Mil dying, family collapsing. Please help!(39 Posts)
MiL is dying. She has been very sick for a long time, but we’re pretty sure it’s close to the end now. She has somewhere between days and weeks left. DH is not coping. I know it’s because of his mum – he’s normally lovely, but I know he’s out of cope. We live in a different country to his family but have been flying home once a month for the weekend. Right now he’s under huge pressure from his family to go home until the end. He wants to, and he wants me to go with him for emotional support but I don’t have the annual leave to do this and my work say this isn’t an appropriate use of compassionate leave – I can have a day for the funeral and that’s all I’m able to do. They’ve offered me unpaid leave but we can’t afford to have us both off work unpaid for long.
I have said I understand if he goes without me, and I can cover us both financially for a short time (he would also be on unpaid leave) but this seems to have gone down badly and he literally hasn’t spoken to me beyond an angry monosyllable for the last 32 hours. He’s this horrible black hole of misery and won’t eat unless food is placed in front of him, sits on the sitting room floor staring into space, not even turning on the lights in the evening, ignores DD and just isn’t there.
I’m having to do everything, and I’m not coping.
I know she isn’t my mum, but I’ve known this lovely woman since I was 15 and I’m devastated by this too. I also have a history of mental illness (bipolar disorder) and I’ve been quite unwell lately. Right now, getting out of bed is incredibly hard work and I’ve had to crawl up the stairs because I’m giddy with panic and can’t stand. I have to pretend I’m fine for work, DD, and I have to somehow manage house and finances and I’m close to collapse.
This isn’t normal for us. It isn’t the normal we’ve had for years. It’s only been this way for the last two weeks, getting massively worse this week. It’s because of this awful horrible time but I’m not sure how we can get through it. Should I try and borrow money from my family so I can afford to take unpaid leave and we all go back to our home country? What should I do? I’m trying to pull myself together and be this tower of strength but it’s so hard. I could about cope until he stopped talking to me.
where are you based OP. This will help people best throw support your way.
We're UK based. His (and my) family are in Ireland.
I'm sure you've considered this already but could you work from home over in Ireland so you are supporting him even if working?
I mean so sorry to hear all this by the way
How old is dd?
Yes I think borrowing money is a good idea. I’m sorry your work is so awful. Keep trying to talk to your DH though as it sounds like he’s not thinking clearly.
I'm really sorry your going through this. We went through similar earlier this year when my fil died.
The only advice I can give you is your husband must do what he feels he needs to do. Whatever that is and it could change from hour to hour. Watching someone die is scary and horrible.
I ended up seeing a counsellor because I needed the support but couldn't ask it from family or friends due to their circumstances. It's honestly the very best thing I think I've ever done! Ive had alot of therapy before but not for a few years. It did have a financial impact but I came to a financial agreement with my Counsellor and only saw her twice a month. I can't recommend it enough!
I felt I needed to remain stable and strong for my husband and I was right. I took on the kids and house especially in the final weeks and for a few months afterwards.
I started running every day to manage my emotions and anxiety and my dh found exercise essential. Some days he'd go to the gym or for a run twice.
Your husband's world is changing and he has no control over any of it. He'll be terrified. You need to do what you need to do to stay ok for him.
Please look after yourself.
I think you need to accept he is in a deep hole of despair and not thinking straight. You know, because you are still thinking logically, that you can't both afford to take unpaid leave. He need to somehow understand that he needs to go home alone and be with his family and you will join him when the time comes. How you get that through to him is another matter. I really wonder if he needs to go and see his GP because his response is not at all normal. He may need some help to get through this period. Would he entertain the idea of going to see his GP?
I did ask about working from home but my work feel I wouldn't be working if I was at home with sick family. They are trying to be nice, but basically don't want to pay me to not work for a period of time that we can't predict.
DD is 9 months so not super aware of what's happening, thank God.
It is so difficult to predict 'the end'. I know the nurses told us to get family home for Mum on the Friday, and she didn't pass until the following Thursday.
Would it work for you to work Monday to Thursday, and have three days weekends for a while? I know you've got the added cost of travelling but at least you've got 4 days income.
Sorry you're going through this.
That is annoying if them! Maybe you could agree a compromise where you do a trial of long weekend in Ireland and wfh Friday and Monday there but if they feel the productivity wasn't there on those days you stop the trial? Then you work like crazy to show arabgemwnt is working. Depending on flights you could then fly out to Ireland thurs and return crack of dawn tues?
Who would look after dd? Nursery? Family?
blueskyinmarch - he has suffered from depression before, many years ago. I did wonder if maybe GP might be an idea but he got angry and shouted at me - he feels he's not unwell, his mother is dying.
