The sentence is this

if you know a better way for me to live through my son, I'd like to hear it.

  • 1
    It sounds like living vicariously.
    – Mick
    Oct 7, 2016 at 18:37
  • I think it may refer to living through the death of a son, that is accept their death and go on.
    – user5267
    Oct 7, 2016 at 18:41
  • It Needs More Context. Why? Because there might be more than one interpretation. Where did you read this sentence? What was written before and after? Please include a link, if there is one, to the original text.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 7, 2016 at 18:55
  • @AbsoluteBeginner - To this American English speaker, it doesn't sound anything like living through the death of a son. "living through the death of X" is not at all like "living through X".
    – stangdon
    Oct 7, 2016 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


The usual meaning, as Mick suggests, is to live the life one wants to have through close involvement in someone else’s life. It’s commonly used to talk about parents who had ambitions that didn't go as far as they wanted, and are pushing their children to achieve similar things so the parents can feel accomplished. It can also be used for any other case where one person’s desires are satisfied by making someone else achieve them.

  • But why say "if you know a better way for me to live...."? The phrase "to live through someone" is usually said by others, a reproach, a criticism, not by the parent or parents themselves.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 7, 2016 at 19:04
  • @Mari-LouA: It could be sarcastic or self-deprecating. Oct 7, 2016 at 19:13
  • yes, it's sarcastic and was in a comedy series. thanks a lot.
    – Masih K
    Oct 7, 2016 at 19:19
  • @MasihK why wouldn't you say this in your question?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 7, 2016 at 19:32
  • @Mari-LouA: sorry, that was my bad. however, before knowing the meaning I wasn't able to decide whether it was sarcastic.
    – Masih K
    Oct 7, 2016 at 19:56

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