10 Things That You Might Feel When You Find Out That Your Parent is Sick


So. You’ve just found out that your mom or dad is sick. Now what? When my mom told me that her cancer had come back, I instantly burst into tears. The next day I was really frustrated to the point of rage. And the day after that, I just felt confused and alone. So, without further ado, ten things that you might feel when you find out that your mom or dad is sick:

1) SADNESS: When my mom told me that her cancer had come back, I instantly burst into tears. Part of me felt ashamed for crying so hysterically. What was wrong with me? Get it together, Chels! Crying hysterically, wildly, unexpectedly etc. is all part of the game. It is also normal to feel like you have a pit in your stomach. Or, if you don’t cry at all - that is okay, too! We all experience sadness in our own way.

It is normal to:

-Burst into tears unexpectedly.

-Cry hysterically, wildly, or uncontrolably.

-Not cry at all, even if you do feel sad.

2. CONFUSION: You are not crazy. You might freak out and feel like the world is crashing down on you but…that’s okay. Honestly, illness is confusing. There are a lot of facts + figures that you can choose to research - or not! At this stage in my life, I have chosen to research cancer. When I was in middle school and high-school, however, I chose not to research ALS.

It is normal to wonder:

-Why did this happen to him/her?

-Why did this happen to me?

-What does mean for my family and me?

-How am I supposed to feel normal at school or at work?

3) ANGER: You might be SO freaking mad. And hey, I don’t blame you. This sucks. I don't consider myself an angry person, but alas, when I think of the fact that some people come down with incurable illnesses out of the blue, my blood begins to boil.

It is normal to:

-Feel frustrated to the point of rage.

-Feel resentful/angry towards yourself, a family member, or a higher power.

-Want to punch a pillow (do it!)

-Feel angry inside and not know why.

4) WEIRDNESS: Sometimes I enter this awkward space of like…I don’t even really know how I’m feeling. Which is weird. You feel weirded out by this new illness. Or might feel normal about it. That’s cool, too.

It is normal to:

-Feel weirded out by the situation in general.

-Think it’s weird to be related to a sick person, or that the sickness itself is weird.

-Feel things that seem odd or strange.

5) EMBARRASSED: Honestly, this one is awkward to talk about. Who ever wants to admit that they’re embarrassed of their mom or dad? Well, I’m here to tell you that if you are feeling embarrassed - let it out! That is okay! I was SO embarrassed of my dad’s wheelchair when I was little. Embrace the embarrassment! You have every right to feel this way.

It is normal to:

-Feel embarrassed by your parent’s physical or emotional limitations.

-Feel embarrassed by your parent’s wheelchair, handicap parking sign, oxygen tubes, bald head, scabs, scars, or walking cane etc.

6) ANXIETY: Sometimes I can’t exactly pinpoint what is going on inside of me, and yet feel this dreaded anxiety creeping up in my stomach. This is normal, and likely related to the amount of stress you are under given your new circumstance.

It is normal to:

-Feel anxious ab