He really isn't normally like this, and he is under a lot of pressure. FiL is also v unwell and SiL is acting as a carer for both, plus looking after her kids, and she's called DH in the small hours of the morning in floods of tears telling him he's failing their family and she can't do this alone. I know she's been signed off work with stress and isn't ok either.
It just feels like dominoes. We all fall down.
Catlovingmama - we can take DD with us. Weirdly, it's easier re childcare if we're in Ireland as my DM can take over. But if we want to keep her place with the childminder here we have to keep paying.
Why hasn't he gone yet? Is he waiting for you to say you will go? Can you all go tomorrow evening but then you come back by yourself with DD on Sunday and leave him?
I don't know why he hasn't gone. He has been saying the last few days he might be gone when I get home but hasn't. I think he's hoping I'll magic up a way to come too.
Oh dear - a couple of years ago my partners father was rushed into hospital and diagnosed as terminally ill. We are in Scotland, they are in N. Ireland. Because we weren't married (but lived together and listed as recipients of each other pensions and emergency contacts at work). I was granted no leave at all. I asked for unpaid leave - it was summer and as I work within the education sector it was quiet and would not have unduly effected my workplace. I flew backwards and forwards using up all my AL. Eventually I was granted 5 days unpaid special leave for the funeral. It was awful and whilst I understand the rules and regs it would have been good for my workplace to have granted me a few extra unpaid days.
Anyway I would say that of course this is having an impact on you. Do you have any Annual leave? What I did was take a Friday or a Monday off this getting 3 or 4 days at a time, flying on the really early or really late flights - leave some stuff over there so you can travel hand luggage only. I would send your DH over there because it probably is what he needs to do. This will be an incredibly hard time for both of you. Hopefully it will be as comfortable for your MIL as possible.
Your DH needs to go and be with his mother now. If she only has a short time left and dies before he gets there I think he could take it really badly. Once he gets to Ireland he will have the support of his family and neighbour's there. It's Thursday now. Do you have a Monday to Friday job? Could you promise to fly over with DD on Friday night for the weekend?
I do think his reaction is a bit unusual. In my experience when a parent is dying their children just go to be with them if at all possible and partners are supportive by keeping things going at home and keeping life normal for any children. I wonder if he is scared of what is happening and is using the fact you can't go as an excuse not to go himself because he's not sure he can cope with it.
I'd take unpaid leave, and deal with the financial fallout as and when. Your DH needs to be at home right now and his family need his support. And he needs yours. He will never forgive himself if he's not there at the end, and it sounds like your SIL needs some moral support too.
* I wonder if he is scared of what is happening and is using the fact you can't go as an excuse not to go himself because he's not sure he can cope with it.*
I think that's a major factor. I also think he's scared of his dad and sister's grief and wants some kind of shield. I just don't know how to be that shield.
I've got 3 days annual leave left which I can take at no notice due to circumstances. I've suggested that I fly down Friday, and stay until Tuesday and then return Thursday evening.
It sounds to me like you genuinely need to be signed off work due to ill health. I have BPD too so I understand the implications of becoming very stressed. You need to look after yourself - for you and for your family. Is that an option for you?
Good plan OP, I think if you can just get him there, that'll be half the battle. If your DM is local can she help be a bit of a shield for him?
When does your annual leave run? Can you borrow a few days from the next years allowance? My workplace have done that before as well.
I know this is a horrible thing to go through, and I know everyone is struggling, but your dh's behaviour and demands on you aren't reasonable.
It sounds a bit as if nobody, starting with your SIL, is supported well over this (are your PIL both at home? Do they have any care help?) and each one is passing the stress further down the line. But your work are right. You can't drop everything (and imperil your family finances) and go and be with dh for what might turn into weeks because he is being too self-indulgent (sorry, but that's how a lot of his behaviour reads as) to face it alone. Losing an elderly parent is a horrible part of life, but it's a part of life nevertheless, and it's not the case that absolutely everything else can stop for it. If he feels he needs to go, he should go, but he shouldn't insist on taking you and increasing your burden.
I am so sorry op..
Your DH should go and be with his family and you could go for the weekend...take the Monday if you have any leave available......Surely thats the most sensible option
I don't want to be signed off work if pos. I've fought so hard to be able to work, to live a normal life when everyone said I couldn't.
I'm just struggling right now. I had a mixed episode a couple of months ago and then crashed into depression that I don't seem to be able to shake. I'm trying really hard to stay strong and I've not given up or stopped doing anything but it's hard.
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