Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

It's not all about you mother (bereavement related)

(21 Posts)
Itsnotallaboutyou Sun 15-May-16 20:51:15

I have name changed for this as I have spoken to the odd person about this in RL. For background info DH and I have been together for about 23 years and we have two young adult DC.

My SIL died about a week ago. She was admitted to hospital and two weeks later the decision to turn off her ventilator was made. So although her death was expected in the end it was till a shock.

My DH has lost both his parents and she was his only sibling so it has been difficult for him.

Although DH and me have been together for a good long while, occasions where both sides of the family were together have been few and far between to the extent that if my mother saw SIL, BIL or DN in the street she probably wouldn't realize.

The comments (all by text) I have had to put up with have made me cringe. I have been gobsmacked at the lack of understanding. The two texts that have really got to me have been 'when you get to my age I think it is my turn next' and ''I couldn't bring myself to phone. Even though we didn't know her. It happens to me every time I hear someone is dead'.

I understand that when you get to a certain age you probably worry that it may be you next but surely it is not appropriate to tell that to people who have just lost someone.

However you may feel surely you suck it up and telephone your SonIL, DD and DGC to speak to them. My DC were very young when DH's parents died so this is the first time they are dealing with a family death where they understand what is going on.

At the risk of making it all about me - I am so upset I could cry and at the same time I m so angry. I haven't told my DH. He is normally quite laid back but I think this would just be too much. I just feel so sorry for DH.

It wouldn't be so bad but this is is just an another addition to the long line of shit things she has said or done.

Sorry to go on. Please feel free to tell me I am being precious - I need to have some perspective

HappyNevertheless Sun 15-May-16 20:55:14

Nope not precious st all. I suspect that because she doesn't know them and they didn't mean a lot to her, she assumes that it's the case with you too so feel free to share every issues that comes through her mind.
but not ringing her own grandchild is confused

I'm being generous there but get the feeling there is some back issues that show maybe I shouldn't

123rd Sun 15-May-16 20:55:43

It's really hard isn't it? I'm
Sorry for you and your husbands loss. Some people are just self absorbed.
I deal with people within my family. I tend to shut them down when they start to turn this round to them...again. I think you need to block the behaviour for yours and your DH sake

KittySnow86 Sun 15-May-16 21:01:54

I am so sorry for you loss.

I lost my Dsis two years ago. What I quickly realised is that death and grief are very hard for many people to process outside of their own feelings.

So of course what has been said is hurtful. Especially in what is a tragic death.

Look after yourself and your little family. That's what is important right now. People will say all sorts of bizarre things over the coming weeks. Be kind to each other and ignore the absurd as best you can. You need to be allowed to deal with your bereavement before all else and that may mean closing ranks for a while.

redexpat Sun 15-May-16 21:09:31

Google comfort in, dump out and send it to her.

Youre not being precious at all. I'm sorry she's not being more supportive. Have you got someone to lean on in RL?

Itsnotallaboutyou Sun 15-May-16 21:28:55

Thank you everyone.

I have to say that the handful of people I spoken to have been so good but you do worry that they are nodding in agreement as they don't want to upset.

I know it is not easy to know what to say but I would rather someone say they don't know what to say as at the end of the day whatever is said is not going to change what has happened but just the fact that it has been acknowledged.

Thankfully we live away and won't be seeing them for another couple of months.

MusicIsMedicine Tue 17-May-16 14:19:30

Sorry for your loss.

You have every right to be angry and upset. It is appallingly ignorant behaviour. Somehow toxic people always make everything about them and make themselves the victims.

I'd be livid and upset too. flowers

grobagsforever Tue 17-May-16 18:29:53

When my DH died (I was 36 weeks pregnant at the time) my mum said to me (about three weeks afterwards) 'I'm grieving too you know'. Some ppl just cannot put their own emotions aside to support others. You're being perfectly fair. So sorry for your loss.

LosingTheWillToSkate Tue 17-May-16 19:28:43

It's not any way to conduct yourself (your mum, that is!)

When my brother died, MIL kept her distance but spoke regularly to DH to check we were OK and see if we needed anything. When I felt up to it (people being sympathetic upset me) she called me and was just wonderful and unbelievably supportive

Itsnotallaboutyou Tue 17-May-16 19:59:22

Again thank you to everyone and I am sorry for your losses.

Losing I am thankful that she is texting me and not DH. She is not keeping her distance from him for the right reason but I will take any reason at the moment. One of my sisters sent him a lovely (his words so it must have been) text - bless her.

grobags Oh my word. I have read that comment on one of the threads. If it wasn't you then someone else has a similar mother. Another mother who needs to read about the comfort in dump out theory.

