Advanced search

Not to visit my dying sister or go to her funeral?

(265 Posts)
Cruelstepmother Wed 24-Apr-19 17:59:43

She has cancer, will prob live a couple more weeks/months, lives about 6 hours drive away. She's surrounded by other family members, I don't want to watch her dying and my DH has heart failure, is very frail and needs my help. She hasn't asked to see me, but we're very close and love each other more than our other sisters.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Wed 24-Apr-19 18:01:18

Will you regret it if you don't?

Floralnomad Wed 24-Apr-19 18:01:37

I think you will regret not going , so I’d go . Make it into a mini break and take dh with you .

tessiegirl Wed 24-Apr-19 18:01:52

Is there a background reason you don't want to go?
I would be worried I would deeply regret not saying goodbye in the future.

HerRoyalNotness Wed 24-Apr-19 18:02:13

I would go to see her before she dies, but miss the funeral if your DH can’t do without you

99calmbeforethestorm Wed 24-Apr-19 18:03:09

I would arrange care for DH and go and see your sister.

Halo84 Wed 24-Apr-19 18:03:17

I would go see her for a day. You will regret it if you don’t.

Dieu Wed 24-Apr-19 18:03:16

You should go.

malificent7 Wed 24-Apr-19 18:03:30

At least attend the will be so upset if you don't. Sorry op...grief is shit.

BlueEyedBengal Wed 24-Apr-19 18:04:25

You are very close and love each other? Then you must make that trip and let her know you are there for her and it will help you saying goodbye. You will probably regret it if you don't. I am very sorry for your sisters illness sometimes life is horridthanks

fruitbrewhaha Wed 24-Apr-19 18:04:41

Oh dear, I'm sorry, that is sad.

Is there no one who can stay wth your DH while you go? If you love her I'm sure you will regret not going to see her. You don't have to watch her die. Just go and have a final chat, cheer her up a bit, it's hard on her.

The funeral is for the people left behind, not the dead, it's a good way to get closure.

AnneTwackie Wed 24-Apr-19 18:05:36

Go. You will regret it if you don’t. It will be hard for you of course, but harder for her.

Binting Wed 24-Apr-19 18:07:47

I would go. My brother was in a hospice 18 months ago and although we weren't very close I was there with him to the end. His wife chose to stay away as she didn't want to see him looking as I'll as he was. It broke my heart every time the door to his room opened and and a glimmer of hope was in his eyes hoping it was her. Even if she is very weak she may be hoping to see you x

AnneTwackie Wed 24-Apr-19 18:08:04

It sounds like you might be in denial which is really common in grief, and understandable given your husband is so ill too, but something you need to tackle head on. Wishing you strength and comfort OP flowers

Idonotlikeyoudonaldtrump Wed 24-Apr-19 18:09:06

You absolutely have to go.

GreytExpectations Wed 24-Apr-19 18:09:24

Honestly, yes you should go. You say you love each other but why wouldnt you want to say good bye? Imagine how your own sister would feel if you didnt show up? Imagine the guilt youd live with? Wouldnt you want to be there for your grieving family?
It seems like unless there is some really bad history or some kind of serious emergency, then not going would be a terribly awful thing to do.

Nanny0gg Wed 24-Apr-19 18:09:36

I think you should go and see her while you still can.

PinkCrayon Wed 24-Apr-19 18:10:04

I would visit. You might regret it.

Qweenbee Wed 24-Apr-19 18:10:34

Go and see her and miss the funeral if it's one or the other. You might not want to see her but I bet your bottom dollar she would like to see you.

MuddyMoose Wed 24-Apr-19 18:10:47

I'd go. I think you'll deeply regret it if you didn't especially as you are close. I'm sorry for what you & your family are going through.

RomanyQueen1 Wed 24-Apr-19 18:12:09

This must be so hard for you with a sick husband too thanks I'm so sorry you are facing this.
I know that I would regret it further down the line if I didn't go. Is there somebody who could look after dh while you go?
Or could you arrange a carer for the time you are away?

