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To not want to receive bad news whilst on Holiday?

(86 Posts)
mrsshearsagain Sat 03-Aug-13 08:20:46

Dh and I need some views on this one, we are due to go on hoilday with our dc in 3 weeks time, it is a long haul for which we have done lots of saving.
While disussing various points about the holiday it has become apparent that we don't agree on this issue, my view is that if something were to happen whilst we were away in the form of bad news, I would not want to be made aware until we returned, reasons being there is no way we would be able to get back early due to the extra cost, we would worry constantly whilst away and the holiday would be ruined for the children, dh disagrees and says he would rather know.
Whilst I'm not 100% about the idea, I don't see the point of being made aware of something that we are unable to do anything about until we return and that could result in a lot of worry and stress, what do you think?

I missed a word out despite proof-reading!

"it would not be constantly causing an upset for the girl

If it were my mum, dad, brother or MIL, then yes I'd want to be told.

Anyone not so close, it can wait.

When DD was in year 6 at school the class went on a Monday to Friday residential trip. On the Monday, the grandmother of one of her friends died. The family decided to keep the news from DD's friend until she was home and with her family. They opted to leave her there for that trip so that it was not connected in her mind to her grandmother's death, probably so that when her friends were all talking about it, which they were bound to do, it would be constantly causing an upset for the girl.

It was obvious when the children arrived home that there had been contact with the teachers on the trip as the child was the first one hustled off the bus and away with her family before any well meaning idiot said anything to the family within earshot of the child.

fuckwittery Sat 03-Aug-13 14:13:15

My mother died shortly after I came back from holiday. I would have wanted to know straight away, not least for the practical sorting out that needed to be done. I can'timagine friends and distant relatives knowing before me, and what if you find out via social media or a text from someone who doesn't know you havent been told.
Have you checked you holliday insurance, it should cover your costs of cutting holiday short if someone close to you dies, and it sounds like it would be unexpected and not result of long term illness which I guess might be excluded.

BlazinStoke Sat 03-Aug-13 13:49:45

Does anyone remember when Radio 4 used to broadcast messages just before the 6pm news "could Mr and Mrs Foosdyke of Hampshire who are believed to be travelling in the Outer Hebrides contact their son-in-law as a matter of grave urgency". That was before widespread mobiles of course.

BlazinStoke Sat 03-Aug-13 13:45:05

For me the good thing about mobiles, easy access to emails etc is that if I'm away I can work on the basis that "no news is good news". If I was uncontactable it would always be in the back of my mind that I could return to bad news.
About 20 years ago I came back from a 3 week holiday (no mobile or cobtanct details as I was travelling round) to learn that my brother had nearly died and was ill in hospital. Don't know what I could have actually done had I known sooner. However for a long time after that I did feel anxious upon any return from holiday.
So I'm guess I'm saying I'm in your DH's camp on this matter.

CeliaFate Sat 03-Aug-13 13:29:41

If you think your holiday will be unaffected by the news that one of dh's parents may die while you're away you may be right.
Your marriage however would come under enormous stress if the worst did happen and you had persuaded dh not to be told.
I am shock that a holiday would take priority of that tbh.

Montybojangles Sat 03-Aug-13 13:19:17

Its up to you I suppose, but do you not think that you might still be able to provide comfort and support for the person back home, even if you can't be there physically?

My OHs best friend was diagnosed with a terminal disease while we were on holiday last year. There is no way we would have wanted to wait to find out this news in case it spoilt out holiday. It was 1 week of our lives that was messed up (managed to get flights home sooner), but it meant 1 week extra with his best friend giving support and friendship. We hopefully have years of holidays ahead of us, our friend sadly passed away only a few months after diagnosis. I think we spent that week (and the extra cost of early flights) wisely.

It's only a holiday, people we love are more important.

NUFC69 Sat 03-Aug-13 13:04:29

My DiL's DF was taken ill when they (her parents) were on a cruise last year and ended up in hospital in Greece - they didn't tell her as they didn't want to worry her. However, now every time they go away she worries about what is happening to them .....

I agree with the general concensus

1) You're not expecting bad new so you probably won't get any.

2) If one of your loved ones died a day into your holiday, would you really look back with fond memories knowing you missed the funeral? You can always take more holidays.

Plus 3) Let's say your house gets broken into. Wouldn't you rather be able to liaise over the phone with people who can take care of things on your behalf till you're home?

I'm with your OH on this one. Leave lines of communication open and enjoy your holiday smile

You say your Dh would want to know if anything should happen, and then you say they are elderly so there's always a risk. There's your answer, his parents and he would want to know, not your decision I'm afraid.

It is for individual families to decide.

My FIL died after a long illness, on the third day of my BIL's holiday, we had to tell them, as he had been ill, the body was immediately released for burial. It took a day to get in touch with him.

They were on a package holiday and the Rep was brilliant, she arranged everything, at no extra cost, even though they wasn't covered by insurance for this.

If he hadn't of returned early, he would of missed the funeral, or had no input in it.

We didn't tell BIL about the chest infection that, FIL developed the day after he flew, as there had been many and he could of recovered.

I do believe in discussing funerals, though, even if a death isn't expected, it saves the fallout, which always happens if one relative feels slighted.

diddl Germany Sat 03-Aug-13 12:22:58

Seems a major overthink if you are not expecting bad news tbh.

However, if your thoughts are towards your ILs, I would say it's entirely his decision if he wants to know if something happens to them.

If you don't want to know anything about your family, that's up to you.

