"I can't die"

“I can’t die”

“I can’t die” is a statement I’ve heard parents of children with Autism say to me many times.  

As an Autism Mom (and Life Coach) when I hear this, I feel immediate compassion.  I don’t want anyone to feel this way.  I want to hug everybody and tell them, “let me help you and your baby, let’s go!”

But I heard it again this weekend and this time it felt very different.

I thought about those 3 words.. “I can’t die”

The sentence/thought seems sad, seems raw, seems simple, but that statement is one of the most TOXIC things a parent could think.


#1 – It feels so true to the parent that is saying it, but we all know it’s a statement that you are destined to fail at, because everyone one of us dies.

#2 – Sitting in the space of “I can’t die” keeps you emotionally in this state of FEAR, helplessness and stuck in a shitty thought loop. A thought loop that leaving your child with no meaningful action, no meaningful support, and no change in their progress.

I thought back to my darkest hour, which was right after my daughter was diagnosed.  I thought about many things, many dark and sad things.  But what came to me was a thought that is the direct opposite of “I can’t die”

It was…

“I’m going to die one day, how can I show up as her mom now?”

And every night looking in the mirror…

“What did I do right today?”

“What can I do better tomorrow?”

These thoughts.. these questions.. they got me into action, trying all the things.. failing forward, not stopping.  This is what I want for any parent who is thinking something like “I can’t die.”

Because we all die but when it’s my time, and I’m standing in front of God, I know I can say unapollogetically that I showed the fuck up for my babies.



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