Music I have posted under a different name in the stately home thread!

springydaffs Tue 17-May-16 23:04:35

Some of the things people say to the bereaved just take your breath away. Or people ignore, literally cross the road so they don't have to talk to you.

It is unbelievably ignorant and a total dealbreaker for me. It doesn't take much to think what it would be like if it happened to them - yet that is too much of a stretch for some people, apparently. hmm angry sad

I'm so sorry for your loss op flowers

MusicIsMedicine Wed 18-May-16 01:43:13

Some of the things people say to the bereaved just take your breath away. Or people ignore, literally cross the road so they don't have to talk to you.

This. Because of course, it's all about them and their precious feelings of discomfort, not the bereaved.

When a friend's DP had cancer, her mother made it all about her and how she couldn't bring herself to get in touch as 'she didn't know what to say.' Then after he passed away, she turned up at my friend's house the day before his funeral, expected to be waited on, commented on how she was looking forward to the food at the wake (I shit you not) and criticised the untidiness of the house and garden, then left next day.

Then their so-called relatives and friends did the crossing the road thing for months afterwards and treated her like a leper. You'd have thought she killed him.

I didn't believe people were capable of such appalling ignorance until I saw it with my own eyes.

RaptorInaPorkPieHat Wed 18-May-16 11:27:11

You are not being precious, OP. As upset as your DM may be, Your DH was (obviously) closer to his sister than she was and surely she should understand that whatever she feels, he (and you and your children) will naturally be much more upset.

When my mum died, my MIL went to the Dr for anti depressants (I'm not saying that AD's aren't a good thing or even that she didn't need them, but she had only met my mum once - at our wedding). Not once did she ever enquire if I was OK at any point during my mum's illness or afterwards.

She then wrote to my dad (maybe 9 months after mum had died) and stated "Because <DM's name> is dead, I am the only person Raptor can turn to". Utterly delusional and self absorbed.

Itsnotallaboutyou Wed 18-May-16 16:39:50

Thanks springy. I do understand that it is difficult to know what to say but would rather someone say sorry they don't know what to say. Better than inappropriate comments

Music Oh my! Just can't believe some people can you. In this age of text and e-mail it is easy to send a (carefully thought out) message

Raptorina Another oh my! Perhaps my mum is waiting for a doctors appointment!! Nothing would surprise me.

Just realized that it is a week it is a week since the last text. Should be thankful really I suppose!

Theymakemefeelstressed Sun 29-May-16 23:53:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Itsnotallaboutyou Thu 02-Jun-16 14:01:06

So no contact for 2 weeks before the funeral and a week after the funeral she rings yesterday to wish me happy anniversary. She would have rung the day before but her mobile wouldn't send texts etc. Not sure why she couldn't use her landline. Wouldn't shut up about the phone.

She then asks how everyone is to which I replied 'Early days but we are getting there'. She couldn't get off the phone quick enough - didn't acknowledge what I said - not even an it must be difficult. Just a 'I have to go now'.

Strange batshit crazy woman

RaptorInaPorkPieHat Thu 02-Jun-16 14:43:04

LOL she was obviously expecting a "fine thanks, how are you?" stock reply and got stunned by a proper answer wink

I hope you are all doing well flowers

ScoutandAtticus Fri 03-Jun-16 07:10:42

Sorry for your loss.

She sounds a bit like my DM. I love her dearly but she can be self absorbed. She told me her grief was worse than mine after my great grand died, because she had been alive longer than me and therefore know her for longer. hmm

Snoringlittlemonkey Fri 03-Jun-16 07:43:30

Sorry to hear of your loss flowers

Some people have a missing empathy chip and never really got out of the ego centric stage. It's horrible at times like this because it stands out so clearly.

I agree with pps, shut this kind of talk down and don't feed into the need for attention. Focus your energy on your DH and kids.

Itsnotallaboutyou Fri 03-Jun-16 21:36:26

Again thanks.

Think I have got it out of my system for the time being.

Have a family do at the end of the month so doubt she will say something else to upset one of us and this will be a distant memory.

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Fri 03-Jun-16 21:56:41

Condolences to you, your DH and your family, I'm sorry for your loss and it must be a very difficult time flowers

I also have a M who only processes bad news and bereavements in relation to how they affect her. It's hard to process when someone reacts like that and it's so sad that it's a measure of the kind of person they are.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now