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To think it's ok to handle this awful news the way I am doing?

(59 Posts)
toconclude Sun 29-Nov-15 22:39:33

Short story, recent really bad news terminal illness of elderly parent - prognosis of months. Had to tell work as I may need to dash off at very short notice for various things, which they are fine with from managers' point of view. Trouble is, certain colleagues have gathered this on the grapevine - we work remotely so haven't yet had individual conversations with all of them myself - some of whom I have found out are talking behind my back via IM about what a hard-ass bitch I am for not being found weeping in the toilets about this/apparently not wanting to spend every working moment with parent [who has been clear doesn't want me to spend it that way as they have their own life and friends]/still working usual hours, as they would be totally broken up by it, unable to come in, etc etc and implying I clearly don't care for or love said parent, or I'll have some of huge breakdown later if I don't do it the way they would.
But actually I'm like the parent in question about this - whose view about it is "shit, but I am going to carry on as normal and get on with stuff and not brood and sit around feeling sorry for myself", do sit on my feelings a lot anyway - state normal for me, survival tactic honed over a LOT of shitty things that have happened over 30-some years past. And what's wrong with that, isn't that valid as their and my choice and personality? Who made these indivs the feelings police? Ugh makes it all so much worse, people.

AgentZigzag Sun 29-Nov-15 22:44:43

YANBU to handle it in your own way flowers

How did you find out about the IMs?

Just wondering why someone would think piling on even more pressure/stress onto you would be a great thing to do when you've already got enough to deal with as it is.

NeedsAMousekatool Sun 29-Nov-15 22:45:33

I'm sorry about your parent flowers

YANBU. I blame X Factor, where everything has to be a sob story, and there's no currency in pressing on with things. Not that there would be anything wrong with breaking down if things get too much, you shouldn't be expected to play up to other people's expectations of how you should act.

LeaLeander Sun 29-Nov-15 22:46:06

You are handling it with grace and dignity. Screw them. Don't waste another second of your energy worrying about what those harpies think, seriously.

Sorry about your bad news. flowers Best wishes.

toconclude Sun 29-Nov-15 22:46:26

Thanks. Office gossip machine in full swing, some people treat work as a soap opera, ach.

SewingAndCakes Sun 29-Nov-15 22:48:08

I'm sorry about the bad news. As far as your colleagues are concerned, screw them. You can deal with this however you feel. Discussing you and your reaction like this is horrible bullying behaviour.

Do you have people to talk to when you want to? flowers

SorrelForbes Sun 29-Nov-15 22:49:15


I had a very similar experience when my DH passed away this year. Most people didn't know he was ill and some were flaberghasted that I didn't take compassionate leave/get signed off sick before and after. I also got asked why I hadn't posted anything on FB confused.

You do it your way OP.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Sun 29-Nov-15 22:49:44

What a bunch of insensitive arse holes you work with.

Every one has different coping mechanism and no body should be judged on how to cope.

I have always found work or keeping busy a great distraction.

IguanaTail Sun 29-Nov-15 22:51:12

Of course you must manage this how you choose. Everyone has their own way of coping and it's none of their damn business. I can't stand the attitude that expects you to be sobbing and weeping. Not everyone is built like that.

Brokenwardrobe Sun 29-Nov-15 22:51:34

I am sorry for your news. YANBU, what absolute arses. No one has the right to tell you how you should think, feel or act about this. Do what feels right for you and your relationship with your parent and if you can just zone these idiots out.

SorrelForbes Sun 29-Nov-15 22:52:41

Sorry, my DF not DH

Curiouserandcuriouser30 Sun 29-Nov-15 22:53:29

Grief and stress affect different people in different ways. Just because you are reacting differently to how your colleagues would (or think they would, it is possible that many of them have never faced the situation that you are facing) doesn't mean that your feelings are not valid. Don't let them affect how act. So sorry to hear about your parent flowers

AlbertoFrog Sun 29-Nov-15 22:54:31

Similar situation here. We are all different and deal with things differently and just because we're not crying wrecks doesn't mean we're not suffering.

