost my mom one month after my 17th birthday. She lived a total of 8 months. Yes it’s hard to understand what is going on and that you might lose one of the most important people in your life at such a young age. I am thankful that my parents were honest and upfront with me from the moment that we found out my mom had cancer.

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How do you tell your teen her mom doesn't have long to live?

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Just tell her…try to prepare her for the future the best you can…spend lots of time together and love on each other as much as possible…as a mom this is heartbreaking my biggest fear is leaving my children behind before it’s time :broken_heart: prayers and love your way :white_heart:

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You have to be very honest with her then find her a therapist who can handle what’s going on n what’s going to happen in the future. You cannot sugar coat something like this. Also make sure she’ll have a very good support system.

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Find a therapist ASAP and tell her. Honesty and compassion is what she needs, do not sugarcoat.

I would want to know if my mon was leaving right away, I would feel so hurt if she kept it for awhile.

Sit down and talk to her :heart:

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She is old enough to hear the truth. I would try to have this conversation with her ASAP. They maybe things in your passing that she may want or need. And her time to process and determine what that is may take a while. I know at about a year and a half after I lost my daughter. There was so much I wish I had done… hard copy pictures, digital copies (back up to a DVD) certain clothing or jewelry she may want. I wish my daughter was old enough to have a voice recording done of her talking. Things that would be important message(s) for her. I love you, I’m proud of you…ect…

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I Personally Would Have A Child’s Advocate! You 2 May Find That Helpful & Can Answer Questions & What’s Ahead❤
I’m So Sorry, Hardest Thing To Do Ever…

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Can you get a second opinion?

This is heartbreaking. Reminds me of the Christmas song, “Mama’s shoe’s”. The boy was only 9 and was told earlier that Mama is dying. He saw some beautiful shoes during Christmas sale and took all the monies he had saved to buy Mama the lovely shoes. Mama passed on on Christmas Eve after receiving the precious gift and the boy was glad that Mama would look beautiful in the shoes when she meets Jesus. Moral of the story…let the boy know that his mummy is on her way…and help him to build precious memories as her days shorten.:broken_heart:

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Honesty … we found out by pure accident that my mum has less than 6 months. I told my kids (14 and 10) straight away… death is a part of life. If you know it’s going to happen, it’s good to prepare… do what you can while you can x

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My dad died when I was 10. My Mom tried to hide the fact he was dying. Haunts me to this day. Be honest. Cry. Love on each other. Make every day count.

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I honestly wouldn’t tell her. I would just try to spend as much time with her as possible and make as many happy memories that I could. I feel like if she knew than that’s what she would dwell on. Lord please lift this family up and bring them comfort during this difficult decision. In Jesus name. Amen.

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I would tell her ASAP she will regret not knowing her whole life

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My parents told me my dad had 18 months to live. That was 22 years ago and he’s still with us. Have faith, stay strong and be with each other :heart:

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Start by explaining it in a loving way. Have the mom write letters for ever special event to come… graduations, weddings, babies, pregnancy, recipes. That way she’ll never say “what would my mom say?” Or what would she do?” Talk about it now. 3 years could mean a life time for her. Start making those memories now! Take photos of every little moment.
So when she does leave the daughter can look back with no regrets.

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I would first of told her sooner if she has a teenager attitude she might live with a lot of guilt for not knowing that those years will be close to the last years she has with you. I am so sorry

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I was left in the dark. Until the doctors told us she had less then a month… she passed away just a few days later… So Coming from someone who lost their mom at 11… being honest is the best way to go about it. My mom told us daily she was fine and was coming home… it got our hopes up and crushed us. But also remember noone has a expiration date. Have faith and stay strong. :heart:

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Definitely talk with her about it. Hopefully you have much longer Dr’s are wrong. But also teach her what she needs to know to survive and do adult stuff things you forget kids don’t know.

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How did she get the 10 year death sentence? Lots of things can happen in 10 years.

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There is no easy way, but she needs to know immediately so she can soak up every moment she has with her.

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I feel like the 10 year quote was worst case scenario. If this is due to health reasons (as I’d assume it is) I would definitely have multiple drs review this. If she is deteriorating then the child likely notices. Keep her informed of dr appts ect.

In a therapist office.

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They gave my grandma 3 years to live and she lived 8 more after they said…

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She should have been there at the appointments with her and got the info straight away from the doctors with her… but since that didn’t happen you have to hurry up and relay exactly how the appointment went and what was said.

My parents were honest for the most part but I sometimes wished they would’ve just told me exactly what was going on one minute she was surviving with cancer the next it went down hill quick. I lost my mom at 14. It never gets easy writes letters , my mom made a blanket for my first baby since she knew she’d never meet any future grandchildren :cry: maybe make videos too. Just things for her to remember you.

