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Am I being selfish?

(8 Posts)
Mrsmagoo22 Wed 06-Jul-16 19:15:18

My lovely FIL passed away a few weeks ago. He was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with terminal cancer 4 weeks before we lost him so all happened quite quickly.
He wanted to come home to be with his family so my DH was able to spend lots of time with him in his last weeks which i fully supported. I also helped with his care but not as much as DH as I work and we have dd (4yrs) and wanted to keep things as normal as possible for her but we were both with him when he passed away. I found it more helpful to do shopping and errands for MIL as dd could come with me so I helped more in that way.
We are all still in shock I think. He really was the most lovely, generous, funny man who from the minute i met him made me part of his family.
My DH is obviously still grieving but am so proud of how hes dealt with it and how he was there for his family which makes the way Im now feeling even worse! He went back to work the week after(said he needed to for himself) and was going his DMs after returning late after I'd gone to bed. I understood why but dd was missing her daddy so we had a chat and he then came home after work. So since then he has been at home for our evening meal but as soon as dd is asleep he goes to DMs till late. If I do dds bedtime he is gone when I get downstairs. I have spoken to him briefly as dont get much chance when dd is awake and he said that he promised his DF he would look after his mum so thats just the way it is now.
I get what he is saying but am so scared that this really is it now. Am i being selfish to resent sitting on my own every night? I know he has lost a parent and MIL has lost her DH but they have each other and Im grieving and have no-one. Cant go to see friends as no babysitter. MIL comes to our house at the wkend (at my invitation) and I love having her here and so does dd. I just miss my DH so much but prepared to be told (gently) I am being selfish, needy and unreasonable as thats how I feel!

NavyAndWhite Wed 06-Jul-16 20:44:15

I'm so sorry for your loss.
A death in the family is hard for everyone in different ways. Please let your DH just do what he feels he must at this time. As hard as it is for you I think he needs to go and see his mum.

Honestly it won't be forever. He is grieving and his mum understands.

Hopefully things will settle down a bit soon but I think you need to let your DH decide when he should stop seeing his mum every night flowers

AyeAmarok Wed 06-Jul-16 20:51:27

YAB a bit selfish, yes. You loved your FIL but that doesn't compare to your DH losing his dad and MIL her husband. It's only been a few weeks.

Perhaps in a few more weeks he might be able to step it back a night or two so it's not every week night.

But for now, leave them be.

Canyouforgiveher Wed 06-Jul-16 20:58:55

I'm very sorry for your loss and I agree with NavyandWhite that in the immediate aftermath of a death people need to do what they can for the grieving widow etc.

But honestly, this is not sustainable long term and I would be a bit concerned about your dh saying "this is just the way it is now". in a week or so, I'd want to know how is this going to pan out in everyday life.

It wouldn't be fair to his wife and daughter to spend every evening with his mother. equally his mother will eventually need to live her life, connect with friends, get used to being alone sometimes. Your dh can't become her substitute husband.

I have seen it with friends dealing with elderly parents that it can become all consuming. You can support, spend time, include the widow/widower in family events, have them over for dinner etc. But ultimately you also have to focus on the needs of your wife and children too.

When my dad died, my mother had to face being alone for the first time in more than 50 years. She did great in that she had friends and longstanding arrangements for coffee/lunch/etc. (made me realise how important it is to do this as you get older). But she also relied on my sister more than was fair. On the day of my dad's funeral my BIL said to my mum "don't worry, sister (his wife) will be up to see you every day" and I remember thinking that was going to be a huge burden and expectation - and it was. My sister had never visited them every day before but she did as soon as dad died and then it became an expectation. Honestly, it was in the years that followed, to the detriment of my sister's children.

So I am saying neither of you are wrong. It is ok to spend a lot of time with someone after a death. It is not ok for this to become the norm - it won't help your MIL get her own life in place and it will be bad for your daughter and yourself. Maybe see how things go and then sit down and chat.

Also, one thing that my sis and I both noticed was when my dad died, there was absolutely no room for our grief - my mother's grief was so all consuming for her. I didn't blame her but your dh is probably feeling a lot of grief and possibly is spending his time comforting his mother rather than expressing it. You could probably help him a lot with this.

again, sorry for your loss - and I mean yours. I loved my FIL and mourned him sincerely when he died.

Mrsmagoo22 Wed 06-Jul-16 21:50:53

Thankyou all so much for taking the time to reply....
I know deep down I am being selfish so thanks for putting it so gently.
Canyouforgive her-you have hit the nail on the head! If he could say it won't always be like this I could understand but I am worried that it will become 'the norm' like it did for your sister.
What you say about him possibly comforting his mum rather than facing his own grief rings so true. How can I help when hes not here? Actually now I think about it maybe thats why hes not here! Oh I dont know.....I still have both my parents so I suppose I cant understand fully can I?

I'm not after setting a date for him to spend more time at home, just an acknowledgement. And do you know what? It really isnt just about me and him, we both have friends and interests outside of 'us' and while I know hes not up to it yet I want him to have a life.
Maybe he just cant think that far ahead yet. Tho we were going away for our wedding anniversary in October, just a few days. Out of the blue today he asked me to cancel it.
I will take the advice on board from all of you and see what the nxt few weeks bring.

Thanx so much, it really has helped!

NavyAndWhite Wed 06-Jul-16 21:54:13

He can't think that far ahead. He's living in grief right now. I promise that once the raw numbness starts the ease ever so slightly he and his mum will need each other less.

He's still your loving husband and father to DD, he just needs some time.

AyeAmarok Wed 06-Jul-16 22:08:14

Hmm, not sure what you should do about the weekend away. October is a long way away, and things are likely to settle down a bit by then.

If you cancel now, would you lose less money than if you cancel a month before? Or could you cancel now and rebook later without losing any money?

I think knowing that is booked probably makes him feel a lot of pressure because he can't imagine how he'll be able to go and enjoy it or leave his mum. So cancelling might take some weight off his shoulders and you can revisit the idea in a few months.

Mrsmagoo22 Wed 06-Jul-16 22:29:33

Navyandwhite-Thank you for that. He is still a loving husband and father. It breaks my heart to see him going through this but hes obviously dealing with it in his own way. I just want to be there for him.
AyeAmarok-its not about the money but can cancel up to 2wks before and not lose anything. I had already cancelled our summer holiday when FIL was diagnosed so I know his mum will want us to go on this one. Must add she also has her daughter for support.

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