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Visiting family member
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Posted 03 April 2019 - 09:06 PM
My Mil sadly has a terminal illness. It is quite advanced and sadly she only has been given a short time. Her immediate family are spending time together. We have four children ages 4 to 13. Do you think it would be a good idea for them to visit her? My Mother thinks it’s nice for them to remember her well as she was. Not frail and poorly? We do live quite some distance away from them and only visit probably twice a year. I would appreciate your thoughts?
Posted 03 April 2019 - 10:48 PM
I don't think it would be a good idea to visit if you normally only see her once a year. I agree it is better to let them keep the memories they have of her.
If you regularly spend a lot of time with someone I think you should maintain the contact if they get sick but not if you only visit irregularly.
Posted 03 April 2019 - 10:51 PM
Sorry to hear this. I would ask your mil what she wants.
Posted 03 April 2019 - 11:21 PM
If you choose not to take them could you take some nice photos and video them talking to her and send it up for her to enjoy. Maybe some regular phonecalls or video calls if she is up to it. I think it also depends on their relationship and her personality.
So sad that this is happening to her.
Posted 03 April 2019 - 11:24 PM
I would take them, personally. I think it’s important for kids to have their moment of farewell, especially the older ones.
Posted 03 April 2019 - 11:35 PM
I am sorry you and your family is going through this time, it sucks.
I would take them to visit, even though she is sick, you can't shield the world off from them and their presence may lighten the mood a little and give a mood booster to your MIL,
She may want and need to say good bye, don't rob her of that.
Also it does help them move on too, they can see how sick she is and that it is not good and it will be less of a shock and a logical outcome instead of the out of the blue for them.
Go and make the most of the time you have with her and stay close by, you only have this one opportunity to do this and shielding away kids robs them of seeing and experiencing life. I know I saw my grandparents when they were very ill and on their death beds and saw my grandfather pass away. It was a privilege and it taught me so much and it helped me heal a lot better and knowing the peace that was on my grandfather's face was enough for me to actually smile and laugh with joy as he was no longer in pain and suffering and let me tell you the suffering was long in years.
Don't let your kids not know about these things, they will be richer for it and will grow from this as painful as it is for all concerned.
I hope with whatever time she has left is pain free as possible and that your family surrounds themselves with love and that she can go as peacefully as possible.
Edited by opethmum, 03 April 2019 - 11:38 PM.
Posted 03 April 2019 - 11:56 PM
I think it is important that you visit especially as pp said to have their farewells.
My mother passed away 4yrs ago and my DS who was 10 at the time visited her in hospital and it helped him to come to terms with her illness and he knew that she was very unwell.
Posted 04 April 2019 - 01:20 AM
I also think it’s important to support your husband in whatever his views are, I think it should be his decision really
Posted 04 April 2019 - 01:27 AM
I think I would also discuss it with your older kids. Explain that she is sick, and doesn't look same and ask how they feel about seeing her.
Posted 04 April 2019 - 07:48 AM
My mother had a series of strokes (we were living in a different country to her during this time), never regaining consciousness after the 3rd one. I took my 4 year old DS with me after the 1st and final one, and agonised a bit as the end drew close about whether to take him in to see her. I did and was really glad I did - she was very peaceful and in a lovely quiet private room and it felt very right for him to be able to say goodbye (and maybe give her comfort, we don't know what she was able to sense or hear). We got him the Deb Gliori book "Always and Forever" and talked about it (and when he brought it up, sometimes months later) and I think it was a good thing not to shield him from this part of life. We'd always talk about the things we did with her when she was alive, I don't think seeing her at the end overtook those memories at all.
Posted 04 April 2019 - 07:57 AM
Personally I remember seeing various elderly relatives in hospital before they passed away and it made me feel glad and privileged to have had the opportunity. Little kids might not recognise the significance but I think older ones would. I do think it depends on your MILs wishes though- wbat she wants shoulf obviously cone first.
Posted 04 April 2019 - 08:29 AM
I'd approach it from the perspective of the MIL - what do you think she'd want?
Posted 04 April 2019 - 08:40 AM
I am so sorry and am thinking of you and your family during this hard time.
I think it is important for kids to be able to say goodbye.
I remember when I was 11 and my Nan was very sick. We lived in Darwin and went to Tassie to be with her. I do remember being shocked at how different she looked from the last time I had seen her (about 4 months) but I don't remember her that way. I remember her the way she was when healthy and when I see photos of the last few days with her I am again shocked at how different she looked.
All my memories of those last few days are loving memories that I hold very dear to me. I am very thankful I got to make those memories because she was such an amazing person!
Posted 04 April 2019 - 09:10 AM
About 6 months before my dad passed, I took my 8mth old daughter from Sydney to England to see him.
I have a photo of them together and although he was quite sick, my daughter (now 8) loves that photo and to hear the story of how she visited him.
That said, there is no right or wrong in these things, you can only do the best you can at the time.
Posted 04 April 2019 - 12:04 PM
Thank you for your kind thoughts, it is very sad.
I would like the children to visit so that they can that they show their love for her and well as a moment of farewell. Dh asked her if we can visit she said that it would be alright. My children do have an understanding of grief and sadness. As their youngest brother was critically unwell two years ago, we were all together which was special. But we had to talk to them and prepare for the worst. He was in hospital for quite some time. He is alright now but we are definitely not finished with hospitals. So we’ve got to be careful and think of him also. Luckily he has not much recollection of his time in hospital as he was too young.
Posted 04 April 2019 - 12:29 PM
Dh asked her if we can visit she said that it would be alright.
I agree with everyone who has said you should visit, but it mostly comes down to this - does she want to be visited.
As she has said yes, I think it is important for all of you that you go.
I'm sorry that you are all going through this - I will be approaching it with my parents soon as they are in their 80's. There's no avoiding it. We are in a different state, but at least can visit.
DH's mum is overseas, and we cannot afford for all of us to visit in the next 5 years (unless we win Lotto). I feel sad for both her and DH at the thought of her never seeing her grandchildren again.
Posted 04 April 2019 - 12:46 PM
In that case I would definitely visit. I'm sorry you are going through this.
Posted 04 April 2019 - 12:51 PM
Sorry that your mum is not well.
When my mum passed away a few years ago, my children never got a chance to say goodbye in person. We thought she had longer than she did and had a trip planned, but she died before then.
DD who was 7 then, and has just now turned 15, still mentions that she's sad she didn't get a chance to see her before she died. My mum would have loved to see her too.
She insisted (and DH made it happen while we were all outside before the funeral) that the funeral directors opened her coffin so that DD could see her. Both kids DD and DS5, said their goodbyes and were happy to be able to have some closure.
Just wish they could have seen her alive once more.
Posted 04 April 2019 - 12:56 PM
I'm sorry your family is going through this. My advice would be to make the decision soon.
When my dad was nearing the end of his battle with cancer, he didn't want my son (10 years old) to see him so sick. We were very close to my dad, even though he lived overseas. When Dad changed his mind and said it was alright for us to visit I booked the flights - but it was too late. We ended up there for his funeral instead. I wish we'd been able to see him and be there for him.
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