If I Die: Life Lessons for My Daughters

Mom Moment 11

mother and daughterIf you found out that this was your last day on Earth, what would you want to leave with your children? What life lessons should they know? What strengths of character would you instill? Who could you trust to fulfill your parenting plans in your absence? Who could help mother your child if you died?

I just read the story of the Council of Dads. It’s a story about a man, Bruce Feiler, who is diagnosed with cancer, and finds himself faced with the question, “Who will be the father to my daughters if I die?”

The very act of becoming a parent makes us painfully aware that if we die, we leave behind the best part of us. The article about Feiler and his proactive response to his diagnosis have made me realize that I need to think more about which lessons that I want my daughters to learn in this life and who I think I could entrust to teach those lessons to my girls with the same fervor that I would.

The life lessons that I would most want my daughters to learn.

  1. Living life like a failure is not an option and know that everything is possible through hard work and determination.
  2. Love like you have never been hurt. Everyone is different; do not punish a new love for a past love’s transgressions. Your jaded heart may cause you to miss out on a wonderful encounter.
  3. Family is the most important thing in life. Your sister is your best friend. Your father will always love you no matter what you do. I am always with you.
  4. Travel and see the world before you get married and then travel it again and see it with new eyes.
  5. Always try new things, and if you don’t like it the first time, try it again. This applies to foods, places, things, and people.
  6. Never accept NO for an answer if it’s something that really matters to you. Don’t be afraid to speak up and have an opinion.
  7. You are the best possible you that there will ever be; do not compare yourself to others. You can only measure your success by the standards by which you live.
  8. Be kind to the people that you meet, you never know their circumstances or who they are. The stranger you meet today could be the most important person in your life tomorrow.
  9. Have faith in yourself, in your God, and in others. Faith will carry you through when reason fails you.
  10. Be honest with others and with yourself. Trust and every relationship worth having in your life will be built on honesty.

Who I would entrust to counsel my daughters and live examples of these lessons is more difficult to determine. I would choose my sisters, because they would never let my daughters forget who I am and we have the same morals and upbringing. They would love my girls as they love me.

If you had to pick one lesson to leave with your child, what would it be? Who would you entrust to be a mother to your daughters?


Image via Ava Lowery/Flickr

ask dad, family, girls

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fraoch fraoch

I wrote letters to both my girls for if I pass away during the weeks they were born.

the4m... the4mutts

ONE??? How can we pick just ONE?

I can't. But I can pick two, that are good for my boys and girls.

1. These are the only brothers and sisters you will ever have. Ever. Treat them right, and be there for eachother.

2. You are beautiful, and worthy of the best treatment in the world. Don't settle for anything less.

Candice Liverett

I can't read anything about dying without crying...especially if it means leaving my babies behind.  I am printing this list and hanging it on my fridge...so we can always remember. 

Devil... DevilInPigtails

My husband and I choose his sister and her husband to care for the girls. They take an interest in my girls and their parenting is similar to mine. I have lost friends and my oldest friend lost her family in a tragic accident @ 18 months so I will be writing them letters. You never know when your time is up.

Brian Allen

If I were to die and needed to let my daughter's know. One thing to tell them for there up's and down's I am there and I love them.
If I had time to write a lot of notes and print out pictures to give to there dad to have him give them the note's and pictures when there feeling down and notes.
Also to let them know to keep going forward in life.
There just so much to say to my daughter's but I would be happy for they know I love them and always beside them even though I am not there.

nonmember avatar Carrie

I think the one lesson I would leave behind for my daughter is to give generously and to have a heart of gratitude. We take so much for granted while so many people are suffering. I want her to know and appreciate her blessings. But, I also want her to share these blessings with others.

lynne... lynnette1996

There are so many lessons I would want my kids to know and I hope that through the last 13 and 14 years I have been imparting those lessons, but most of all I want them to always have faith in God to get them through everything. I have also wrote many letters to both of my children as well and have scrapbooked for them too. If something were to happen to both my husband and I, our children would go to our minister and his wife. We wanted them to be raised in a christian home and no one in either of our families go to church so that is what was best for them, plus we love Steve and Cheryl so much. They are just like family.

pitbu... pitbull4me

Two years ago this month(april) I was diagnosed with Cancer. My daughter was 6 and my son was 3 1/2 months old. I am now 10 months in remission after 18 months of treatment. It changs everything about you, it changes the way you love your loved ones. I was terrified that my son would never know who I was and how much I loved him, My daughter knew I already, she had me preaching to her everyday since the year before when we lost my mom to pancreatic cancer. I want her and my son to know that with each of them entering my life when they did, they made me a better and stronger person.

pitbu... pitbull4me

here's the rest, it was too long.....


For my daughter, you can be anything you want to me, do anything you want to do with true belief and determination. And, to never settle for less.


For my son, always be the better man, caring and loving is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of internal strength and greatness. And, to never settle for less.


For them both, that by me leaving them they are stronger, their bond is deeper, our love is forever and can never be broken.


I made videos for them both telling them about my life befor them and after they blessed me with their love.I told them of their great grandparents, my moms parents. How the immigrated to America from Ireland in the 60's with nothing and with strong will,determination and love they prospered in this country to provide for their family.


I pray they do not have to see them for along time!!


My MIL and SIL would be the strong women in their lives after I am gone. My brother will be the strong male influence along with their dad and my nephews.

LoSawyer LoSawyer

This story really hit home. I don't have a terminal illness but a violent ex has re entered the pic and unfortunately the first thing I did was go make a Will. I never thought about letters but I am now working on some. How selfish would that be if I was gone and left nothing in my "voice" for my boys?

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