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How can i help MIL

(4 Posts)
expatmatt78 Wed 14-Mar-18 03:06:41

I'm sorry I've started a number of posts recently and I have to say it's all helped massively !
So if you've followed or not my (step which isn't irrelevant) FIL suddenly died and DH and I live overseas. Funeral was put off for quite some time for whatever reason. DH is a CEO and didn't feel he could stay away any longer (had already been away a month) so he spent 2 weeks with his DM then he and I "switched" and he came back and I flew over for the funeral and flew DMIL back with me for a "break".
Sadly this is a break her and now deceased DFIL were coming for so essentially I took his place at their airport hotel last week as well as his seat on the plane over.
I also went over for the funeral

She seems to be worse this week post funeral than last week. Is very despondent and negative. Seems to be finding our kids really annoying and not able to cope with that well.
I don't know how to help her ?

expatmatt78 Wed 14-Mar-18 03:09:35

I might add she is a few months off retiring and can't see a future now he's not here. I just don't know how to help. She's now staying with us abroad - it's all bitter sweet as he was due to be here too at this time.

Do2Little Wed 14-Mar-18 09:55:56

It is really difficult if she lives in another country.

My Dad lives reasonably close by but I have accepted he will never be the same. He leads a quiet life now. I've notice some things that help him though so they might help your MIL.

- Daily routine of collecting newspaper, going to shop and crossword puzzles.
- Listening to the radio.
- I got him a mobile phone for the first time and put voice recognition on it. All the grandchildren phone him.
- Skype with grandchildren.
- Gardening.
- I got him a radio which he enjoys listening to.
- Visiting memorial / grave.
- Organising & labelling family photos. Researching family history. You can do this from afar using e mail and a website like Lots of elderly people enjoy researching family history and maybe she could join a genealogy club in due course.
- Small trips with us of a couple of days are as much as he can manage. How about meeting up with you MIL somewhere different for a mini break on neutral territory? That way your children would enjoy it more.
- Encourage her to join something (however my DF has refused to so this). He does enjoy meeting up with a friend for a drink.
- I got him a National Trust year membership and am encouraging him to visit local places.
- Maybe a railcard or bus pass? Might be too soon atm.

I don't think grieving can be rushed. Hope one of these ideas helps.

Do2Little Wed 14-Mar-18 09:59:58

Also introduce these ideas gently and one by one otherwise they may be rejected. It took at least six months before my Dad even considered anything.

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