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?

BrokenBanana Sat 03-Aug-13 08:24:09

Is there something in particular you are worrying will happen?
I would agree with you I think, but be prepared for a huge shock if something does happen. This happened to my sister and BIL, it really knocked them for 6 and they took longer to accept the news than anyone else. They don't regret it though as if they'd found out on holiday it would have totally spoiled the whole thing.

ZolaBuddleia Sat 03-Aug-13 08:26:00

Are you likely to receive (or not) bad news? Is anything going on at home?

tulippa Sat 03-Aug-13 08:26:44

It depends how bad the news is. If something awful had happened to someone close to me and they had two days to live I'd want to know so i could come and see them. If it was was something someone would get over and I could do nothing about then maybe I wouldn't need to be told.

However if someone had died I'd feel weird having been away enjoying myself unaware of what was happening while everyone else was dealing with it.

So I think actually I'd like to know whatever and then I could make the decision for myself whether to come home or not.

TheGirlFromIpanema Sat 03-Aug-13 08:26:49

I agree. I have held off on telling someone bad news whilst they were on holiday. They couldn't affect the outcome anyway so it seemed pointless.

I suppose it depends on the bad news and each situation might be different.

Sirzy Sat 03-Aug-13 08:27:19

I would rather know, there may be nothing you can do from there but I wouldn't want to be in the dark.

When my Nan died her Brother was on a cruise. He couldn't get back from in time for her funeral but at the day/time of the funeral him and his wife were able to go to the Chapel on board the ship and have some quiet time.

My sister was rushed to hospital when my parents were away once and when we knew what was happening we phoned them so they were aware - they would have been mighty annoyed to have been left in the dark!

ZolaBuddleia Sat 03-Aug-13 08:27:19

Sorry, I didn't mean is there something wrong with your marriage, which I realised that's what my post looks like! I meant are there any people or things you are already worried about. blush

If there's nothing you can do about it, I don't see the point of getting the bad news when you're on holiday.

It would depend on what the news was tbh. If someone had died, then I agree with you, but if someone was seriously ill then I agree with him, as I would move heaven and earth to get home (and I think most travel insurance would help you out). I couldn't care less about my house etc.

How are you going to control whether or not you get the news?

My parents went on holdiay while I was in my teens, and my grandparents were staying with ous to look after us. My grandfather died suddenly during that week, and it was very stressful trying to get hold of parents to let them know, and of course they wanted to come home immediately.

Should I not have told my mother that her father had died, in case it spoiled her holiday?

whatever you decide please make your wishes known to your family, I promise you there is nothing worse than family AGONISING over whether to ring you, meet you at the airport, wait til the morning after you have arrived home

I speak from experience

mrsshearsagain Sat 03-Aug-13 08:31:24

No we are not expecting bad news, however dh's parents are in their late 70's which always raises the possibility.

Benby Sat 03-Aug-13 08:31:51

About 10 years ago I had a holiday booked and my dad got terminally ill. Now my dad actually passed away 2 weeks before I went. But my mam had said afterward that if he had of died while I was away she wouldn't have told me till I came home. I would have been upset by that and I didn't even get on with or like my dad. I could only imagine getting of the plane and receiving bad news about someone you love.
That's just my opinion I would like to know.

ChippingInHopHopHop Sat 03-Aug-13 08:32:47

I think it sounds terrible that you'd rather not know in case it spoils your holiday. Your holiday is more important to you, than say, your Mum dying? Really?

carabos Sat 03-Aug-13 08:32:55

I'm with the OP on this. When FiL was very ill, and it was possible that he could die if he took an infection, we went on a long-booked holiday. We told the family that we did not want to be informed should anything happen as we were only going for a week and being told wouldn't change anything.

FiL did take a turn for the worse (but didn't die) and BiL phoned every day hmm. In the end DH had to tell him in no uncertain terms to stop as it meant all we talked about was FiL's situation. We were hoping to have a break as we were doing most of the day to day caring. BiL didn't stop - he wanted to share as we needed to realise how stressful the situation was for him hmm.

FiL lived another 9 months.

BeckAndCall Sat 03-Aug-13 08:34:58

It depends. It makes a huge difference how bad the news is and how close to the individual involved .

We can be on holiday without our nearly grown children - but you're not at that age yet. If anything happened that affected them, I'd like to know immediately ( not just bad news like you're thinking, but life relevant news - eg losing a job, splitting up with a partner etc, so I could be on the end of a phone to support).

