to be hurt by this

(40 Posts)
tenby84 Mon 31-Dec-12 17:19:39

I have some relatives who live overseas. We don't see them very often but when we do we get on extremely well. They are such a lovely couple. It turns out that their son lived a different life. The end result being him losing his life.
All the family are devasted and the whole thing has been made worse by the level of interest in the papers.
My dhs response was in my opinion unsympathetic. All he really said was something like "if you live that kind of life". No poor x and y, they must be devasted.
Also having 3 boys myself I have been quite affected by it too. I also feel so much for that lovely couple. Aibu to think he should be more sympathetic.

5Foot5 Mon 31-Dec-12 17:25:21

YANBU. Have you asked him if he would still have that attitude if one of your own DS chose a lifestyle that put him at risk a few years down the line?

peaceandlovebunny Mon 31-Dec-12 17:27:03

no, let him deal in his own way.

my cousin's son was found dead in canal. no-one mentioned any enquiry. he'd been a drug user for almost 20 years (he was 33 when he died) and had committed some really horrible crimes, for which he'd spent time in prison.

so no-one gave a damn. my dad was a bit shocked that the dead man's mum, my cousin, was out at a party on the night of his funeral but i just thought she didn't want to be alone. she'd been unable to get him on the right track, from his teenage years.

your dh probably doesn't feel much about it. no-one seemed to care much about the cousin.

everlong Mon 31-Dec-12 17:27:44

His response seems unduly harsh. I'm sorry you've had such bad news.

Some people are rather brusque in matters like this. Black and white.
But at the end of the day this young man has died which is tragic.

DecAndAnt Mon 31-Dec-12 17:29:19

Did you know their son well? Perhaps your dh thinks you are wallowing in someone else's grief.

everlong Mon 31-Dec-12 17:34:07

They are relatives of the OP ant

thebody Mon 31-Dec-12 18:28:24

Gosh, I really hope that your dh has all the answers when his boys arnt the young easy age they are now.

You never ever know how your children will turn out it what oath they take in life.

You just do your best and hope.

thebody Mon 31-Dec-12 18:29:37

Dec 'wallowing in someone else's grief' can also be seen as empathy and care.

BridgetBidet Mon 31-Dec-12 18:34:14

I would say it was a bit harsh....unless, has he died because he's been executed for something he did to someone else? Sorry, your OP is a bit ambiguous, made me wonder...

WildWorld2004 Mon 31-Dec-12 18:38:31

I can see where your dh is coming from because if he took drugs & died from an overdose then its his own fault. Also if he chose to be a Freerunner (jumping from building to building unharnessed) & fell off then it is his own fault.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 31-Dec-12 18:40:05

A person I went to school with died because he lived a different life, (drugs, prison, violence) the general feeling (family, friends and anyone that knew him) was the same as your DH's.

Without the back story its hard to say whether your DH's response is harsh (not asking for the backstory).

Hesterton Mon 31-Dec-12 18:40:32

He could still have expressed empathy, if not for the parents' pain, for yours in losing a relative. I don't think he sounds terribly nice.

everlong Mon 31-Dec-12 18:42:19

boney someone has lost their life and two parents have lost a child.

Always a desperately sad situation.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 31-Dec-12 19:01:50


there are points at which people give up on others whether they are their children or not (as was my school mates case, many years where spent trying to get him back on the "right" path).

The OPs relatives obviously still care about their child. But there are cases where it would be hard for people outside of direct family to care at all.

HecatePropolos Mon 31-Dec-12 19:05:48

So he doesn't care about the pain a parent feels at the loss of their child because in his mind, well, from his comment, the child brought their death on themselves?

And this means he has no sympathy? For either the parents or their child?

He doesn't sound like a very nice person, if I am being honest.

Even if I was totally devoid of any compassion about a person losing their life, I would still feel for the people who loved them and feel compassion for their pain.

Does he feel like the parents shouldn't care either? That they should shrug their shoulders and say pah, our son is dead, but you know, what could he expect, living that life...

I would think much less of your husband from this point on, tbh.

everlong Mon 31-Dec-12 19:17:28

Exactly hec

boney not having any empathy for your wife's family who've lost a child is worrying to say the least.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 31-Dec-12 19:27:13

We have the bare bones of the story here and that tells you that the DH is in the wrong.

We don't know enough to know the reasons behind the DH's response.

He also hasn't said anything to the parents he has just responded to what his wife has told him.

everlong Mon 31-Dec-12 19:31:30

True, but the OP has shown some empathy for this young man even though she knows his past <shrug>

Imagine losing a child and knowing that the press were spouting stuff about them and that people didn't care? Imagine that.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 31-Dec-12 19:33:51

Agree with Dec. There are relatives and relatives. It's a sliding scale - one instance is family that you're close to, beyond getting together for funerals - the other is pretty much 'in name only', with anything in between.

Anybody can feel any way they want. The DH doesn't have to express sympathy or anything else. I don't know if the OP is actually bereaved. The parents obviously are and it's tragic for them, whatever the circumstances.

FeistyLass Mon 31-Dec-12 19:57:13

Sorry for your loss tenby.
My dh would probably be the same as your's, as would one of our female friends. They would be distraught if anything happened to close family but the further away it becomes, the less emotionally involved they would feel.
As Lying said there are sliding scales. I have relatives who become very emotionally invested in even distant family members when they have an illness or tragedy (regardless of their prior involvement with them). tbh I find that just as odd. I'm not suggesting that's what you're doing. I'm just pointing out that there is a wide spectrum of responses to such situations.