I'm so very sorry you're having to deal with ignorant colleagues on top of your parent's illness. Rise above it and do as you see fit.


toconclude Sun 29-Nov-15 22:55:04

Sorrel, so sorry for your

Posting on FB? No, no and no. So not.

Tapirs Sun 29-Nov-15 22:55:05

flowers Sorry about your parent.

Immature, emotional fuckwit tossers. Deal with it your own way and don't let them bother you. Fwiw, work is the sanity saving normality for loads of people when they're going through properly tough stuff at home.

BlackeyedSusan Sun 29-Nov-15 22:56:46

you do it your way. if you were doing it another way they would be critiscising that too and calling you other things. stuff them.

flowers sorry about your dparent.

gandalf456 Sun 29-Nov-15 22:57:51

When my father was terminally ill, I didn't take any time off. I did when he died. I suppose I was in denial and wasn't expecting him to go as quickly. Had I known that, I would have done so, I think.

But work is; as you say, a distraction. No One deals with grief normally anyway. It doesn't usually manifest itself in weeping in the corner. That is a cinematic cliché and your colleagues seem ignorant

Iwanttokillthem Sun 29-Nov-15 23:07:33

I am willing to bet that those who say you aren't reacting 'properly' are those who capitalise on every small domestic event to ensure they have maximum time off from work.

You are upsetting their applecarts and making it difficult for them to say they ' need' time off because they are so upset due to a leaking tap ( for example) when you haven't been obviously upset at a major life event.

WorzelsCornyBrows Sun 29-Nov-15 23:08:33

I'm sorry you're going through this.

I have a colleague who judges everyone all the time. I've lost count of the number of times she's stated exactly how she would behave in certain situations, in order to back up her judgy behaviour, when she couldn't possibly know how she'd act as she's never experienced these situations.

Fuck em. You deal with this however you need/want to. flowers

GruntledOne Sun 29-Nov-15 23:09:17

Some people are arseholes. If they haven't yet learned that there is no one approved way of dealing with appallingly bad news and grief and everyone has to handle it their own way, they've got some hard lessons coming.

Atenco Sun 29-Nov-15 23:11:18

Everyone experiences grief differently and there are no rights and wrongs, but people can be so judgemental. A neighbour of mine was widowed and three days later her friends were criticising for still being down, then three months later the same friends were criticising her for going out and enjoying herself.

LaContessaDiPlump Sun 29-Nov-15 23:14:38

What complete twats! My mother died last year (declined very rapidly from December to March; we'd thought she was perfectly fine at Christmas) and I work far away from where she lived (plus have small DC to look after) so didn't go to see her much. She had plenty of support around so wasn't alone. I had about 10 days off when she died and was back in work as usual after that.

My officemates were unfailingly kind and supportive (not overt, just quietly there) and never said anything like what you're describing. I am somewhat horrified at your post tbh. People can be right cunts.

Ignore, ignore, ignore. You sound like you are doing what is best for you and your family so the opinions of ignorant people can be safely rejected.

I'm sorry that this is happening thanks

GrinAndTonic Sun 29-Nov-15 23:26:14

Some people feel that if you don't grieve the same way people do in a bad made for tv melodrama then you are an insensitive sociopath. I have never cried for anyone who has died. I don't visit graves and I can barely remember the date of their death. It doesn't mean I was not upset or I don't have fond memories of them. Everyone deals with things differently.

Although, I am waiting for the day I lose the plot completely and break down in the biscuit aisle of the supermarket.

Themodernuriahheep Sun 29-Nov-15 23:27:35

I'm so sorry, for both Sorrel and you. How silly. They don't have anything else to think about.

You do what is right for you. For me, I phoned every night, wrote a card two or three times a week, went up in emergencies, was summoned by the doctor the week before DM died and spent that week with her. It worked for her, me and work.

Sounds easy to say rise above it, but honestly,ignore.


TendonQueen Sun 29-Nov-15 23:35:54

Sorry about your family member. Look up the lyrics to Harper Valley PTA and confront them in similar style. flowers

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