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So it seems I'm not allowed to see him before he dies.....

(22 Posts)
verysadandconfused Fri 03-Oct-08 13:14:27

My friend's father has recently been diagnosed with cancer and has gone downhill quite rapidly and unexpectedly sad

I've know this friend since early childhood, we grew up together and spent holidays together so it was very sad news about his illness as he feels like an uncle to me. I have struggled with my friend recently due to her demanding personality and before her dad's illness was announced I was gently trying to reduce contact with her (another long story - she even stalked me onto MN and I ended up changing my posting name), but once I heard about her dad I felt the timing of 'dumping' her was just so awful, so I'm trying to be as supportive as I can to her.

(I am a regular but have namechanged as I'm paranoid she'll be looking for me on MN)

She mentioned at the weekend that he was in hospital with an infection but hoped to be home soon. I said I'd like to visit him and she said she'd let me know when she was next going so I could go with her, I never heard anything.

Today she has emailed me to say he is going downhill fast and doctors don't think he has long left sad. I asked when she was next seeing him and said I'd like to visit, to which she replied that she'd be ok and didn't need me to go with her. I tried to explain gently that as much as I wanted to support her, I also wanted to see him as he was a big part of my life too, but that I also didn't want to intrude on their family time. She replied that she doesn't want me to go as she wants me to remember him how he was before.

I know it's her dad and I know I have no right to be anywhere near as upset as her about it, but it just feels so odd that I'm not allowed to see him and I'm just waiting to be told he's gone and when the funeral will be sad

I feel like such a selfish bitch sad

What do I do?

VeniVidiVickiQV Fri 03-Oct-08 13:15:49

Respect her wishes.

beanieb Fri 03-Oct-08 13:17:01

I think you have to acccept that as a non-family member it doesn't really matter how close you were to him, you don't have a 'right' to see him. Maybe just put all your efforts into supporting your friend as she is teh one who is going to be left behind when he dies. sad

gingerninja Fri 03-Oct-08 13:17:49

I agree, I think you do need to respect the family's wishes. Sorry

hippipotami Fri 03-Oct-08 13:19:21

I think your friend needs you to remember him as he was - as she will be clinging on to those memories once he has gone.
So she needs you to be there when she talks about the old times and how he was.
She maybe fears you will not be able to do that if your memories are teh same as hers i.e. her dad weak and grey in a hospital bed.

Respect her wishes and be there for her. Just ask her to pass a farewell message on to him from you so you feel you have said goodbye.

verysadandconfused Fri 03-Oct-08 13:19:44

it's just odd because the last time I saw her she said he'd like to see me and she'd tell me when I could visit so I thought I'd get chance to say goodbye, now I'm not allowed to

beanieb Fri 03-Oct-08 13:20:40

AW - I'm sure it's not that you're not allowed. Perhaps there's just a lot of stress involved for her personally and she wants to spend the time on her own with her family?

SecondhandRose Fri 03-Oct-08 13:22:11

My Dad didn't want to see anyone, I think he felt quite helpless and almost degraded at the end. He wouldn't see the children either. It is a horrible feeling knowing you are going to die.

You have done all you can, just be there to support your friend. You sound like a great one.

cathcat Fri 03-Oct-08 13:22:20

My dad has just died in a hospice last week. He was in hospital for about 9 weeks and for 7 of those he was really very ill. It was only family and very close personal friends who were allowed to visit him. Especially in the last few days it was too distressing and exhausting for him to have visitors.
I know you want to show your affection for him but I think you must respect the family's wishes and as beanieb said think about how to support your friend in other ways at this horrendous time.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 03-Oct-08 13:22:26

If you know which hospital he's in you could send him a card. You can tell him how much he means to you, remember some happy times you had together and tell him how sorry you are that he is ill.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 03-Oct-08 13:23:24

If he is in a condition where he is unable to read it, then his family at least will know you are thinking of him and them.

verysadandconfused Fri 03-Oct-08 13:23:24

I guess it's the feeling that she's talked to him about me and he's said he'd like to see me, then I never turn up

I know it'll be a tiny thing to him and probably not even in his memory but I just feel weirdly very very sad about it

hippipotami Fri 03-Oct-08 13:23:38

verysad - perhaps when your friend said you could see him she was not aware just how quickly he would deteriorate?
I am sure she is not being malicious (sp) but trying to cope with this awful situation best she can.

combustiblelemon Fri 03-Oct-08 13:24:02

OK, this is probably being very unfair, but given her history do you know for sure that he is in hospital?

verysadandconfused Fri 03-Oct-08 13:25:19

oh you're all so lovely on here

a card is a good idea (will spend me ages thinking what the hell to write in it!)

SecondhandRose Fri 03-Oct-08 13:25:58

If you send a card and say in the card that you'd like to pop in to say Hi then perhaps you'll get a response but having gone through this with my Dad I wouldn't expect one. Be there for your friend.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Fri 03-Oct-08 13:27:10

Look, I hate to be blunt but this is not about you. Perhaps you have never experienced the death of a close relative like this, but believe me, those last few days are often not really appropriate for visiting by anyone but close family. You have to accept this. The last few days of my father's life were very traumatic and there is no way we would have been able to cope with a stream of visitors wanting to say goodbye. If your friend also feels this way I think you need to accept this graciously.

verysadandconfused Fri 03-Oct-08 13:31:28

LGP, no need to be blunt, I never said I was going to barge in there and see him, I'm just talking on MN about how I feel about it and getting some other perspectives

LadyGlencoraPalliser Fri 03-Oct-08 13:35:04

Sorry if I offended you VSAC. I was trying to give you the perspective from your friend's POV as someone who has been through it myself. It is understandable that if this is something you have never experienced you really don't realise why what you are asking is so inappropriate.

verysadandconfused Fri 03-Oct-08 13:35:29

should I write the card to my freind's dad, or to both her parents do you think?

verysadandconfused Fri 03-Oct-08 13:42:27

Thinking about it I think I'll write it to both her parents.

Thankyou for all your advice, sorry for my inappropriateness, and I'm very sorry for all of you who have lost people close to you.

combustiblelemon Fri 03-Oct-08 13:51:49

You weren't at all inappropriate. You want to see him- that's totally understandable. You have been very clear that you will respect the family's wishes, but that doesn't mean you're not entitled to your feelings.

It may be that they're thinking of you as much as him. Death from cancer comes with an awful lot of pain and indignity. The person who is lying in the bed doesn't really resemble the one you remember. You don't register it as much if you see the decline day by day, but if you haven't seen him for a while it will be a huge shock.

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