NoSauce Wed 24-Apr-19 18:12:36

I’m sorry about your sister OP, I’m sure she would love to see you. I think you should go. Is there anyone who could stay with DH while you go or could you take him?

junebirthdaygirl Wed 24-Apr-19 18:13:16

One of the saddest things l experienced when my dm was dying was seeing her saying goodbye to her closest sister. It was heartbreaking but beautiful as there was so much love there. Please go and see your sister. Have you someone to drive you there or could you fly. I know it's difficult and probably missing her funeral would be alright. But a visit will help you when she finally goes.
Take care of yourself as you have a lot going on.

Lifeisabeach09 Wed 24-Apr-19 18:13:22

Don't go for yourself. Go for your sister.

acalmerfuture Wed 24-Apr-19 18:13:48

I had a painful relationship with my dad and went nc with him. I never visited him when he was terminally ill and did not go to his funeral. It is over a decade later and I still find this hard to live with. If you are close to your sister I think you will find it unbearably hard, if not now but in the future, to know you did not visit or go to her funeral. All human cultures have developed rituals around death to help the living to cope with the death of a loved one. It is hard to process the death of someone close if you have not been through these rituals.

Downthecanal Wed 24-Apr-19 18:14:32

You must go and see her.

optimisticpessimist01 Wed 24-Apr-19 18:15:02

you should go visit her OP, having a long travel time is an absolutely awful reason not to go visit your dying sister, sorry if that sounds harsh, but I'm just being truthful. I think this is a decision you will regret for the rest of your life if you don't. I'd hate for her to think that her sister didn't even come see her on her deathbed

I have no problem with not going to the funeral. I hate funerals, I attended my grandma's years ago and haven't been to one since. The dead are already dead, it doesn't make a difference if your there. Funerals are for the living to grieve. I just don't enjoy being surrounded by people crying and being upset. It's probably my weird way of dealing with grief, but I think it would be ok not to go to the funeral

You should go visit her whilst she's still alive OP, don't live to regret not having a final opportunity to see your darling sister. I'm so sorry you have to make this difficult decision

Finfintytint Wed 24-Apr-19 18:15:16

I watched my mother die last month. It helped bring an end to a horrible process. I don’t think I’d have believed it had I not seen it. It’s up to you of course but it certainly brought finality to a truly shitty course of events and it helped me understand that death was a good thing for someone so ill. I saw the suffering and accepted that it was the best result in an odd kind of way. It did help me.

TinselAndKnickers Wed 24-Apr-19 18:15:41

Be there for your sister. thanks

QueenOfTheTofuTree Wed 24-Apr-19 18:15:52

shock Of course you should go!

PurpleDaisies Wed 24-Apr-19 18:15:54

She probably hasn’t asked because she doesn’t want you to feel you have to come because of your husband. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to see you.

You really don’t want to regret not seeing her when there’s no chance to change that.

Chickychoccyegg Wed 24-Apr-19 18:16:19

what a horrible situation you're in, but i think you should arrange care for your dh and visit your sister, as you are close, im sure she would love to see you, yiu dont want to regretnit when its too late.
i think if i were you i would also go to the funeral , but thats something to deside later

Chinnychinnychinnychib Wed 24-Apr-19 18:18:23

Jesus Christ
I hope this is a reverse.

MegaClutterSlut Wed 24-Apr-19 18:19:15

I think you really should go and see your sister op

marvellousnightforamooncup Wed 24-Apr-19 18:19:54

Go and see her if at all possible. Don't live with regrets.

woollyheart Wed 24-Apr-19 18:20:31

I agree with others, arrange care for DH and visit her before she dies. It will be important to her. It can just be a brief visit - you don't have to watch her die. Later, you will regret that you didn't see her, and it will be too late.

MarshaBradyo Wed 24-Apr-19 18:20:35

Go and see her

Coronapop Wed 24-Apr-19 18:20:50

I think you should definitely visit her, and go to her funeral unless your DH is seriously ill at the time.

Wellandtrulyoutnumbered Wed 24-Apr-19 18:21:11

DH has heart failure, is very frail and needs my help

Think people just don't understand this.
Is there someone who can help with DH? What's his expectancy like?