And for our parents, we have had bad news on hols more than once - hospital episodes. The last time, my SIL wanted some help deciding what was the right thing to do Re a DNR directive as she was left alone to make the decision and needed to talk to my DH about it. (All ended well that time).

So it's not just about what you want to know, it's about what those left at home might need from you.

Euphemia Sat 03-Aug-13 08:35:11

I'm worrying about the same - DD and I are going to Florida in October and my dad has terminal cancer. I really don't know if I want to be told if something bad happens.

This is the holiday of a lifetime, we've had it booked since November. The insurance wouldn't pay out if we had to cancel/come home early.

It's a tough one - I'd want to come home to support my mum, if the worst happened, but I don't know that I'd want to know if he was hospitalised or something that didn't require my return home.

Tough one. sad

MrsKeithRichards Sat 03-Aug-13 08:35:28

You need to decide what you do and do not want to be told about. Some uncle going to hospital - no, parent dying - yes. That sort of thing.

We (parents, siblings etc) work on the basis of no contact until they something to actually tell. My mums sister had a huge heart attack when my parents were on holiday. She has a husband and other siblings, as well as grown up children and once she was in an induced coma there was nothing my mum could have done anyway so we decided not to call her.

hermioneweasley Sat 03-Aug-13 08:36:50

Blimey, if one of your elderly in laws had (for example) a heart attack and. Risks dying, you woukdn't want to know?!

I don't usually advocate getting into debt, but if there was ever something to crack open the credit card for, then your DH's emergency flight home (even if the rest of you don't come) woukd definitely be it.

Cheeseatmidnight Sat 03-Aug-13 08:39:11

I would want to know and be prepared to worry. I don't think I could enjoy my holiday if I thought something bad had happened at home and I didn't know,

Pagwatch Sat 03-Aug-13 08:39:44

My father died two days in to a family holiday.

Having actually been in this position I think I might venture that you have no idea what you are talking about.

The idea that would have been left sunning myself and the dc on a beach rather than holding my mother and helping her plan his funeral is faintly ridiculous.

LilRedWG Sat 03-Aug-13 08:40:02

It's always a tricky one, however as the potential worry is about your DH's parents then he should make the call. If anything did happen and he wasn't told because of your wishes not to have a holiday disturbed he would forever resent you.

You have every right to make the call with regards to your side of the family but cannot dictate over his parents.

LilRedWG Sat 03-Aug-13 08:41:04

Listen to Pagwatch - she knows. ((((paggy))))

Pagwatch Sat 03-Aug-13 08:41:15

If you have insurance they will help you get home and cover the holiday cost. The hotel organised everything for us.
Not that I gave a shit but we lost nothing financially.

MrsKeithRichards Sat 03-Aug-13 08:41:27

I would never contact my mum on holiday to say I'd most ny jib or had an argument with dh, that's ridiculous

Pagwatch Sat 03-Aug-13 08:42:27

Thank you Red. thanks

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Sat 03-Aug-13 08:42:27

If I were on holiday and someone close to me dies, or something else as serious and I didn't know:
a) yes I would have a great marvelous time while those around me might even need me and my support
b) when I came back and realised that awful thing happened while I was having a good time, all my memories would be tainted anyway. I wouldn't look back and say 'oh do you remember when we drank cocktails and watched the sun set over a beautiful sea in xxxx?' when actually what was happeneing was 'we drank cocktails and watched the sun set over a beautiful sea in xxx while yyyy had died and life was fucking shit for everyone back home'.

But, it really depends on the news. If it was that someone close to me had a diagnosis that was not good, and they had other people to turn to and rely on before I came home, then maybe that is ok. If it were that some building works went wrong in my absence I would prefer not to know. But, if it were anything to do with the immediate health of my nearest and most loved then I would absolutely need to know. And, I would ensure before I went on holiday that I had appropriate insurance to cover family emergencies, so that I could get home again.

daisychain01 Sat 03-Aug-13 08:42:30

Its one of those "it depends" moments .... Supposing you all fly off to Disneyland Florida just for example, then 3 days later one of your, or DHs parents fell gravely ill, maybe heart attack heaven forbid, I think you would definitely want to know wouldnt you? For that sort of scenario, surely the matter of whether it spoils DCs holiday doesn't come into it? You may even need to fly home again. For the life or death situations, it will require a different set of decisions to be made than something that is bad news but very little you can do when away on holiday. A good example of this is that you don't want to be contacted on holiday to say your employer is making you redundant, that can definitely wait!!

