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tips for supporting DH whose mum is dying

(7 Posts)
manandbeast Mon 07-Dec-15 12:52:37

Hi all,

DH's mum has been ill with cancer for about 3 yrs.

He found out on Friday that her prognosis has changed from years to a few months (as she is no longer responding well to treatment).
DH is upset and scared for the future. He rarely cries but has understandably done so a couple of times this weekend. Said he felt physically in shock - I think he had been avoiding thinking about the reality of the situation until now. I have some questions of anyone who has also gone through this:

How can I help him cope now?
How can I help him when she dies?
How much should we tell our 4yo?

Any advice welcome,


Viewofhedges Mon 07-Dec-15 13:20:01

What an awful situation for you all.

I have not been through this but as you've not yet had a response I wanted to send some support.

One thing I HAVE found useful though in helping to deal with a relative (going into a home / developing dementia which I know is very different) was just to acknowledge all round that none of us (including the relative) had had to deal with the situation before so we don't all know what to do / feel as things progressed and that this was understandable. Just acknowledging this can be very helpful. Practical things like having a trusted friend who can take your little one at short notice because they understand what's going on might also help; as will making sure that YOU have support, as you support your DH. You are not superhuman and you will need looking after too.

Sending you all warmest wishes.

manandbeast Mon 07-Dec-15 17:42:09

Thankyou Hedges.

A good point about acknowledging none of us has any answers.

OrianaBanana Mon 07-Dec-15 18:15:47

Definitely do practical things, and let them be together as much as possible without worrying about practical details.

It's horrible situation, try to stay as strong and capable as you can for him flowers

Threefishys Mon 07-Dec-15 19:03:45

I lost my mum to cancer after a ten year battle with it last year. In the last few months when it was clear that she was going downhill rapidly the feelings I felt were a cross between stiff upper lip/acceptance/fear and relief. I would just be there for you Dh the way he needs to be supported whether it is a cuddle when he looks lost or more practical arrangements. He is lucky to have you - my exp behaved abborhently when my mum was dying in the hospice. Just stay open to his cues of what he needs. The fear of the inevitable of a death to cancer is like an ever present rock in your stomach..the actuality of the release from the suffering that the loved one gets through passing on is actually a relief from the fear suffered by those left behind. I wish him and you well x

Threefishys Mon 07-Dec-15 19:06:51

With regards to the little one - tell them honestly any answers to any questions. You could say 'grandma is going for what is really just a big sleep now as the illness made her very tired " something like that. My daughter was 11 when my mum passed and was in the room touching it when it happened. It was a good thing for her. They were incredibly close and to see it occur so peacefully took away my Dds fear of death completely x

manandbeast Mon 07-Dec-15 19:14:40

Thankyou everyone.
It's really helpful to know how you felt at the time. Sorry you didn't get the support you needed.thanks
It must be scary facing this.

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