Post # 1
My fiance’s mom has been sick the last couple of years, sometimes seeming to get better and sometimes worse, but consistently pulling through. We thought she was on track to getting better but recently got the news that she will not be getting better and has been deemed terminal. We are moving her to hospice care sometime over the next few weeks.
This is the first time either of us has had to deal with losing a parent. We are at that age where we know it’s something we were going to have to deal with sooner or later, as both sets of parents are over 60 now, but TBH before she got sick and even up until very recently, we really didn’t think we’d be dealing with it so soon. It’s not like 60-65 is old…
I’m heartbroken and to make it even harder, we aren’t telling anyone outside the immediate family until we have figured out what is happening and when and all that other stuff.
Because it’s his Mom, I feel like I need to put my emotional energy into supporting my fiance. I can’t imagine how hard this is for him and he has been having a very hard time dealing with all of this over the last couple of years, now to only find out she’s not getting better anyways.
But because I’m trying to be there for him, but we aren’t telling anyone else yet, I don’t have anyone to talk to about it other than him. I know I just need to make it through a few weeks and then I’ll be able to tell my parents, but for right now this is really fucking hard.
So this is just an Anon Bee reaching out needing a bit of support.
Post # 2
My husband’s mother was put on home hospice two weeks ago. It has been hard- of course with her terminal illness, but with family dynamics, getting financial things in order. My Mother-In-Law was a day care provider for decades and we did contact some of the kids she took care of and they’ve called and sent cards, which has pleased her. I think it’s hard to keep it all to yourself. I have a couple close girlfriends I’ve talked about it with.
It’s hard to know the “right” thing to do to support my husband. So I just listen and try to be helpful. Today I went to Target and bought my Mother-In-Law new comfortable lounging clothes because she’s lost so much weight her other clothes didn’t fit her anymore. It’s something her husband and my husband didn’t really know how to do (women’s sizes or what she would like). My Mother-In-Law was so greatful and that made my husband happy. I don’t really have any good answers- just wanted to tell you I get it and you aren’t alone.
Post # 3
one of the hardest things is that there really isn’t anything I can do. I feel completely helpless. My go-to thing to do when people are hurting and I have to idea how to help is to cook them food but right now she is in the hospital and soon to be in hospice, where she is fed all her meals and she’s on so much medication that she hardly has an appetite anyways so bringing her home cooked food will only make her feel bad because she will throw most of it out.
We’ve decided to cook up some easily freezable and microvable meals for his Dad since he is spending so much time at the hospital and we want him to be able to eat decent meals without having to out the time and work in. But we can’t really figure out anything we can actually do for her at all.
Post # 4
Some of the things we have done are play her favorite music group on a cd for her- my Mother-In-Law likes a certain band from the 60’s. Also paint her nails so she can feel a little pretty. They aren’t huge things- but she’s appreciated them and it’s made us feel a little less helpless.
Post # 5
My mother and father kept her cancer a secret for months before telling me and my siblings, and then waited until it was obvious she was sick before telling extended family and neighbors, so I know what it feels like to keep that kind of news to yourself. If you are into it, keeping a journal can help. Also, sometimes hospices offer short term counseling for family members of patients. I’ve been going to grief counseling with one nearby, and it is not scary at all.
Making freezer food and labeling it for his dad is a really good idea. Right now, she probably wants to spend time with family and hear stories about happy memories. Maybe you could bring pictures for her to see.
Post # 6
Unfortunately I at the moment, her medical team are still trying to balance her pain management so she doesn’t really want visitors. My fiance visited yesterday but only a very short visit and she was tired and in pain. The plan is to try to get her comfortable before moving her to hospice. Once there, I think she will want us to visit more.
It may not be a bad idea for me to make a couple appointments with my therapist. I see her sporadically when I’m having a hard time and this obviously counts as a hard time. It’s a good idea because it give me a space to just talk about how this is affecting me without feeling guilty or selfish about it. Thanks for that suggestion.
Post # 7
So sorry you are going through this, bee. I agree with PPs that stocking the freezer is helpful, as is doing little things like tidying up the house, washing laundry (even sheets and towels if you don’t want to sort clothes), etc. And take photos to the hospital to brighten up her room.
I love the suggestion of painting her nails or getting comfy clothes. Blankets, unscented lotions, and chapsticks are also nice non-food gifts.
Hugs to you and your fiancé.
Post # 8
I lost my mom to cancer a few years ago, and I can tell you the most helpful thing my husband ever did was just not lose patience with me. It was the hardest time of my life, and I dealt with grief and stress and pain that I never imagined possible. It was like a bottomless black hole of pain. And I’m not proud to say there were days when I snapped at my husband and was nasty just because I was hurting. And the thing I appreciate most about him throughout the whole time as my mom’s caretaker was that he wouldn’t get mad at me if I snapped or was testy or just didn’t have the energy to talk on certain days. He was just always there with his arms open for a hug, and he was always willing to listen if I needed to vent, and he forgave me when I was nasty.
A year after my mom passed away, my friend’s husband’s mother was diagnosed with cancer. I remember her telling me that he was snapping at her and complaining that he had no help with his mom (he was referring to his dad and siblings) and she got so mad at him. I told her, you need to NOT make this about you. If he’s hurting and lashing out, you need to cut him slack. His mother is dying. Don’t take things personally right now. You can’t even imagine the degree of pain and grief he feels.
I hope this helps. I’m sorry for you and your Fiance. Losing a parent is awful, especially at a young age. My mom was 57. The TV was on the other day and I heard someone on the show say, “you only get one mother, and the world becomes a dark and lonely place when she’s gone,” and it’s very very true. Big hugs to you for wanting to support your partner as much as possible. You are a kind person and my thoughts are with you and your Fiance.
Post # 9
Hugs to you and your fiance. When my husband and I were engaged, his mother passed away. She was ill, but it was unexpected, so a different situation. I don’t have much advice as far as how to deal with this time now, while she’s in hospice, but I would say you’re doing what you need to be doing already.
Support your fiance and the rest of his family the best you can. Great job with the freezer meals, and just always be availible for when your fiance wants to talk. Also take on as many of the household chores as you can so your fiance can spend more time with his family, and focusing on himself and sorting out his feelings. Just be there for him in whatever way he needs, whether that means hanging out and talking, or leaving him alone.
I’m so sorry you are going through this situation.
Post # 10
God this is hard to read :(( I am so sorry to hear about this, bee. Hmmm, maybe make a photo book of memories for her? Something she can look at that will remind her of all the good memoires in her life. If this is terminal, it may be a very emotional thing BUT itd be good for her to see the happiness she brought to life and the happiness around her in those years.
Or something that is memorable and dear to her heart. Something she can hold onto in her last moments.