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AIBU not to visit my dying father

(65 Posts)
goldfinch01 Wed 02-Mar-16 08:29:05

My dad is dying. He has cancer and only has a few weeks left.

I haven't had a good relationship with him, and haven't really spoken to him since I was a teenager. He was quite abusive to the whole family when I was growing up. Although I now bear him no malice, I've only said a few words to him at birthdays/Christmas since I've known he was ill, and don't have any kind of relationship with him so to speak.

Yesterday, my mum asked if I wanted to go and see him to say goodbye and I said no, I don't have anything to say to him.

I know if I do go, it will feel very awkward and I just wont know what to say. Im terrified I'll become upset as I feel too embarrassed to show any kind of emotion in front of him. As far as I know, he hasn't asked to see me or anyone else, he just wants to be on his own.

AIBU not to go and see him? Will I later regret it?

CoteDAzur Wed 02-Mar-16 08:31:35

I don't know if YABU but you might regret it later.

In your place I would go (although, admittedly, I have no idea what 'your place' feels like) if only because it would be cathartic for you and hopefully bring some closure which you'll never get otherwise.

DayToDayShit Wed 02-Mar-16 08:33:48

YANBU - This is entirely your decision and nobody should be allowed to persuade you either way.

In some circumstances like yours, people will go, just to draw a line under things, and be comforted that they feel better for having gone.

Others, prefer to stay away.

There is no right or wrong. Good luck.x

dolkapots Wed 02-Mar-16 08:34:22

YANBU. Whilst it sounds horribly cold hearted, I think it takes someone from that situation to know how it feels. My DF is NC with me. He lives 3 miles away but has never met my children. His wife cannot cope with the fact that he has a daughter so it was easier for him to cut off me than to deal with the consequences from her. I would not visit him on his deathbed, nor do I wish him anything negative. I feel totally indifferent to him.

BatteryOperatedBoyfriend Wed 02-Mar-16 08:35:13

Better to regret something you have done than to regret never to have done it. It would be hard, but I would go.

Alanna1 Wed 02-Mar-16 08:35:32

I'm not in your shoes either, but I'd go. He's dying. It won't be what you don't do that you regret and you may regret not going. Maybe he will apologise, maybe he won't. But closure is important. Does your mum want you to go? Maybe it would help her, too. Good luck in whatever you do.

Heatherplant Wed 02-Mar-16 08:35:39

Trust your gut instinct, if you don't feel it's appropriate don't be pushed into going by other people. Sounds like you're respecting his wishes to just be left alone.

VulcanWoman Wed 02-Mar-16 08:36:30

I think I would go to hopefully find closure if nothing else. Best wishes.

Xmasbaby11 Wed 02-Mar-16 08:39:21

I think you'll regret it if you don't go. It is one time and you don't have to stay long. I think when he dies you will probably feel a whole range of emotions and it might bring things back anyway.

However, I've not been in your situation and if you feel you can't go, don't.

AdrenalineFudge Wed 02-Mar-16 08:39:26

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to this.

If you go, you could choose to see it as closure. If you don't equally it's still closure. You say you've already made your peace with him wrt feeling no ill will towards him.

Don't be pushed either way, and whatever you choose will be the best for you.

acasualobserver Wed 02-Mar-16 08:39:43

I can only state the blindingly obvious: you won't get a second chance.

Franny1977 Wed 02-Mar-16 08:39:44

Entirely your decision, but I do think sometimes we regret the things we don't do more than those we do... You know what you feel and if there is a chance you'll regret it. Whatever you decide good luck, it can't be easy for you.

BlackMarigold Wed 02-Mar-16 08:41:15

Of course you wouldn't be unreasonable not to visit, but go if it'll make you feel better. My sister was the only one of his six children to visit my father in hospital just before he died. He told her to "Bugger off and leave me alone".

Loqo Wed 02-Mar-16 09:01:14

I probably would not go. I don't see the point of going. I could imagine regretting going more than regretting not going.

There is no need to overthink this. Work out what you think you want to do and then just stick with that. There's no point trying to analyse this. There is no correct answer.

mrsjskelton Wed 02-Mar-16 09:09:26

Life is precious. Set everything straight and say goodbye to your dad. If you don't, there's every chance you'll regret your decision. If you bear no malice then there's no reason it would cause you a problem.

Owllady Wed 02-Mar-16 09:13:46

Are your mum and dad still together?
I might go to appease my mum but otherwise no and you shouldn't feel bad at all

Gatehouse77 Wed 02-Mar-16 09:15:26

I would only go if I wanted to and not to appease anyone else. My father included, if the relationship is virtually nonexistent.

I don't believe that just because someone is your relative that you are obliged to ignore their behaviour and do the right thing by them. Sometimes you need to put yourself first above everything else.

dolkapots Wed 02-Mar-16 09:17:57

Just reread the OP and saw that he wants to be alone. I think that answers it for you.

Pooseyfrumpture Wed 02-Mar-16 09:19:03

I did not see my mother in similar circumstances. And I do not regret it at all.

jellyhead Wed 02-Mar-16 09:26:16

My father died 12 years ago.
I didn't go and see him and have no regrets.
He ignored us as children and remarried. He made no effort at all and never saw my eldest two dc as his wife didn't like him to.
He was weak and failed as a dad.
If I had gone to see him I felt it would be me saying I'm ok with what you did.
I am not ok with it so didn't pretend to be.
I would regret it if I had gone.
As others say go with your gut instinct . There is no right answer

coralpig Wed 02-Mar-16 09:27:44


Hoppinggreen Wed 02-Mar-16 09:29:40

I was nc with my father for 2 years before he died. Didn't go and see him when he was dying and didn't go to the funeral - no regrets whatsoever.
I can't guarantee you will feel the same though.

formerbabe Wed 02-Mar-16 09:33:19

I don't know what you should do op...its your decision to make but I think you should ask yourself what would be worse. ..

Going to see him and regretting it


Not going to see him and regretting it

Owllady Wed 02-Mar-16 09:36:08

You are right gatehouse, I'm being a softy sad

IloveJudgeJudy Wed 02-Mar-16 09:36:57

I was very LC with my father. My DB asked me to go to the hospital when father was dying. I refused and don't regret it. I did go to the funeral, but felt nothing. I think my DB was upset that I hadn't supported him, but I had to do what was right for me at that time. Hth. flowers

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