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Good Friend in the US about to die. DS (14) will be heartbroken - WWYD?

(8 Posts)
blue2 Wed 05-Dec-12 10:06:28

We have a good friend in the US who has been battling with Melanoma for the last 2 and a half years; she and my son are just soooo close.

She's unmarried, no kids, but she and DS bonded when he was about 3 and they've been close ever since. He even went out to see her for a week by himself this summer. I guess she's a rather 'active grandma' type - or she was. He thinks that she's just wonderful. He loves her to bits.

I've had an email from a friend who is basically saying that the treatment isn't working any more, and that she has chosen to stop any more intervention. I have no idea how long she has with us. I know that she struggles to eat, now - but is still at home.

I cannot decide what to do; DS knows that she has cancer... but should I tell DS all the info, tell him nothing much but indicate that she's not long for this world, or get on the next flight out with him and go and see her?

If I take the latter option, I'm not sure if I'll hold it together. DH has said I must do what I think is right - by all means go and see her now if we want to - but don't waste money on going to her funeral. (Typical black and white male approach...)

I'm so upset - I've lost the ability to reason.

Any thoughts appreciated.

strawberrypenguin Wed 05-Dec-12 10:10:36

If you can afford to do I would see if DS wants to go and say 'goodbye' in person. If not at 14 I would say he's old enough to know all the details and it may help him understand/process. I'm sorry your going to loose such a good friend sad

YDdraigGoch Wed 05-Dec-12 10:19:13

Tell him everything. He's 14, and old enough to understand and cope with knowing everything. And if he wants to go and see her, then you should take him. I agree with your DH that it's much better to spend the money while she's alive than to go for the funeral, and I'm sure your friend would think so too.
But for heaven's sake, if she's that ill, don't dither too long.

Startail Wed 05-Dec-12 10:26:44

My DD is 14, I think she'd know what she wanted do.

If you can afford to go, go. She won't know you went to her funeral.

You have reminded me that, I also must ring a very dear elderly friend, who has not been well.

helpyourself Wed 05-Dec-12 10:42:33

Definitely go now rather than for the funeral- not saying you have to make either trip, but the former could be very healing for you and your son. Have you had any contact with her?

Haribojoe Wed 05-Dec-12 10:44:36

Go now with DS you will never regret having had that time with your friend.

madcows Fri 07-Dec-12 09:56:38

Before you go please bear in mind that the last months of someone's life with melanoma can be very very unpleasant, and this might be extremely difficult for you and your ds (not to mention her and her family). She may not be able to receive visitors much at all, or may not be able to communicate with them. I am not saying don't go, just saying be prepared for it to be distressing in the extreme. (My sister died from melanoma, and she had visitors in the last months who expected / needed /wanted something from those visits that she simply wasn't able to give them.) I hope this helps you make your decision.

auntierozzi Fri 07-Dec-12 10:15:53

Sorry to hear this sad news and about your sister Madcows. I like your post.

Is it possible to speak to your friend and see what she would be most comfortable with you doing? She might feel that she wants you to keep a memory of her in full health rather at this last moment..Maybe not.

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