I guess the fact of the matter is that it depends on the situation and your decision as to whether you feel action is needed there and then, or if it truly can wait. Life still goes on, you are right that "ignorance is bliss" but I wouldn't be too fixed about it because there may be cases where you need to keep those options open.

Unfortunately, life isn't prescriptive, if it were me, my general rule would be anything to do with severe sickness or injury where I may need to make a decision to return home early, then yes I would definitely want to be told ASAP but anything relating to jobs, work or material possessions, leave it until I get back please!

Have a lovely holibobs - that's just a response to a post I recently read about the most irritating way of saying holiday grin

LilRedWG Sat 03-Aug-13 08:44:07

Euphemia - please do let your family know under what circumstances you want contacting. Deciding what to tell someone over the phone is awful.

One of my sisters had not told another sister, who lives abroad, exactly how bad things were with Mum, so when I made the call to say Mum had passed it was more of a shock to the overseas sister than it should have been.

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Sat 03-Aug-13 08:45:25

carabos your BIL wanted some support? And you begrudge him that because your FIL went on to live for another 9 months and didn't die while you were on holiday after all? how inconsiderate of your BIL and your FIL!

That actually made me quite sad.

Lighthousekeeping Sat 03-Aug-13 08:46:30

I would absolutely want to know. I always check in with my mum at least once during a holiday. Depending on the news and who it concerned then it would be up to you to decide at the time. Even if it meant just one of you paying for a flight to come home. I'm not one of those people that can go on holiday and just switch off.

daisychain01 Sat 03-Aug-13 08:49:25

TheSun our posts were 3 seconds apart and must have cross in cyberspace - our thoughts were identical. Totally agree re insurance cover for emergency repatriation. Nothing like spending a few quids for immediate peace of mind esp for loved ones back home. Then you really can relax x

Sirzy Sat 03-Aug-13 08:54:09

Personally I see it as much about being able to support other family members through a tough time as I do about it being about actually knowing someone has died/is ill IYSWIM.

The thought of happily being on holiday whilst the rest of my family was going through hell? Even if I couldn't get back I would want to be able to talk to people and comfort them as best as I could.

ChasedByBees Sat 03-Aug-13 08:56:20

If it's your DH's parents you are concerned about, then surely he gets to say whether he wants to receive the news or not?

Floralnomad Sat 03-Aug-13 09:00:51

The thing is you will have to tell someone back home that you don't want to be contacted and I'm not sure how you do that without looking quite bad . How would the conversation go ' oh BTW mum we don't want to be told if one of you dies in case it spoils our holiday ' . I actually ( having lost a parent when they were 50) can't see how any holiday is more important than being with someone I love when they need me most .

rumbleinthrjungle Sat 03-Aug-13 09:01:28

At the end of the day it's personal, some people can't bear not to know, and some know they'd be distraught and unable to do anything about it which feels worse to them. In our wider family the last eighteen months we've had several precarious health situations going on that might go wrong at any moment and had this discussion numerous times among ourselves as different people's holidays come up. They all desperately needed the break and one was a major anniversary holiday that had been years in the planning, their children were all with them and they were the ones they absolutely couldn't have coped with not knowing about, and we agreed differently for different people. Some wanted to know in the case of a worst case scenario, some said they wanted to know when they got home. All agreed there was nothing they could do in the case of bad news, it would be a horrendous stress to try and get home, and they gave the rest of the family permission to do whatever was needed in their absence.

ImagineJL Sat 03-Aug-13 09:01:53

I wouldn't be able to relax and enjoy my holiday, knowing that something awful might have happened at home, but I wouldn't know because I'd told everyone not to tell me. I work on the "no news is good news" theory, but that wouldn't apply if I'd put a ban on people telling me what was happening.

Shamoy Sat 03-Aug-13 09:04:36

Thesunthemoonthetruth...I don't think you read that post properly! The PP was the sole day to day carer for FiL and having a much needed week off. BIL insisted on ringing them every day to tell them how tough he was finding doing it for one week! They then returned to do all the care for a further 9 months....that's how I read it.

Shamoy Sat 03-Aug-13 09:06:20

And OP I don't think you get to say whether you want to hear bad news regarding your Dh family or not. Surely that's entirely his call. You can tell your family that you'd rather not hear from them regardless of what happens, but DH gets to tell his family whatever makes him most comfortable (and I agree with him)

ConcreteElephant Sat 03-Aug-13 09:08:52

I think if you aren't expecting any problems you may be over thinking this.

However, that said, if you are worried about your PIL, it's probably best to let someone know if you'd like to be told in the event of a death or serious incident, otherwise it just places the burden of decision on them and that can be quite rough on them.

