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Worried about SIL's behaviour at MIL's bedside at hospice.

(9 Posts)
HowlingCow Sun 13-Sep-09 08:03:12

My DH had phonecall from Essex hospice where his mother is at 4.30am today so he's on his way there as she seems to be in her final hours (we have 3 young DD's so I'm staying with them-we live in Wales). His brothers wife is a Southern Baptist (brother isn't religious) and is going with her husband and their 4 DD's who are also v.religious are following on. Her behaviour in the past has been to try to 'save' all of us-last week she left a booklet for my MIL about 'Death & suffering'-in her final phase of cancer! My DH phoned from car saying he's getting annoyed at thought of them all being there trying to save his mum in her last moments (she is lovely, quietly believing woman anyway who wouldn't hurt a fly). I think he's worried he'll say something which will upset his brother. What is this obsession with 'being saved' why isn't it enough to be a lovely person with Christian qualities?

QOD Sun 13-Sep-09 08:25:21

I always say that if God is so good then he will not allow a good person to suffer after death.
My in laws are fairly rabid baptists - they have calmed down a bit recently thankfully.

One of my sils was telling me that if a child hasn't been baptised, they will go to heaven still as they are a child, but that once they are an adult, that's it - so at 18 it's all downhill.

Sorry to hear about mil

littleducks Sun 13-Sep-09 08:28:36

well lets hope as it hasnt happened yet that in the moment SIL will behave with decency (or bil will have briefed her to keep her opinions quiet)

Perhaps if she does appear to start, dh could suggest that sil prays for his mum? will keep sil busy and quiet and hopefully make her feel she is fufilling her duty?

HowlingCow Sun 13-Sep-09 08:37:42

Thanks for replies and sentiments. Unfortunately SIL has the hide of a rhino and any attempts to make her act with any subtlety have so far not worked. MIL even told her on previous rest stay at the hospice that she didn't want the leaflets that SIL constantly gives out but even that didn't stop her! I could cope with her behaviour if she was a nicer, more considerate person herself but she's quite selfish and intolerant yet seems to think her place in heaven is guaranteed whereas my thoughtful, extremely nice MIL's isn't!!

littleducks Sun 13-Sep-09 08:41:09

oh dear, that really doesnt help in a stressful time does it?

if nothing will stop her i think you are just going to have to find the strength to support your dh

Is there a chaplain at the hosp who could have a word with sil?

EnjoyingtheMoment Sun 13-Sep-09 08:49:04

I am so sorry you have to deal with this type of thing along with the grief of losing a loved one.

My mum died of cancer 3 years ago (RIP mum) and was brought up as a church of england follower, walked away from her religion when she was about 16. My sister is a born again evangelist, as his her husband and children. She cared for mum in mum's final stages and spent a lot of time 'converting' mum back into the christian faith (mum was into buddism in the last 20 years, not practising, but as in interest). She scared my mother into returning to her faith, as it was my sisters beleif that my mother would not be saved unless she went back to god. She played on my mum's fear of dying. She read the bible to her every night, as mum was not strong enough to say no, or, in the end to think for herself. She had a priest/vicar visit her and she made peace with god'.

When she died, my sister ensured her funeral etc was religious.

She destroyed the family as we would not indulge her, or participate in contributing to the immense fear my mum already had of dying.

I have not spoken to her since the funeral, for this and also other reasons all wrapped up with this. I think, if she had less involvement with her care, and the chosing of her care etc I would have just accepted her views. If mum had been in a hospice, as I beleive she should have been, it would not have been so intense.

I do not know why she was like this either, so insistent, I guess she really did beleive that my mother would not be saved and would not be at peace if she did not 'repent her sins'.

HowlingCow Sun 13-Sep-09 09:11:19

Thanks littleducks-the chaplain idea is one I will put to DH when he phones to say he's arrived. Sorry to hear of your horrendous experience EtheM-as you say it's bad enough coping with the loss and I can understand completely why you don't speak to your sister. The strange thing is my BIL who is an atheist, never seems to put his mums feelings first-he never tells SIL off for her actions-even when MIL clearly told her she didn't want the leaflets he just sat there. It makes me so mad but as you say they must really believe theirs is the right approach. Interestingly enough George Bush is a Southern Baptist!

kreecherlivesupstairs Mon 14-Sep-09 09:02:46

My last nursing job was in a hospice in mid Essex. I would tell your dh to have a word with the hospice staff. They are a fabulous team. The doctors are always chosen well and are extremely approachable. hospice in mid Would she take advice from a professional that her behaviour could be causing MIL distress?
Good luck and I hope for a peaceful end without bickering for your MIL.

HowlingCow Thu 17-Sep-09 14:24:36

MIL died peacefully yesterday-thanks for your message kreecher-everything was fine in the end and SIL behaved (think her DH had warned her). Farleigh Hospice is amazing-is that where you worked? My DH was incredibly impressed with the support him, his father and brother got and the way they handled MIL's final days.

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