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Absolutely tell her. My dad didn’t tell me he had a Stent put in his widow maker following a heart attack till 2 or 3 months after the surgery. It bothers me a lot. Had I not known and something had happened to him I’d be beside myself.
Honesty, even when it hurts, is the best policy In this circumstance.
Also I’m terribly sorry for the diagnosis, I’ll keep your family in my prayers :purple_heart:

I would be honest about her condition but don’t believe I’d tell her how long they say she has. Doctors can’t tell you exactly how long you have. I was supposed to die when I was 14 from cancer and I’m 38 now. They told me my dad had 6months and he only had 3 days. You really never know.

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Is this a joke? Only God knows how long you going to live. Let’s pray.

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Context is everything in this situation, dont ask for advice when we dont know what circumstances are

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Please tell her and be as kind as you can. My mom had a mastectomy when I was 12. Every time she went to the hospital they would say she’s not coming home. This went on until I was 18 and she passed on the day I went to bring her home. I have 4 younger siblings and we were never told what exactly was wrong with her. My dad left us right after the first surgery. We were on our own and it was horrible! Be as close as you can and as honest I wish my siblings and I had been told maybe things would have been different. I’m just now 53 yrs later trying to figure out who my mother was!

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They told me my mom had 5 years to live and that was 10 years ago. Be truthful and just state facts

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I feel like if it were me I’d tell them on the last year now if you ask your child she’s prob going to say I wanted to know before that they don’t understand your just protecting them…I’m sorry :neutral_face:

Oh WOW, that is a hard one, It will never be easy at no matter what age,

I would tell her and tell her straight away as my mum was meant to pass away at 16 she bet the cancer and then 15 months ago i had her taken to hospital via ambulance on valintimes day in febuary as she was ill the doctors told me she had 2 years max to live as her liver was failing (with all her other medical conditions she was to high risk for surgery)they even told my aunt in Melbourne she was improving i kept telling her no she is not i ought to know i am her child i know my mum i do everything for her and she passed away four days before ny 35 birthday declared 3 days before it my father passed away suddenly 8 days before ny 16th and i had trouble accepting it i had to see him myself to believe it so plz tell her so she can try and make as many memories as she can with her and so she can accept it easier when it does happen and not sudden to her

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My dad was honest with me. My mom was dying of cancer. They told us she had maybe a month. My dad sat me down and just kept being honest with me. He answered any questions I had he could answer and what ones he didn’t he would ask then answer them once he could.

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“she had 10 years down to 3” :eyes:
Life isn’t a guarantee, I was 10 my father was told he had 6months. They were up front! He lived another 3 years. You never know!

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Be honest with her. Let her know the Drs believe she has 3 years left. But honestly she could pass before 3, or she could live on for more then 3 years.

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Be honest!
Even doctors can’t guarantee life expectancy.
My grandpa was told 5-10 years… that was 12ish years ago.

My mom was told 5 over 15 years ago and she’s still going strong, you just never know.

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My mom was told might not live when having a tumor removed bc was attached to her ribs and lung. I was 10 and she told me. I didnt take it well. I quit dance and quit going out with friends and having fun. Started doing everything my mom would do instead. Cleaned house…gave her her meds after surgery when she couldn’t get up to get them,made my dad take me to get groceries when we ran out,etc. A couple of years after her surgery, started going to church and getting into the youth group and going out and being a kid again. I would just spend as much time with her and make as many happy memories,as well as make sure she is at financially for when it happens, but I wouldn’t worry her for years over it. Take as many trips as possible together…make memories. Never know. If start going downhill and feel like time is getting cut short…tell her then. My mom is still going strong to this day . Never really know when going to pass.

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I wouldn’t! In all honesty my dad was given a few years to live and we didn’t know… but he helped make the best memories with us before he left.

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I lost my mom when I was 10 to cancer. My mom sat me down one day when I was eight years old and told me. And bottom line, had my mom died out of the blue for me I feel like that would have been way more catastrophic than her death was for me. Of course I grieved my mom, but I was also as mentally prepared a ten year old can be for such a thing to happen. Sit her down and tell her. Let her be mentally prepared. Spend time with your daughter. Tell her the things you think she may need to hear when you’re gone. Maybe write things down for her. Make recordings of yourself and put them on a hard drive. I’d give anything to hear my moms voice again. If it’s inevitable, cushion the blow as much as you can, while you’re here. I’m praying for you and your family. That’s a hard pill to swallow.