Many years ago, my parents were on holiday when my Dad's brother died unexpectedly. My brother and I had no idea if we should tell him or not, we felt like we'd want to know if it was us, but on the other hand there was nothing Dad could do to change the outcome and this holiday was long-awaited and well-deserved. It was a dilemma. In the end we told our Mum and she made the decision to tell him. He was glad we did.

DP (now DH) and I had a long-haul holiday booked when his Mum's cancer became terminal. We were ready to cancel but she was insistent that we go. We were quite young and she hated the idea of people putting their lives on hold effectively waiting for her to die. She wanted us to enjoy ourselves, send postcards and photos. There was a real possibility that she might die while we were away and there was no question that we wanted to be told if she did. We would have come home, to support his Dad and Grandparents. In the end she died 5 weeks after our return and we were glad we'd gone as she seemed to really enjoy hearing about our trip.

I hope you have a nice holiday and these discussions with DH prove entirely theoretical.

lurkerspeaks Sat 03-Aug-13 09:10:38

My mother died unexpectedly but after a long illness in January.

My Dad told me about her sudden deterioration while I was in a gondola.

I would have been furious if they had hidden it from me. Is this a real dilemma or hypothetical?

K8Middleton Sat 03-Aug-13 09:13:12

Surely your travel insurance would pay out in the event of a family emergency?

If you have children and you're travelling abroad with them but without proper insurance then you are an idiot.

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Sat 03-Aug-13 09:21:57

This happened to our family. My Gran died suddenly on the day her elderly sister was flying to NZ to see her daughter & family. The family were in a dilemma, do we tell her and she gets on a plane back to UK after a days flight?? aged 80?
We decided (not completely in agreement) that we wouldn't tell her. This could be her last chance to see that side of family and there was nothing she could do.
Not same as OP but there are definitely shades of grey.

valiumredhead Sat 03-Aug-13 09:26:43

What pag said!

OP, seeing as no one is actually ill, just go on holiday and stop stressing about stuff you might not have any control over!

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 03-Aug-13 09:31:48

I would want to know and then make my own decisions.

In the situation the OP described I would consider in advance what I would do in the event of receiving bad news. If it was not going to be possible to get back early (eg somewhere with one flight per week) then I would make sure that anyone likely to want to contact me would understand this.

We have had this conversation with family. I was really quite surprised to find that FiL wouldnt want to know. The problem was that he told us that he wouldnt tell us if there were a problem at home because he wouldnt want to know even though we would!

Iaintdunnuffink Sat 03-Aug-13 09:32:05

I know someone who's parent was terminaly ill when they went on holiday. It was one of thse situations where it could've been any day or another 6 months. By the end the parent had no consciousness and couldn't recognise anyone.

They desperatly needed the holiday and came to the decision that they didn't want to know. They had arrangements in place and told every one their wishes. When I was first told i was surprised at their choice but In the end I think it was the right thing for them to do.

I remember doing upbeat responses to their Facebook posts despite knowing the person had died the day before. They had a peaceful time away and got some rest before having to deal with the funeral.

thegreylady Sat 03-Aug-13 09:36:18

I would want to know. I was on holiday when my Dad died and we came straight home-we were only in Germany though. When my much loved Aunty died I was in Turkey and the funeral wasn't until after we were due back so I stayed as
I was staying with family anyway.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 03-Aug-13 09:36:37

I agree with your logic OP but it depends on how bad the news is. If it's something expected or a bit distant from you that you can do nothing about and others are dealing with, fine. If it's someone very close, an unexpected situation and your input, or preparation to help, even from a distance, would make a difference, you might want to know.

carabos Sat 03-Aug-13 09:40:01

Thanks shamoy that's exactly the situation. We knew he could die, everyone was prepared for that, and if that had happened, there was nothing we could have done. BiL had, up until that point, closed his mind to how bad things were because to have done otherwise would have required him to get involved, which he didn't want to do.

Once involved, unwillingly, because we were on holiday, he got quite a shock, which he seemed to feel the need to share... The other thing is, he has another DB and a DSis for support too, but he didn't want to bother them.

Caster8 Sat 03-Aug-13 09:42:48

I presume you are saying that you could not afford for even 1 of you to come back early.

But wouldnt you would to send condolences, speak to whoever was left to make the funeral arrangements, support, even offer advice on say, what colour flowers they liked, nothing at all?

GladitsnotJustMe Sat 03-Aug-13 09:47:06

When I was on holiday my beloved family dog died. My parents didn't tell me about it until I got home because they didn't want to spoil my holiday.

