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My DH is terminal and NOW his family wants something to do with him?

Recently, after 2 years of fighting colon cancer, we have just discovered that all treatments have been exhausted for DH and he is now in terminal stage with no hope in sight for him. They have given him about 6-12 months. During his illness, and practically prior to, his family really had nothing to do with us, let alone him. When he was diagnosed, they all "scattered" and never bothered to visit, call or otherwise. Now, here he is terminal, and they constantly call, want him around, etc. This saddens me and in a way, angers me as well. Do they really think this will make up for the time they pushed him away? Are they trying to repent themselves for being so negligent toward him in the past? I have not said much as I think my making a stink is not fair to DH, but I am so appalled at the hypocritic idealogy of their actions and cannot help but feel some bitterness toward them. Am I wrong?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:32 AM on Nov. 15, 2009 in Relationships

Answers (14)
  • Feel sorry for them, if your thought is accurate- that now they are desperately trying to make up for the neglect of before. Let them do all they can. There is no purpose served in being bitter or turning them away. The past is gone and they can't change it. So let them try to find peace.

    Answer by Bmat at 8:34 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • this has surely taken its toll on you, too. you're tired, scared, and frankly, at your wits end. you can't change the past, nor can you make others do as you think they should. this is your dh's family, though, and if he wants to see them spending time with him at this point, why be upset? they know the inevitable is upon him, and perhaps this is their wake-up call. they have no other recourse for apologizing for their actions/lack of. let them do what they can..they are the ones who'll have to deal with absence in the previous times. everyone deals with death/illness in different ways..just enjoy what time you have left with him, and let others do the same.

    Answer by thehairnazi at 8:39 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • His mom has always been a martyr and always makes everything about her. This is no different. She has turned this whole thing around to "poor her." She once told me that I have no clue as to how his illness affects people. I have no clue? Ummm... who was the one holding his head while he puked his guts out? Who was the one witnessing the tremendous impact chemo has on a patient? Oh, and now she's dictating how SHE demands his funeral to be. That's sick in that she blew him off all this time and now wants to step in and take charge of how SHE feels things should be. She also told me to expect her to have a complete breakdown at the funeral - and this woman is FULL of dramatics (like oscar-winning).

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:40 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • Thats how some people are,, they don't care till its too late.. my husband was kinda like that.. he and his dad didn't get alone and then when he was dying of cancer he was by his dad side.. it was really sad and my husband regretted it.. its a hard thing to deal with guilt.. if your husband wants them around.. let them.. its not fair but sometimes thats what people need..

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:45 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • you don't have to let her rule the day, though. she's a dramaqueen looking for an audience..don't give her one. anything you do for his funeral is coming from you and him, only. let her do/say/act all she wants...everyone knows the truth, right? you could call her, tell her you don't need any help in funeral arrangements, as you and he have discussed whatever, and that's that. you don't have to listen to anything, you don't have to do anything other than what you and he want. you, as his wife, have the last say. let her rant and rave and act like a fool. now is your change to be a lady, and do what is your loving duty to the man your married. you don't have to bow down to anyone, momma. just be a lady, strong and classy.

    Answer by thehairnazi at 8:48 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • When she tells you how she wants it, you just tell her that you and your hubby have already made all of the arrangements and it will be done that way.
    I do understand more than you know what you're talking about. I didn't lose a husband but I held my Mom's hand thru all of her chemo's, held her hand and hair back while she puked, bathed her, changed her colostomy bag, and dispensed medication, watched her wither away to nothing and saw firsthand how it tears a persons' body down, it weakens them on a level very few people can fully understand till they see it and until we go thru the same thing even we can't imagine what it's truly like for the patient.
    Ask him how he wants to handle the family... this is his last chance to make peace too.
    My heart breaks for you, as well as him. It's a very hard job you're doing right now and I applaud you for doing it as well as you can with the emotional toll it takes.((((hugs))))

    Answer by lisa_ann_p at 9:42 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • I'm with Hairnazi. Does your husband have a will? If NOT...he needs to do it now. Even if you guys have NOTHING to leave to ANYONE, his will can spell out how HE wants HIS funeral services. Down to what flowers he wants and what songs he'd like played. And he should name you as the person to ensure these things happen. That way...if mamadrama decides to try and take over tell her it is out of your hands, you're legally bound by the will. Ta---da!

    I only know this because of my will and my husband's. Your MIL sounds very much like my MIL. So we got our wills done. Now I can just say "hey lady, this is what he wanted, and it's about what HE wanted as it's HIS funeral."

    Answer by SterlingLegend at 10:10 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • let them call and vistit all they want if thats what hubby wants, right now its about what he wants. when he is gone u dont have to speak to any of his family, i know what ur going threw, when my mom had cancer and only had months to live people only came over to visit so they could get pills and morphine from her.

    Answer by angelairelan at 11:13 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • I don't really have any advice but I just wanted to say that I am so sorry to you and your Husband.

    Answer by kc932 at 11:14 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • I understand how frustrating this can be. The same thing happened when my grandmother (who I lived with all my life, so she was really a mother to me) passed from cancer. She had a daughter that lived within walking distance that hadn't seen her for years. But when she passed, guess who showed up to make a stink about how the funeral would be, ect. And then make a big dramatic exit at the service. Her other kids were pretty much the same way.

    What I learned from this is that there is no point giving people like that any of your energy. I was there for her, I bathed her, fed her, took her to radiation, stayed up all night with her the day before she passed and held her had as she passed (while the others were at the funeral home, making arrangements).

    I miss her terribly, ever single day. But, when she passed, I was at peace with it. They weren't. That is something they'll have to live with for the rest of their lives.

    Answer by mrsaprilmayc at 12:02 PM on Nov. 15, 2009

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