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beloved FIL has just died...how do I help dh and ds ?

(33 Posts)
MaryAnnSingleton Tue 19-Aug-08 21:35:19

feeling a bit numb and at a loss as to what to do...ILs live up in E Midlands and we are in Hampshire ..he was a lovely,lovely man- I loved him and I'll miss him so.. how can I support my boys though ? sad sad sad

TheOldestCat Tue 19-Aug-08 21:36:58

Oh, so sorry for the loss of your dear FIL.

You'll help DH and DS just by being a wife and mum; don't think about it too much, just do what seems right to you.

Remember, you're grieving too and take care of yourself.

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 19-Aug-08 21:37:13

So sorry MAS. sad

All you can do is be there for them, and make allowances for bad behaviour/bad moods, etc.

You need to think of yourself as well, and let yourself grieve too.

WumphreyCushion Tue 19-Aug-08 21:40:54

oh mas sad
just be available to them, to cry, to reminisce, and try to help them make sense of something so confusing.
and make sure you take care of yourself too.
thinking of you all.
x

MaryAnnSingleton Tue 19-Aug-08 21:41:14

thanks..I'm being a bit weepy which is prob. good as I would normally try to hold it in...

tigermoth Tue 19-Aug-08 21:48:36

Sorry to hear about your loss. I get the impression from your op that your FIL's death was unexpected - so sorry.

If at all possible, I think it's important that you make sure your dh is free to go to his mother as soon as he wants to go - do all you can practically, timewise and financially, to make it easy for your dh to leave when he wants to, with an open ended time of return. I know this may be difficult if you are unprepared, but whatever you can do is good.

This is what my dh did for me when I lost my mother and I in turn did for my dh when he lost his father. I think you have to support your dh and urge him to forget about home responsibilities for now, and go to his mother if you sense this is what he needs to do.

Sort out your dh first then your sons - depending on what your dh wants to do. If he is deeply grieving and upset, it may be best if he is away from them for a little while, till he can come more to terms with what has happened and you can keep things as normal as possible for your sons at home - it can be frightening for children to see a parent deeply distressed.

MaryAnnSingleton Tue 19-Aug-08 22:04:23

thank you tigermoth,that is sensible advice. Dh a bit numb right now to know what he wants/needs to do - have told him he must go to see his mum if that's what he'd like to do.Ds is fine at the moment. Just feel the need to 'do' stuff.FIL was in his eighties but looked years younger- he did have health problems but wasn't ill, but obviously you expect the call to come at some point,it's just still a shock when it does.

Califrau Tue 19-Aug-08 22:14:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ScottishMummy Tue 19-Aug-08 22:17:30

so sorry to read your sad news. listen to dh, let him cry, no stiff upper lip.do take care

x

Waswondering Tue 19-Aug-08 22:21:05

So sorry MAS - dfil died almost exactly a year ago.

We were all there = the death was expected (cancer) and in some ways the time between the death and funeral were "easy". We were all together as a family (though mil is 20 years younger than your fil was) and had some really "good" family time - a real sense of togetherness.

My advice to you is, if possible, can you go to the Chapel of Rest with your dh, in time before the funeral. For me, it was important to see fil in the coffin before I saw dh carrying it in the church (which was hard enough).

I'm so sorry.

MaryAnnSingleton Tue 19-Aug-08 22:54:37

thanks everyone - mumsnet is such a comfort,one of my first instincts was to post for advice/comfort.
Am not sure about chapel of rest for dh..I saw my grand parents after they'd died which was fine but I think,knowing my dh,that he'd prefer to remember his dad the last time we saw them a few months ago - hugging ds and shoving a tenner into his hands and I have a sweet photo of them which I took just before we left. He did live a long and interesting life,had 4 sons and grand children and was much loved, so that is a big comfort.

MaryAnnSingleton Tue 19-Aug-08 22:59:45

have just added the photo on to profile

WumphreyCushion Tue 19-Aug-08 23:41:37

what a lovely photo, MAS.
such kind eyes.

MaryAnnSingleton Wed 20-Aug-08 08:29:41

thank you - he was a very kind man.
When I woke up I remembered what had happened and that is so awful. Poor dh is staying home today - I think I will do practical stuff like sewing name labels on ds' new uniform as I imagine we will be involved in funeral things soon and don't want to run out of time before term starts.

Waswondering Wed 20-Aug-08 21:54:52

(I'm sorry - when I went to the Chapel of Rest it was a closed coffin. I'm very sorry if that was a misunderstanding.)

MaryAnnSingleton Wed 20-Aug-08 22:25:01

That's ok..seeing the coffin really does bring it home though.