DecAndAnt Mon 31-Dec-12 20:01:14

Everlong yes I am aware they are relatives, but I get the impression that the op barely knew the son ( I may be wrong though)
She hardly saw the relatives, yes it's tragic and the op of course has empathy but it seems to me she is wanting sympathy for the death of a relatives son who she either barely knew or rarely saw.

digerd Mon 31-Dec-12 20:21:33

My sil told me how a family of DB's friends were staying with them for 3 months. The reason was that the DH and father of 3 kids had died on a rock climbing holiday. At first I was furious that a dad of 3 young kids would be so stupid as to do such a dangerous hobby, but when I met this widowed and fatherless family, my heart went out to them. It's called compassion.

ImperialBlether Mon 31-Dec-12 20:24:22

I don't care what my child had done or how much they'd fucked up their own life or mine, I couldn't see myself going to a party on the night of their funeral. If ever there was a night for sorrow and reflection, that would have to be it.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 31-Dec-12 20:29:30

What does that mean though, that 'your heart goes out to them'? There are some people who use this term - and similar ones - a great deal. Sorry to pick on your term, digerd, it just reminded me of somebody else, not specifically your post. When we read about somebody in the paper or see a news report, there often seems to be a huge amount of over-investment that some people seem to delight in, for people that they don't even know. It seems to be a chronic condition on facebook and chatboards too.

I'm not saying that this is the OP's situation but I am saying that her husband is not being heartless. It's not compassion to chest-beat at every opportunity, it's quite possible to feel sorrow for the circumstances, those left behind - in short - those people who were actually affected. It isn't a crime to not feel something; it's beyond trite and nauseating to be expected to give condolences (really?) to people talking of the news, yet seems to be expected so much now. I think that's hugely disrespectful to the bereaved and the expectation makes me shudder.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 31-Dec-12 20:47:06

"I don't care what my child had done or how much they'd fucked up their own life or mine"

I admire your devotion to your children, but just because you feel that way doesn't mean that others will.

I can think two or three people off the top of my head who will have no tears from me or for their families when they die.

You can think of me as being heartless but you don't know what they have done to me or friends of mine.

tenby84 Mon 31-Dec-12 20:48:49

Apologies for being vague. Don't want to give too much info and out them. Whilst i accept we don't see them often we are close. (Or maybe i am) Both they and i have also lost closer family members in the last 2 years. The mum a brother, and me a brother and dad.

tenby84 Mon 31-Dec-12 20:51:14

O and those deaths were natural causes. I also remember how bad my mum felt when she lost her son and this wasn't sensationalised in the tabloids.

tenby84 Mon 31-Dec-12 20:56:08

Also i accept i don't know the son. I was extremely shocked to discover he was leading that kind of life. I do, however know the parents still love him and are devasted.
Maybe it was a kneejerk reaction after reading newspaper but it does concern me.

MrsDeVere Mon 31-Dec-12 21:04:13

I know a lot of bereaved parents.
Some have lost their children in appalling ways, things that have been in the papers etc.
Their grief is as real and raw as mine. Its harder for them because they don't get the sympathy I do. Their children dealt drugs or had been in prison etc. They also have to read people's vile comments on the internet and be doorstepped by the press.

Their adult sons and daughters were once babies and toddlers and their parents loved them. Their parents's lives have been shattered.

They are worthy of anyone's sympathy IMO.

I am sorry for your loss OP and for that boy's parents.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 31-Dec-12 21:11:39


I think that it depends on your DH's response to the loss of your brother and dad.

tenby84 Mon 31-Dec-12 21:44:20

mrsdevere what a beautiful post. That has just made me cry again. Dh was supportive in a practical way but looking back probably could have done more in an emotional way. I think he finds it hard to deal with people getting upset.

everlong Mon 31-Dec-12 21:47:07

mrsdevere has the biggest heart and the wisest mind. A lovely lady.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Mon 31-Dec-12 21:51:37

The tragedy is in the timing often. I work with homeless people, some of whom are drug users and have broken their parents' hearts. However, often people come out of it. I had one client who I spoke to on Mother's Day three years ago and convinced to send a card to his Mum (even though they were estranged). She wrote back and they spoke. I saw him a couple of months ago and he has been clean for over a year. He now has a relationship with his mother for the first time in decades. He could have died while he was still using and offending, he didn't. I always saw that he was a good 'un. Under it all. However, I wouldn't have wanted to be his mother 5 years ago.

OP, you are NBU to understand that loss is loss, however it looks from the outside.

ImperialBlether Mon 31-Dec-12 22:21:32

Have to say that MrsDeVere is in my thoughts more than anyone else I 'know' online.

Happy New Year.

FarrahFawcettsFlick Mon 31-Dec-12 22:34:36

Sometimes in these situations I think people have already done their grieving. Struggling to help the person during their lifetime or cutting them off at some point and 'moving' on. Rather like dementia carers. You mourn the passing of the person you once knew until the person is gone and the shell remains <sorry grandad>.

At the end is release and grief for the person they once were and all that could have been. And the guilt for feeling the release.

MrsDeVere Mon 31-Dec-12 23:07:58

everlong and Imperial
You are very kind to say those things. Thank you.

Wishing you all a Kind New Year x

peaceandlovebunny Tue 01-Jan-13 00:13:15

their adult sons and daughters were once babies and toddlers and their parents loved them
this is true. and some of them had a really bad start and little guidance.
God be with anyone who is thinking of lost loved ones.

LeftyLucy Tue 01-Jan-13 04:41:12

One of my favourite things about Mumsnet is Mrs DeVere.

Sympathies to you tenby.

Wishing a Happy New Year to you both.

mathanxiety Tue 01-Jan-13 04:58:53

It's always better to be kind.

mathanxiety Tue 01-Jan-13 04:59:10

And what does it cost for the most part?

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