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5 Bumps

Intervene or keep my mouth shut?

I still keep in touch with my ex husband, who has a terminal neurological disease that is taking a long time to destroy him before it lets him die. Basically, his body doesn't work anymore except some limited use of one hand, but his mind is intact. It's really awful. He needs daily in-home care to be nourished, gotten in and out of bed, etc. I send sweets and treats now and then, since he can still enjoy tasting them, but because he's in Washington State and I'm halfway across the country, there's not much else I can do.

Anyway, he wrote me an e-mail the other day, which he does a few times a month, on a computer he operates by blinking his eyes. Amazing technology. But the e-mail pretty much told me how lonely he was because his sisters moved him up to Washington a little more than a year ago so he could be near them, but now they only visit once a week or a few times a month because they're busy with their own lives, and other than that it's just his caregivers. He likened it to being in solitary confinement with nothing to do. He even said he wished he would have killed himself while he still could. It broke my heart.

So, now I'm left with what to do. Should I say something to his sisters? They don't care for me much since their brother and I divorced, but that was years ago, and he was the one who told me to leave. Otherwise, I'd probably still be there. Or will I just make it worse for him if I pass along his note to them?

Sorry for the long post, but I'm really torn. And please, if you're going to tell me I shouldn't be talking to my exes, or some other bashing remark, keep it to yourself because I'm already broken up about this as it is and I don't need teeth and claws. Thanks in advance.


Asked by Ballad at 4:09 PM on Jan. 14, 2013 in Relationships

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (23)
  • Wow, that's a tough one. I think I would have to say something, but I'd keep it non judgmental. You might piss the sisters off, but the man is dying, and you probably won't have any more contact with them anyway. I'd say something like "I had a really sad email from your brother John the other day. He says he is super bored, and lonely. I've been looking into things I could send him to cheer him up, but he really just needs some company. Any chance you guys could stop by?" That's the way I'd approach it... Good luck with this, and I don't think you are weird for staying in contact. We are all masters of our own relationships. You choose what is right for you.

    Answer by Nimue930 at 4:20 PM on Jan. 14, 2013

  • I would not pass on his note but I do think I might say something like, The last time we talked he seemed very lonely. Did you notice that too? I wish I were closer so I could visit, but of course I can't. Maybe you could check in on him?

    It is vague but shows concern and doesn't put blame, which they might be looking for.

    It is sad.

    Answer by Dardenella at 4:15 PM on Jan. 14, 2013

  • You could just tell them that he shared with you that he's very lonely and ask them for suggestions as to what could be done to help. As for showing them the e-mail, I'm not sure I would to that. They may have just gotten busy and haven't realized that they aren't being as attentive as they once were. If you are very tactful in the way you tell them of your concern, it shouldn't aggravate them.

    Answer by NannyB. at 4:14 PM on Jan. 14, 2013

  • Wa state has the Death with Dignity act which legalizes Euthanasia (or assisted suicide) for terminal patients. So if he really wanted to, all he would have to do is talk with his caregivers and doctor.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 4:14 PM on Jan. 14, 2013

  • Heartbreaking =(

    Maybe you can email with him more often just so he has something to look forward to. I would mention to his sisters that he seemed lonely, maybe it would get them to think about visiting a bit more.

    Answer by slw123 at 4:22 PM on Jan. 14, 2013

  • i would not yet speak to the sisters
    he confided in you
    so i would reach out to him a bit more before considering speaking to the sisters

    sorry to hear he is in such a state

    Answer by fiatpax at 4:14 PM on Jan. 14, 2013

  • I would send him more gifts and gently remind the sisters he is still around and getting lonely.

    Answer by staciandababy at 4:25 PM on Jan. 14, 2013

  • I wanted to answer this first, before I read the responses, YES call his sister, does he have Lou Gerhig's disease? You need to call the sister, and leave the rest up to his family. You should not tell him about the death with dignity act, if he wants it and can use the computer to message you, he already knows about it.

    Answer by jerseydiva at 4:41 PM on Jan. 14, 2013

  • Lucky you Ballad, you & I seemed blessed w/ the same annoying anon today. Must be nice to get such pleasure from stirring sh*t! Huh?!


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 9:43 PM on Jan. 14, 2013

  • Oh how sad. I"m so sorry. Yeah, the sisters may not take it well, since they already aren't very fond of the messenger. I think I would tell him what Kristi said & he can decide what to do with that information. If he is serious about ending his suffering, then it will be his path to take. *hugs*


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 4:21 PM on Jan. 14, 2013