JemSynergy Wed 24-Apr-19 18:21:48

I would go. Distance would not stop me from saying my last goodbye to someone so dear.

scubadive Wed 24-Apr-19 18:21:59

You should definitely go and see her and go to her funeral. Can you go by train rather than a long drive, can your DH travel? I would t ‘ask’ to see anyone ever but i’d Be very hurt if someone close to me didn’t visit.

MegaClutterSlut Wed 24-Apr-19 18:22:15

Just put yourself in your sisters position, would she visit you? imagine how upsetting it would be her not making the trip and come and see you before you passed

Reallyevilmuffin Wed 24-Apr-19 18:22:47

Most people would see family that close even if they didn't particularly get on. If you have a good relationship absolutely you should, and I would suspect if your DP knew you weren't going due to him he would feel mortified. However sounds more like you're making an excuse not to have to see how I'll she is, which is understandable.

See her definitely. Funeral can be missed, but she is on borrowed time as it is.

louisvootin Wed 24-Apr-19 18:22:52

you will regret it if u dont go

maggiecate Wed 24-Apr-19 18:22:58

Will you regret it if you don't go? Or will you regret it if you do? That's the only question you need to ask yourself really.
If you think that you will regret it if you don't go then try and find a way IF you think it will bring her comfort. There might be some respite care that would help with your husband for a couple of days.

Call her and talk to her about how you're feeling - presumably she knows her time is limited? Tell her you love her, that she's precious to you and see what she says. If she wants to see you then go, if you can bear it. Or she might rather you didn't come if it's distressing for you both, and prefer that you both have your memories of your last time together be a happy one rather than sad. But don't wonder 'what if...?'

homemadegin Wed 24-Apr-19 18:23:54

You need to go and see her and to the funeral. You will never get that back. thanks

SevenSeasofRye Wed 24-Apr-19 18:25:05

Absolutely go. You will bitterly regret it if you don't and she will be upset I imagine that you didn't make the effort.

LL83 Wed 24-Apr-19 18:25:21

Is she aware of what is going on? If she is barely conscious I can almost see your point, but I would go in case she did know.

If she is aware of who's around her then you should go, it would be incredibly hurtful to your sister if you don't and you will regret not being there. Take dh or organise help for him.

Funerals are for the grieving so if you would rather not go to that then fair enough.

eddielizzard Wed 24-Apr-19 18:25:34

You will regret. Huge effort, but you could do it in a day or over two. Is part of it that you're scared of seeing her like this? Scared of saying goodbye? It's incredibly hard, I really sympathise. I said goodbye to my mum. Hardest thing I ever did. But I don't regret it for a second. GO.

Inliverpool1 Wed 24-Apr-19 18:26:35

I couldn’t go and see a dying uncle, I just did not want to remember him that way, is there an element of that ?

diddl Wed 24-Apr-19 18:27:35

I'd be doing my best to see her a last time & to attend the funeral-or do you not feel able to due to your husband?

Teddybear45 Wed 24-Apr-19 18:27:53

The funeral isn’t essential. Meeting her one last time is. You will forever regret not going.

Dippypippy1980 Wed 24-Apr-19 18:28:10

You need to see her. You probably also need grief counselling to get you through this.

See what arrangements you can make to ensure your husband is taken care of (is he in hospital or hospice, do you have family or friends who could sit with home). But please go and see your sister. SHe shouldn’t have to ask - she might not for a second think you would stay away.

tootiredtospeak Wed 24-Apr-19 18:29:24

I thought you were going to say you didnt get on. If your close then go you will never get another chance your DH will understand.

greenpop21 Wed 24-Apr-19 18:29:41

* Make it into a mini break and take dh with you .* hmm

Disfordarkchocolate Wed 24-Apr-19 18:30:48

I understand your concerns about your husband but I think you should visit your sister. You don't want to be left with regrets, they haunt you. Take care.

Annasgirl Wed 24-Apr-19 18:30:53

My dear aunt hated death and never went near anyone who was dying. The my darling mum, her beloved youngest sister, got ill suddenly and we had only days with her. Dear Aunt arrived straight away and spent three days with us. She was on her way to visit again when my dear mum passed away but both were so happy to be together for those important days. Please go and see her. Can you get respite care for your DH?