Squirdle Wed 20-Aug-08 22:43:17

Oh MAS, I am sorry for you, DH and DS sad

I have been in exactly the same postion as you. 3 years ago DFIL passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly. He was fantastic and DS1 had such a brilliant realtionship with him. DS1 was 11 too.

I found it very hard, as you do, as although he wasn't my dad/grandad, I was very fond of him. But I needed to be there for DH and DS first and foremost (Ds's 2 and 3 were only 2.6 and 6 months so didnt understand)

I feel I was so occupied with making sure DH and DS were alright that I didn't give myself time to grieve and it hit me hard a few months later.

I think all you can do is be there for them, hold them, cry with them. Talk about your FIL. It helped to talk to DS about the funny things he did with his grandad. He said he loved to remember him for the times he had with him...cycling through the drivethrough in McD's....being wheeled in a wheelbarrow up in laws lane with a torch to meet DH because the lane had flooded. He has many memeories. DS chose not to go to the funeral because of this, he decided he didn't want to have his last memory of grandad being his funeral.

When I have seen you speak of your DS, I feel he is very much like DS1 and will respond well to chats about grandad.

It will take time, but you will get to a point where you can have fond and happy memories about your FIL. 3 years on for us, we still talk about him and laugh about the stuff he did.

Take care x

Squirdle Wed 20-Aug-08 22:44:05

And that picture really is lovely...it will be treasured I am sure.

MaryAnnSingleton Wed 20-Aug-08 23:00:31

oh squirdle thank you,that was a lovely reply. We are all 3 feeling a bit better this evening having spent a day together. I looked up music and readings and emailed them to SIL up in Notts. as they will be discussing funeral stuff tomorrow, it gave us something practical to focus on. Ds is being very calm and not asking much,though he keeps saying'how ae you ?' to me. We'll be fine but will miss him so. I still miss my uncle who died very unexpectedly 13 yrs ago - he was my dad's twin so it felt very close to home. It sounds as though you all coped very well with the loss of your FIL..that;s a comfort..thanks again smile

ilovemydog Wed 20-Aug-08 23:09:31

What a lovely son you have...

Funerals are a dichotomy - sadness and celebration. How great that you can plan the appropriate readings and music...

It's such a comfort to plan these things as a tribute...

Squirdle Wed 20-Aug-08 23:26:00

He does seem like a really lovely boy. You can tell by his picture!

It was really hard when FIL died as it was in a pretty horrific way and it has taken time. I still feel sad when we stay at MIL's, but that is because it feels like something is missing iyswim. But he was so lovely and left us with lovely memories.

The only really sad thing is that he won't see our boys,ours and SIL's grow up and he was such a fun grandad. He would be so proud of DS1 and the acheievments he has had and so proud of what a lovely young man he is (he played a part in that)

It does get easier, I promise.

MaryAnnSingleton Thu 21-Aug-08 07:32:56

thanks squirdle for saying those nice things about ds- he is lovely and kind and has inherited his nature from his grandad (both grandfathers are particularly wonderful men- how lucky we are !) and ilovemydog,thanks too - you are right,choosing the music and readings was a really good diversion yesterday,when we were feeling at a loss and a bit odd..dh perked up when I found some bagpipe stuff and opera..it's all being discussed today by BILs,SIL and MIL and we submitted our ideas,obv. it's up to MIL but we hope she'll agree.
I'm glad ds has known his grandad thogh and although we live relatively far apart he has seen him a lot and when we do go it'll be strange not having him there..we'll think he's off in the garden doing something or in his shed having a sneaky fag when he's not meant to be a smoker !

EssieW Thu 21-Aug-08 08:06:18

My MIL died suddenly about 2 months ago.

Maybe you can help by also being with your DH, and MIL (with children, if she is up to it) - and taking the burden of all the practical stuff of cooking and cleaning over the weekend or whenever possible.

My FIL has also appreciated putting together a memory book - initially this was of his own life, but he has also started doing one of MIL life

MaryAnnSingleton Thu 21-Aug-08 08:20:08

thanks Essie, unfortunately we live a long way from MIL so day to day practical stuff isn't posible,luckily 2 of her sons and families live nearby and she has really good neighbours and friends for that stuff.We will of course do as much as we can when there..I think she will just like having her family about anyway. Sorry for the loss of your MIL too,it's hard,isn't it sad

tigermoth Thu 21-Aug-08 08:23:10

I'm glad you are able to focus on the funeral music and readings - being involved in those sorts of arrangements are useful in getting your dh to talk about his father and what has happened, so he's not bottling everything up. Take care.

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