I realize that's quite trivial when talking about members of family being ill etc, but my point is - it eroded my trust and made me completely paranoid whenever I went on holiday that something bad could have happened and nobody was telling me. Whenever I called home and they said "everyone is fine" I would worry anyway.

So now I make them promise to tell me if anything bad ever happens, so that when they do tell me everything is fine, I can believe them and relax.

ByTheSea Sat 03-Aug-13 10:03:50

FIL died suddenly and unexpectedly on the first day of our two-week holiday in the US several years ago. BIL Rrghtly tracked us down. How could we have lived with ourselves if if we hadn't known and missed the fkuneral?

springytotty Sat 03-Aug-13 10:05:59

I would be absolutely furious to not be told until I got home something as important as someone dying (or in hospital). I would feel patronised. Life just goes the way it goes, whether you're on holiday or not. It's not all about whether you can do something or not, it's about processing the thing and offering support, should it be needed, either over the phone/skype or in person. if there's nothing you can do then the family often urge you to stay put and save on the expense of having to come back early. If you're weeping behind your sunglasses well that's just how it goes.

That said, I recently looked after someone's house/dogs while the whole family was away on holiday and their house was burgled. I hesitated about whether to tell them, but it became evident that it was someone they knew and I made the choice to tell them so they could give the police vital info (which I didn't know) asap. They caught the bugger before he sold the stuff on , largely due to vital info the family provided.

I think it's different in pp's case in that they were the primary carers and were having a much-needed break for a week. I can quite see that they didn't need to know if something happened, even the worst. I also have a friend whose mother died while my friend, who was 12, was on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. The family didn't tell her and, by the time she got home, the funeral was long over - and her mother was never spoken of again in order to not 'upset' my friend. She's spent a lifetime fucked up about it. Unusual circs (badly handled all round) but give people the dignity to process things healthily? If you don't want to hear OP then that's one thing but your husband does. He wouldn't be able to keep it quiet should something awful happen like a death, so you're just going to have to suck it up and support him. His needs supersede yours imo. (I can't help thinking you may never have experienced a death/bereavement? They are almost always horrific/difficult - holding the info off for a few days/weeks goes nowhere anyway; in fact makes it worse imo.)

imnotmymum Sat 03-Aug-13 10:06:44

Do you know I have never ever considered this when going on holiday...Agree depends on what bad news is classed as and to what degree.
Failing an exam can wait, death need to know, illness again need to know , house burned down need to know the Goldfish dying can wait...

Squitten Sat 03-Aug-13 10:09:24

I would want to know if someone in my family was in hospital or dying so that I could take the decision as to whether or not I had to go home. I would never be able to live with myself if I enjoyed my holiday while my Mum was dying or something.

Other than that, no.

Bowlersarm Sat 03-Aug-13 10:11:13

I would absolutely want to be told bad news immediately.

The feeling of getting home and being told it after the event, would mean that I would never have any trust in being away again. It would be like a big black cloud hanging over me. I would always be worried that something awful had happened,,and nobody wanted to tell me.

Abra1d Sat 03-Aug-13 10:14:01

I've always trusted those around me to know when I should be told. They would call us re. death or very sudden critical illness or the house burning down. Not if someone found out they had six months to live because one week away (all we usually have) wouldn't make any difference to the outcome.

At least, I hope this is how they would call it. I have one SIL who used to do telephone round robins on all kinds of family issues, regardless of where people were. I think we have trained her now, though.

ALMOSTMRSG Sat 03-Aug-13 10:15:09

My DF died suddenly while Dh and I were on holiday in Cyprus. My dsis called me and arrangements were made for us to come home. My family were devastated. My DM wanted all the family to have say in the funeral arrangements, so they were waiting on me coming home. My place was with my mum, brothers and sister, not on holiday. The thought of not being with them at this time is awful and upsetting. Having a good time on holiday while my mum was grieving, I don't think I could forgive myself.

OP if its money you're worried about then travel insurance will compensate you.

And I hope you are never in this situation.

Wbdn28 Sat 03-Aug-13 10:18:05

I'd want to know. Otherwise I'd probably spend the holiday worrying about whether there was any bad news!

springytotty Sat 03-Aug-13 10:30:03

Travel insurance wouldn't cover you if the person who died/went into hospital had a pre-existing illness when the insurance was bought.

TheSecondComing Sat 03-Aug-13 10:37:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

diddl 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.

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.

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.

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

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 .....

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I missed a word out despite proof-reading!

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

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