Alsohuman Wed 24-Apr-19 18:31:36

Nothing would stop me.

juneau Wed 24-Apr-19 18:31:45

I think I would go and see her if I possibly could - just to say goodbye and to hug her and tell her I loved her and how much she had always meant to me.

Could you DH go into a care home for a few days to allow you to go? It would be worth talking to his GP about respite care. I'm sure if it can arranged, it will be, so you can do this important thing.

If it's absolutely not possible and there is absolutely no one and nowhere that your DH could go, I'd write her a letter or arrange a video call so you can say the things you want to say, but I would really try to visit, far though it is. Could you fly? If so, that six hour drive could easily be a one-hour flight.

myrtleWilson Wed 24-Apr-19 18:31:53

OP watching someone die is awful and yet I do understand how some people describe it as an honour. When my sister died (cancer) she held on for so long... I don't know how old you are OP but mine was young and although the disease had ravaged her in lots of ways other parts of her body (heart etc) just kept going beyond expectation of nursing staff. Once we knew she wasn't in distress and wasn't in pain anymore the waiting became different, less stressful and more peaceful. Still upsetting but less raw.
I appreciate your situation is made harder with your DH but I'd urge you to go, not for the reason of seeing her die, but for the reason of reinforcing your love for each other, to say thank you. flowers I wish you peace

BettysLeftTentacle Wed 24-Apr-19 18:33:32

I feel strongly that you can’t tell another how they should act in their own grief but in your case, considering you’re close, you need to give yourself a chance to say goodbye. I fear that if you don’t, you’ll be in for a really shit time mentally after she’s gone. Especially considering how unwell your DH is.

flowers for you

brizzlemint Wed 24-Apr-19 18:33:40

I would go and see her now and then miss the funeral if it's too awkward with finding respite care for your DH.

jellycatspyjamas Wed 24-Apr-19 18:34:58

It sounds like you’re between a rock and a hard place with your sister and your husband - I can’t imagine how hard it is, I’m guessing it feels like you’re choosing between two very poorly, much loved ones. I don’t think there’s a right answer here tbh, you can only do what feels manageable at the time. I’m not sure I could be with my dear sister knowing she was going to die soon while also knowing how frail my husband was - I think the grief and fear would be all encompassing.

Be very gentle with yourself, and try to do what feels most manageable for you.

viques Wed 24-Apr-19 18:37:54

I am so sorry to hear this. I would go, and go as soon as possible.

If you have not seen her for a while then waiting a few weeks longer to see her may be a terrible shock, and she might have deteriorated both physically and mentally. She will know about your other caring needs and will understand why you are not visiting more often.

Perhaps you can set up a Skype link to check up on her and say hi on days she is feeling up to it. Don't forget too the power of the written word, writing letters, sharing memories of your childhood will be something she can read and re read when she feels strong enough, and writing them will also help you to remember and come to terms with what is happening.

When you visits take photos of your childhood with you, you have shared memories together, she might prefer to talk about these than discuss her current situation, if you are ill and have lots of visitors saying the same things over and over again becomes very tiring!

I know from experience how hard it is to lose a sibling, take care of yourself as well as your family.

Everydaypeople Wed 24-Apr-19 18:37:56

Make it a mini break [shocked] , sometimes I wonder what I read on here.
I would try to visit before she dies but you don’t need stay for her dying , having a death vigil round someone’s bed is awful .she knows you love her.
If I couldn’t make it to the funeral due to my seriously unwell dh then I would be sad obviously but there’s only so much you can do.
I don’t think people should say to the op it would be extremely hurtful to the op sister if she didn’t go etc, I’m sure she will be feeling bad enough.

tolerable Wed 24-Apr-19 18:39:06

are you in contact with her(phone,letter?)has she asked for you to go?would you want\expect her to come if otherway around. I might be way of mark,but..thats no new...i dont know its possible from your post to decide if you'll regret it or not. ..if its going to be too emotionally traumatising,it might be better to not go.if youre closer than the other families,can you speak with her?

Cruelstepmother Wed 24-Apr-19 18:40:52

Last year I stayed at our mother's side in hospital until she died (about 3 weeks). I just don't think I can go through that again. I might go. Thank you all.