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Just be honest and upfront with her! Imagine how frustrated you’re kid will be not knowing what is going on!

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I don’t really have any advise because as a mother of two girls, I honestly don’t know what I would do but I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am you even have to think about this. Prayers for you

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be honest!! The Dr.s said my husband had 6 mo…I had to prepare and tell our children ages 2 to 10 and did my best to answer all their questions. its hard but so important, He lived 3 weeks.

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No… I would not burden her with it. You may have another 10

None of us know how long w have to live.

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If I was in this situation- I would write letters. These letters would contain a picture that my girl’s had never seen (develop it and then delete it so she can’t ever find it.) I would then write a special letter for that day. ( Sweet 16, first boyfriend, first day of high school, maybe even a letter for each birthday, graduation, wedding, to their first child, some just for the hard days, and one stating the rules of not being able to open them until that day.) I’d then get a box and put the letters along with keep sakes in it and give it to someone I trusted to hand the box over to my daughter’s after the service. I’d probably even add in a voice recorded message, thanking them for giving me best years of my life and how much I loved them and I’ll always be watching over them. It’s something that she’ll keep forever and turn to always. However, I wouldn’t talk with my girl’s until the doctor gave 6 months or I really started feeling ill. I would spend all the time until then making their dreams come true, and cherishing every second with them. Give her great memories in the last days.

I am very sorry your family is facing this. Whatever you decide to do will be the right choice as nobody knows your child the way you do! Stay strong mama.

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U be as honest as u can and speak openly it’s the only way, the more truthful u are with her the more she will likely come to u and others for emotional support rather than shutting down, last July we were given a minimum of 6 months with my mum she left us at 2 months and I still struggle with that today xx

I’m so sorry to hear this girl it’s so heartbreaking, my heart is with you :black_heart:

I looked after someone who was given weeks to live and lived over a year you never know when its someones time just be honest and answer any questions she has

My auntie was diagnosed with breast cancer at 60. She refused any treatment and lived til 93…but be up front tell her mum’s sick and what the Dr said but also you just have to wait and see…hope she lives for much longer…good luck

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How do you tell your teen her mom doesn't have long to live?

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How do you tell your teen her mom doesn't have long to live?

I’m so sorry you’re even facing this because it’s literally my biggest fear. I’m going to step off the beaten path here & talk positivity into existence. You’re going to beat this, & spend several years with your only child.
My personal advise, tell her…she deserves to know. Sending you so much support!!!

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I know it is different but I told my (at the time) 10 year old and 9 year old that their sister had died right away. The honesty helped because we were able to grieve together at her funeral and since.

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My dad told me and my brothers my mum was dying once they knew the diagnosis I was only 8 at the time… It prepared me for when it happened when I was 9. Nothing any child should go through but I’m glad my dad told us. We knew everything that was happening as it happened and we understood if she was really poorly etc.

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Can’t always go on what the doctors say my fil with COPD was told he only had 5 yrs and that was almost 14 yrs ago and my sil with brain cancer and tumors throughout her body was told she had months and it’s been almost 4 yrs.

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I wouldn’t say a timeframe because you never know the time. Keep her informed of her condition & be there to answer any questions she has. My mom was considered hospice on a Saturday. On that Monday, they told us to stop all meds & give her morphine to keep her comfortable. On that Wednesday night, she passed.

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Honestly, and keep them involved, and let them know when it comes down to the wire if they’ll have more time. When I was 14 we found out my mom had cervical cancer (she had already had lupus for the entirety of my life idk about my older siblings) she had told us she didn’t have much time left and was going to die from it if the cancer treatments didn’t work. I spent years terrified I was going to wake up and not have a mom anymore. I’m now 22 and she’s still fine. (She didn’t even bother to tell her kids when the cancer treatments ended a few years ago, she was taking some kind of pills as they couldn’t do radiation due to the lupus, along with them scraping her cervix and vaginal wall with a lazer to remove the cancer cells) I think my little brother still believes she’s dying of cancer. I have a friend though who’s mom hid that she was sick and passed without any notice to her kids that they were going to lose their mother, and I think that crushed her way more than any feelings I may have to my mom not telling me she wasn’t going to die (or at least has longer). And try to spend as much time with them as you can so that they have those good memories to hold on to.

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Tell her about your condition but remember that time frames given could be wrong. She needs to know because if and when the time comes, she needs to prepare herself for it. It won’t make it easier but it will be less shocking. My mom has been getting so many illnesses in the last 10-15 years and tells me about every single one just in case things go wrong, especially during her surgeries and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to know because I get to support her and prepare for what’s to come (sadly she got another bad diagnosis yesterday and by far it’s one of the most dangerous) so please keep her informed. Her love and support will help you and it will help her when the time comes.

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I literally just had to tell my 14 yr old son that his father passed away last night. Just be straight forward and tell them. And be there for the crash.

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I remember the day I told my kids ( one being 14) my husband’s cancer was terminal. Make memories and keep them talking, let the 16 year old snuggle and cry.

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Oh fuck…for 1, so sorry to see this. Best advice, be 100 with your teen. They will resent u more keeping it from them, rather than tell them the truth. Your teen and u may have a good cry after…but then, go about living life like TODAY is the last day of life in general. Best wishes

Add to edit, my daughter is same age💗

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Personally I wouldn’t tell my children anything until it actually happened. Only bc they’ll be prob counting down the days and will create alot of worry sadness and anxiety before anything even happens. :frowning: I’d prefer as much happiness as possible before anything happens…especially when it’s just an estimate. Who knows maybe she has more time :heart:

Just let them spend as much time as possible with the person without constantly thinking about when death is coming.
But to each their own…I wish all the best!

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Just live each day getting to know the one who will go…who knows when someone’s time really is? My aunt was given 3 years and passed 11days after…edit to add: my neighbor was given 3 months to live and he’s going on 3 years after his assumed D-Day…

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I would be honest and upfront. I was 16 when my mom found out she had ovarian cancer. The doctors were optimistic that it was going to go into remission. Unfortunately we lost my mom one month after my 17th birthday. She lived a total of 8 months. Yes it’s hard to understand what is going on and that you might lose one of the most important people in your life at such a young age. I am thankful that my parents were honest and upfront with me from the moment that we found out my mom had cancer.

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Not sure what your diagnosis is. Just here to say that my dad was told in 2001 that he had maybe 5 years left if he didn’t have his leg amputated due to lupus,protein C deficiency,DVT and a pulmonary embolism that killed his left lung. He is still alive,has both legs & has a new baby turning 1 at the end of July. I’d definitely tell her,but try not to get stuck on a timeline bc honestly,no-one knows :purple_heart: hugs & positive vibes!!

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She’s gonna need to grow up quick, so might as well rip the bandaid off and maybe get some counseling after the blow to help her process. How sad.

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My dad died when I was 18. I would have much rather have a heads up than finding out after years of him being “sick but fine” that they discovered something incurable and there was no time left.

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My FIL has had stage 4 cancer since 2016 and he didn’t find out till it was stage 4. They have no idea how long he has and he’s still doing really good. I mean I would tell her just don’t say how long bc you just never know, she could live another 20. Nobody knows 🤷 but sending prayers either way :pray:

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My mother passed when I was18 years old, I wish she would have communicated with me better about her not having long, it was a shock to me when she passed but all the ‘adults’ knew she wasn’t going to make it another year. Tell her sooner rather than later and make every day count.

When I had cancer several years ago, I told my oldest daughter the same day I found out she was devastated, but we got through it together. Let her know now & be straight forward honest. Let each day be a good one much as possible & tell that you love her very much.

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Help her make videos. Help the mom make videos yourself. It’s showing your daughter how to take care of someone. How to show kindness. As a mom I always thought I’d make videos since I had three girls. Of things I knew they’d need help with. Tell your daughter with just you and her present.

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I told my son right away when I was diagnosed, when I relapsed, I waited until he came home from college. I’m now in remission, but I’m always honest with him about my health. He was 17 when I was first diagnosed

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I was told when my bio mom was dying. Even though I was told she would die, I still convinced myself that she would get better and I’d finally have a mother that truly loved me and we could do all things mother and daughter. When she died, the most painful thing was that I never really got to spend time with her. To get to know her. To develop a relationship at all. It still fucking hurts. :sob:

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Be honest, tell her. Have those uncomfortable conversations, let her ask her questions and be honest. I was told at a young age that my dad had limited time to live and I had just lost my mom as well unexpectedly. The hurt was the same by the time my dad passed. But I had the closure I needed. I knew where my dad stood and his wishes. I had the opportunity to cry in his arms and voice how unfair it all was. It gave me the ability to spend that time with him that may have just been brushed off in my young life. It’s going to suck but she can handle it and deserves to know as soon as possible.

I don’t understand why the child has been let get to 16 years old and still doesn’t know her mother has an illness that is shortening her life !! Those years could have been enjoyed more had she known. Tell her ASAP that her mother is ill. Don’t put a time of 3 years on it. Say she’s sick and may only have a few years left. Maybe less but maybe more so they can make the most of what time is left.

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My mom told me if she didn’t get her self in better health she had 5 years to live that was 5 years ago she died on my son’s birthday 3 years ago it was a very hard pill to swallow even though I knew it was coming. My best advice is to keep her informed and if and when it does happen just be there for her.

My mom died a day after my 10th grade school year… and just be blunt… there’s no sugar coating that stuff

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You just have to sit down and tell them, 14 years ago my mom told me she had terminal cancer , and 2 yrs to live, I spent every minute I could with her… her sister, my aunt told me she didn’t want to tell me…till this day I’m thankful she did tell me…wish you all the best :heart:

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My dad died when i was 16, i was 15 when he was diagnosed. One foot in front of the other is the best advice i have

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Be honest. Kids are bright. She won’t feel as “cheated” out of time if she has time to prepare emotionally. Kids are stronger than we often give them credit for.

My parents told us the day that my dad got his diagnosis. We then left school early and went and told family about it together. We were enrolled into therapy immediately and it helped tremendously. We went to his appointments, surgery’s, chemo, radiation everything. It helped us tremendously. Don’t hide it

I understand being honest with kids, but to a point. Let them know you are sick. They will spend the time they want without knowing a guestimated time of death. Love them enough to let them live their lives and not guilt them into spending every moment with you and being miserable with worry. My mother unexpectedly passed years ago, my father ended up with cancer. Out of 7 kids, I am the only one he told. When I asked if the others knew, he stated, " no, and you are not to say a word to anyone". I asked why, he stated, " if they came around once in a while, they would know, right’? I felt they should be told but he made me promise. He stated if they wanted to spend time with me, they would, I’m not going to ask for it now that I’m dying. 1 other found out by weekly calls, she lived out of state. Hospice was in about 1 week before his passing, I informed all my siblings they REALLY needed to go see him, repeatedly in different words but never infor ming them why. The day before he passed, I did inform them, if they didn’t go see him, they may not see him agian. They all got to spend a short amount of time with him before he passed. They were all mad at me, my fault, I have no guilt, I stayed true to my father til the end, they had their lives, if that didn’t include time with dad, that was their choice. One of the hardest things I lived through and not being able to talk to anyone about it. So always make time and memories, you never know when they could be your last ones.

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Speaking from experience. I wish I hadn’t been told. I watched the suffering and knew the end result. I have medical ptsd. I just wasn’t mature enough to handle it.

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Be straight with them… And be there for them. Make sure they have a support network for after. Tell them the truth, don’t give false hope, but remind them we don’t know exactly when. Might be shorter might be longer.
My aunt was told 3 months in October. She passed the beginning of May. It happens.

Mine didnt tell me ahe had a time frame. I found out when I went to nursing school and learned about her condition. I asked my dad and he confirmed they knew and said they didnt want me to worry and stress over it. I would have, but I also would have made more time.

It’s sad, I have no words for you . I’m 49 lost my father, he never said he had cancer .I’m totally lost,and know exactly how my two girls felt in 06 when my ex passed, all they new was he was sick . No one ever said he was dying . Prayers for your resolution on a peaceful talk.

You be honest and allow them to react however they react. Teenagers are pretty self absorbed, so they may make it all about themselves. Offer professional help. Tell their friends and teachers.

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Honestly! My mom died when I was 12 (suicide) - I appreciate the way my dad and step mom were direct about it. They gave me the facts, the space I needed to process and then comfort when I was ready.

Well, it’s a hard one. I would say absolutely tell your child, so they actually soak up every moment with you. But do it in an optimistic way, so she knows, but isn’t mourning and feeling an impending doom.

Just so she is prepared.

When my son died, my kids stayed with my inlaws while I was in the out of state hospital with him. I couldn’t tell them that he actually passed until I was face to face with them.
I still struggle if I should have told them their brother was going to die (be unplugged) while I was there, or if I did the right thing by saying it in person when I got home? He was 22 and they were 13 & 9.
Honestly, I had denial and really, really thought God would save him, so I waited until the end. I couldn’t fathom that reality.

I don’t know. :disappointed_relieved:

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my dad just got diagnosed with brain cancer, hes been given 6-15 months. i wouldbt try to sugar coat it. i would try to maximize the time and just help her enjoy it

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Total honesty. Be there for her and just help her through it. She will be a mess but the sooner you tell her the more she can try to prepare herself for what’s going to happen. You don’t want her to be shocked when it does. I would be devastated if someone knew something like that and didn’t give me time to let it sink in and prepare myself.

Honestly is the best option. My dad past away my junior year of high school, I think I would have been more upset if they didn’t tell the truth. They sat my brother and I down and we talked through every option and every decision. He was given 6 months made it 4. Prayers for your family.