am a 66 year old single woman. I have 1 married son and 2 grandchildren.
I am writing this to try and understand why my daughter in law (DIL) is bitterly angry with me regarding the passing of her father.
I want to make this as brief as possible but it is a very sad and convoluted story…
I went to see father of my DIL who has been battling cancer after a bone marrow transplant.
I have 35 years of medical experience and upon seeing his condition I knew he needed to be in the hospital. I told his wife what I thought and also called my DIL to suggest admitting him, as I felt he was very sick.
5 days later he falls at home and both his wife and DIL are able to lift him up and drive to the hospital.
Once there, he was immediately admitted into ICU. His confirmed diagnosis was Sepsis.
From that point on, his condition deteriorated. He was intubated, given several antibiotics was in Septic Shock and finally passed away 19 days later.
This man was a wonderful human being and good friend to me.
4 days prior to his death, his family decided to have him extubated and placed in Comfort Care where he would die comfortably.
On this day the family said their goodbyes, fully expecting him to pass away within hours.
Because they all assumed that he would pass away quickly, my son and DIL told their children 6&8 years old that their grandfather had passed away.
The family was awaiting a call from from the hospital telling them he had passed. No call came. He was still alive and breathing on his own.
The prior evening I talked to my son who was tearful and told me they had said their goodbyes.
I was grieving as well and called the following day to see if I could join them as I wanted to see my son and comfort him. I was told no. My DIL and her mother were not wanting any visitors.
I had made plans to go and see this man on that Thursday. I work Monday thru Wednesday and Thursday was my first opportunity to do so.
I called the hospital to confirm that he was allowed visitors and was told yes.
I was relieved he was still alive as I needed to see him to say my goodbyes to help with my grieving and to gain closure.
While in his room a nurse came in and told me they were moving him out of ICU.
Thinking I was being helpful, I texted my son and let him know.
The following is the text I received. I have omitted titled all names with * symbol
“I am utterly shocked. I am asking that you never, ever tell ***that you visited him today. *** and * explicitly planned to be the last ones to be with him. *** is now not only painfully grieving, but now extremely angry. I am asking that you please do not contact either of them, and please leave now. **** already called the hospital and is taking ****back now. Again, * is not aware that anyone visited today and *** and I are asking that it must remain that way.”
I received 2 more texts asking for confirmation that I had left the hospital and ordering me to not contact them as they needed time and space due to the difficult position I put them in.
I was in total shock…
This angry text from my son is when I learned of his wife and mother in law’s “plan” to be the last ones to be with him.
I left the hospital sobbing. I was so confused.
By the time I got home, my confusion had turned to anger. Number one I was shocked to receive such a hateful text from my son and number 2 had no reasonable reason why…
I honored his order of not contacting him but not because he ordered me to but because if I had spoken to him I would have cut him to shreds with my tongue and knew that doing so would only compound the stress he was under.
My DIL’s father lived 4 more days.
I waited 2 weeks to contact my son and asked him to make arrangements to come and talk to me. He came yesterday and I finally had the answers I was looking for…
He told me that he and my DIL think that I overstepped my bounds and deliberately “ inserted” myself in the dying process and grief of her father…
He then told me that my DIL accused me of being selfish, self absorbed and was only thinking about myself…
I told my son that I only agreed with her 3rd accusation because , yes, I did go to see him because I needed to see him to say my goodbyes ease my grieving heart and to have closure. I then asked my son if he believed that wrongly inserted myself in their situation and he said yes. I asked him if be believes that I am selfish and self absorbed and he said no.
He told me that I should have called him and inform him of my plan to see his FIL. At this point I knew exactly what they wanted from me. I again told him I didn’t understand( even though I did) and decided that he was going to have to look me in the eye and tell me exactly why… he told me that I should have “asked” them if I could visit him. I asked him if they actually believed that I needed their permission to see him and he said yes…
I told him that I do not need anyone’s permission to do anything, including this. I told him that my visit with his FIL was between he and I only.
My son told me that he and my DIL assumed I had enough common sense to realize that when he told me over the phone that they said their goodbyes I was to understand that they were to be the last ones to see him…
I was dumbfounded and asked my son to explain to me just how I was to figure that out after only being told they had said their goodbyes…
He immediately admitted that it was wrong of him to assume I would figure it out.
I told him that his wife and MIL should have planned their “plan” a little more thoughtfully and made sure that anyone who wanted to say goodbye would not be able to. A sign on his door stating the family wanted no visitors…informing the hospital phone operators that for anyone who called was to be told that he was not taking visitors. I did call the hospital to make sure he was allowed visitors and I was told yes.
My son responded with this”. With all the stress they were under how can you possibly think that they would even think of doing that”
I told him that if their “plan” was that important to them, they should have thought it thru and took the proper steps to insure the plan remained uninterrupted.
My son then tells me that his wife and her mother decided ahead of time who they would or would not allow to see their dad and husband..
I told him that obviously I was one of the not allowed persons. He immediately regretted what came out of his mouth…
I laughed a little and told him that after learning this I am even happier that I went to see him and that I will NEVER regret my decision.
I was told that his wife does not want me to come to there house as her anger toward me is palatable. I told him I was just fine with that as I had no desire at all to see her but that I wanted and needed to see my grandchildren an he agreed to bring them to me.
I told my son to make sure his wife understands that I will NEVER compromise who I am and what my beliefs are to make her feel better. I told him the burden is on her to contact me.
I told him this will remain a situation where she and I will have to agree to disagree. I told him I have moved on and that If she wants to live in anger she owns the problem, not me.
I asked him if his wife is actively trying to ban me from their lives and he said no. That she told him she wants me in their lives and wants me to be a grandmother to their kids….
Not too sure I believe her though…
My son told me it is very hard being in the “ middle”. I went to him and hugged him and told him I loved him and he broke down and cried.
I posted this looking for answers as I truly believe I was within my rights whereas my DIL believes I was not…
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