TwigTheWonderKid Wed 24-Apr-19 18:42:14

I am so sorry that you are facing all of this.

I don't think it matters much if you choose not to go to your sister's funeral (and it certainly won't matter to your sister) but I really think you must go and give her one last hug. You don't need to watch her dying but you can offer her some comfort whilst she is still living.

Floralnomad Wed 24-Apr-19 18:43:12

everydaypeople , when I said make it a mini break I was thinking of the OPs husband ie have a few days away , stay in a nice hotel , visit her sister but not flog the husband into the ground by trying to do it all in a day . It was fairly obvious that I didn’t mean make it a jolly holiday .

Lalliella Wed 24-Apr-19 18:43:18

Adding to the voices saying go and see her OP. I did a 6 hour round trip to see DA who was dying. She hasn’t been told she was dying, the rest of the family told her I just happened to be in the area and had popped in. It was really difficult but I was so glad I went.

I think it’s reasonable to miss the funeral though, there isn’t such a strong reason to be there.

Dexterslockedintheshedagain Wed 24-Apr-19 18:44:11

Only you can make that decision, but FWIW I would go.
My sister had been in hospital for a few weeks a few years ago, and I was going to go and see her (I live 3hrs drive away). But she rallied, and became much better so I said I’d go the weekend after I was originally going.
Two days later she died. Not a day goes by that I don’t regret that decision. And it hurts so much not having seen her in her final days.
💐 for you OP.

ReanimatedSGB Wed 24-Apr-19 18:45:43

I think you would regret it if you didn't. Is there a good friend who could go with you if your H is too ill to make the journey? Or, as PP have said, if it really isn't possible to travel, try to set up a Skype call or similar.

My oldest friend died at the end of last year; he lived in another country and i couldn't afford to go and see him. His wife and I were planning to sort out a phone call if not a video call but in fact he was too ill for either by the time he came out of hospital.

Takethebuscuitandthesink Wed 24-Apr-19 18:47:29

Oh op this is awful please feel free to pm me and I would be happy to talk to you one on one. I really think you should go as I feel you will probably regret it if you don’t. I fully understand the situation you are in and although nothing can make the pain go away remember looking after yourself is key and flowers

NoCauseRebel Wed 24-Apr-19 18:47:34

How ill is your DH? Heart failure isn’t generally the terrifying thing that it sounds when said, so obviously only you know how bad things are.

You say he’s frail but is he e.g.bed-bound? Unable to care for himself at all? Or does he benefit from your help iyswim.

I am in heart failure but that doesn’t mean I’m dying (at least I’ve been told it doesn’t) but it means my heart is functioning below normal and that for me means a loss of stamina, some mobility etc but I can still care for myself iyswim.

Only you know how ill your dh is, and he presumably also does, but if your sister is dying imminently and you are close you will likely regret not going to see her at least.

Funerals are generally for the living and that is a separate decision, but while she’s still here and you have the opportunity you need to see how you can make this happen for yourself as much as anything. flowers.

whyohwhyowhydididoit Wed 24-Apr-19 18:48:11

Even if you don’t stay long I think you might regret it if you don’t go at all. Go for half an hour and see how it feels. I wouldn’t even think about the funeral for now. Plenty of time to decide about that later. flowers.

SunshineCake Wed 24-Apr-19 18:48:13

I'm so sorry. With what you've said about your mum I Remember you if you are the same poster. Iirc you were glad you stayed with your mum even though it was exhausting. No one is saying you have to sit with your sister for weeks but that you may regret it if you don't see her again. Take care.

saraclara Wed 24-Apr-19 18:48:42

I'm so sorry you're going through this. But if it's at all possible to arrange help for your DH, then I really think you should go. If you don't, it's a decision you can ever undo or put right if you regret it.

Maldives2006 Wed 24-Apr-19 18:50:18

Not even the fact the ops husband is really ill !! There’s no need to add to the ops guilt

diddl Wed 24-Apr-19 18:52:54

You wouldn't be expected to stay until she dies though would you?

Just visit for as long as you feel you can manage.