I'm one of two siblings, & I couldn't imagine leaving my sibling to cope with a bereaved parent, for example.

I wouldn't necessarily expect my husband & children to give up the holiday unless they wanted to, though.

OHforDUCKScake Sat 03-Aug-13 12:18:48

I had a friend who was killed on a motor bike when she was 23. Her parents were on holiday at the time and the rest of my friends family waited until they were back in Britain to tell them.

To this day I dont know where they made the right decision.

I mean, it was their daughter. sad

tittytittyhanghang Sat 03-Aug-13 12:10:40

I dont think i would want to know, especially if there was the chance that the insurance wouldnt cover us to come home. Id rather have blissful ignorance for the sake of a few days.

QuintessentiallyOhDear Sat 03-Aug-13 12:10:34

My sister and her daughter had their holiday ruined by the news of daughters cousin dying.

It ruined their holiday, but in the grand scheme of things, my nieces aunt and uncle had a lot more ruined than just a holiday.

I am with your dh on this one. I cant believe you put a holiday above all.

Jan49 Sat 03-Aug-13 12:07:39

You probably won't have a choice about whether you're told or not, unless you specifically discuss this issue with someone who agrees not to call. If you leave your contact details, the person with the details will decide whether to call you or not, whether it's to say your house has been burgled, your cat's sick or your relative has died. Alternatively, you give no one any means of contacting you and you risk coming back to find out there was something you really wish you'd been contacted about sooner.

OP, if your inlaws are elderly but not terminally ill, your travel insurance should cover returning home in an emergency. I think your DH might regret it if it was one of his parents and he didn't find out until after the funeral.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 03-Aug-13 11:55:29

I'd just like to throw in that I don't think the reason for not telling someone is to avoid ruining their holiday exactly. It is because telling them while they are far away and unable to do anything about the situation and probably very frustrated and upset about that, imposes a huge stress on them, while gaining nothing for the people back home.

So, if knowing means they can make some calls to help sort things or prepare for their own return, great. But if the situation is already being dealt with and nothing is likely to change further while they're away, why cause them a lot of pointless stress?

I think people often want to do this because they (the people back home) want to talk to someone and share the burden, without considering how much worse a burden, because the hearer is impotent to act, they are passing on, rather than for the benefit of the person who's away.

Mrsrobertduvall Sat 03-Aug-13 11:44:29

My dad died 3 days into a 10 day holiday.
He was in a hospice, in a coma when we left, and my brother called to tell us.
We didn't come home early...nothing we could have done, and the funeral was not until we got back.

specialsubject Sat 03-Aug-13 11:43:14

Tricky one. My feeling is that if someone dies, there is nothing you can do and you will be upset enough anyway, so why wreck the holiday too? BUT if it is one of your parents, the other one will probably want you there.

I've had it happen on a big expensive holiday. The insurance did pay out and we repeated the trip in the following year. I agree that we should have discussed what to do in advance, although I don't regret that we came home early. Leaving instructions does make it easier for those at home who are faced with ringing you in the middle of the night your time.

sadly if one of your parents loses their life partner, the survivor will want you to come home if you have any kind of normal relationship.

have the discussion - but if your parents are in good health, remember that the odds of one of them dying in the next three weeks are reasonably low.

I can second Pagwatch's experience I'm afraid.

I was on holiday when my dad died suddenly and it wouldn't have been remotely feasible not to rush home to my mum.

Insurance covers getting you home in this situation but not if you only have a couple of days to wait. I was due to go home on Sunday and my dad died on Friday. I was beside myself needing to get home and as another poster said, that is what the credit card is for. I just paid what I had to to get the next flight I could make. In the grand scheme money doesn't matter.

Dillydollydaydream Sat 03-Aug-13 11:22:05

My parents are away for 3 weeks at the moment. My dm has specifically said that if anything happens to my Nan while they are away they don't want to be told. My nan is 89 so it's not completely unlikely something could happen.

GuffSmuggler Sat 03-Aug-13 11:13:36

I would have been upset with that too essexgirl.

I think it's up to the individual to choose what to do and I would be angry if someone felt they needed to take that choice away from me 'for my own good'. Just seems like you are not being treated like a grown adult.

Essexgirlupnorth Sat 03-Aug-13 10:52:07

My uncle died while my sister was on honeymoon and my parents made it very clear she wasn't to be told.
He had cancer and was in hospital but my mum hadn't told either me or my sister that they had only given him a week or so too live as she would have probably cancelled her wedding and not have gone on the honeymoon.
She missed the funeral too as was still away.
She was understandably upset with my mum for not telling her.

GuffSmuggler Sat 03-Aug-13 10:51:05

I'm aghast at this. Even if you couldn't get home, wouldn't you want to be there on the phone for the other parent offering comfort and helping during a horrendous time!?

I personally would find it hard to come to terms with if I'd been unaware and having a jolly time sunning myself whilst my family were collapsing with grief back home but had been told not to spoil my holiday.

WipsGlitter Sat 03-Aug-13 10:37:27

My sister is like this. We are under pain of death not to contact her when she's on holiday. I got told off when I'd been calling her when our uncle was dieing as it was spoiling her holiday. I just wanted to share it with someone close as it was the same circs in which our dad died.

She was so mean about it that I actually hesitated calling her when our mum had a heart attack. I did in the end and she was glad I had but she didn't cut her holiday short. Which makes her sound really horrid but our mum said she didn't want her to come home Martha here was able to do all the running and work anyway

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