TooBusyHavingFun Wed 24-Apr-19 18:53:17

Yes go of course.

Hecateh Wed 24-Apr-19 18:53:47

For me I would feel it would be more important for me to see her now whilst I still could. The funeral is for the living and if you don't think it would matter to you to miss it then have you own private memory session at home

DeftandGlory Wed 24-Apr-19 18:54:09

It’s not about making the Op feel guilty. It’s about saving her from feeling guilty when her sister is gone and there is nothing she can do about it.

SoupDragon Wed 24-Apr-19 18:55:01

I do think you should go to see her once before she dies - you don't need to sit with her for weeks as you did with your mother, there are others to do that.

On the other hand, the funeral is unimportant in my mind - you can take yourself off somewhere private at the time and think of your time together.


OllyBJolly Wed 24-Apr-19 18:55:33

I was with my sister when she died (brain tumours). I will treasure these last few moments and I'm glad I spent these very precious times with her. It had been a horrible, cruel illness but her last days were very peaceful.

I organised and attended the funeral. TBH- the funeral is for others, not for the deceased. In your position, I'd give that a miss in favour of being with her in her last days.

woollyheart Wed 24-Apr-19 18:56:17

It is exhausting being at someone side in hospital for weeks. You don't have to do this for your sister as she has people caring for her. It is ok for you to visit her for an hour but not take over her care. thanks

NeverTwerkNaked Wed 24-Apr-19 18:56:59

I didn’t go to my dear friends funeral (I had a dreadful tummy bug) and it still eats at me 20 years later. However I know he would have understood and forgiven me. It’s more that I missed a way of honouring him.

I think you really must try and see your sister now. Could someone share the driving with you so you can do it in a day even? or someone care for your husband? Or could you look into the option of flying? You will never get the chance back, and it’s really painful living with that. What does your husband say? He must want you to go.

NeverTwerkNaked Wed 24-Apr-19 18:58:08

and yes, out of the two, visiting her now should take priority over the funeral. You can find other ways to remember her.

NeverTwerkNaked Wed 24-Apr-19 19:00:11

Ps. Huge sympathies and no judgement from me. You must feel absolutely torn.

Soozikinzi Wed 24-Apr-19 19:01:42

I also think you will regret not seeing her since you said you are really close xx sending hugs for whatever you decide

OldAndWornOut Wed 24-Apr-19 19:03:29

I don't understand why you wouldn't go..
It seems heartless, frankly.

MitziK Wed 24-Apr-19 19:06:30

I've been with my brother until Tuesday morning. It's hard and it really, really hurts.

Our sister and her husband came, even though she will be doing the same for him in just a few weeks. And her daughter is very, very seriously ill.

Please, please go to see her now.

SoupDragon Wed 24-Apr-19 19:07:43

I don't understand why you wouldn't go..
It seems heartless, frankly.

Not as heartless as your post.

flitwit99 Wed 24-Apr-19 19:08:13

I'm sorry about your mum. That must have been really hard.

But from what you have said your sister is not dying today, or even this week. She is still living and you should go and spend time with her. (Did I word that badly? I didn't mean to)

Cruelstepmother Wed 24-Apr-19 19:08:56

I expect it does seem heartless. But you don't know me.

Everydaypeople Wed 24-Apr-19 19:10:12

Exactly soupdragon

SaskiaRembrandt Wed 24-Apr-19 19:10:16

My brother died in an accident, so it was very sudden, but I would give anything to have had the chance to say good bye to him. Do go, it will be hard, but if you don't you will regret it.

stucknoue Wed 24-Apr-19 19:10:49

I would suggest you try to go, is flying or the train an option? In your circumstances going to see her ASAP while she's alive far more important than the funeral.

makingmammaries Wed 24-Apr-19 19:11:43

Your question to a bunch of people who don’t know you was AIBU. The majority says yes, YABU not to bring some comfort at your own expense to your dying sister.

Everydaypeople Wed 24-Apr-19 19:13:20

It doesn’t seem heartless op, please don’t think like that. It will be a difficult enough time for you.

HoraceCope Wed 24-Apr-19 19:13:28

only you can decide op.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »