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Need help with communicating sympathy to estranged family

archer1
Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 2010

Help appreciated with following: Background info on situation: Adult children not on good terms with father due to his affair while they were teens that led to our divorce then his marriage to the other woman. Many ugly actions and words by other woman to me & kids before/after she married x. Children love but have no meaningful relationship with dad. Same for dad. They are all stubborn.

A couple years ago x's wife had tumor removed from colon that was cancerous. Dr. suggested chemo/rad but she refused. Now she has mets in liver, tumor on hip area that can be felt/seen, losing weight quickly, signs of jaundice, weak, and tired. She still refuses chemo or other treatment offered by dr. She doesn't even want biopsy done.

The kids are hurting for their dad. They want to reach out but don't know how. They know she does not like them, so they don't want to make situation worse. Despite the background, neither the kids or I want her to suffer like this. She needs all of her strength to fight this her own way.

They could send her a card saying they forgive her but she doesn't think she did anything wrong. I suggested they call or send their dad a card saying they are sorry for the situation, but they haven't done so yet.

Based on her symptoms.....can anyone offer a suggestion?

Pennymac02's picture
Pennymac02
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2010

One of the other posters suggested I put up a website at Caringbridge.org. It's an organization that allows you to develop a web page and update it regularly. All of the far away (physically as well as emotionally) relatives can visit the website, and get information on your loved one as well as leave messages. My husbands page is http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/moyerms if you want to check it out. Note that the site has had visitors, but not one of his family has posted support or encouragement! Oh well, at least I've provided them with an opportunity; what they do with it is up to them.

archer1
Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 2010

I will check out the site. Thanks. I am sorry that your husband's family is not very supportive. Are they close in distance and able to help out in person, or even call him? If not, then maybe they are in denial. I know of some people that have a hard time offering support because they don't want to accept what has happened. They may even be afraid it will happen to them. Is your hubby hoping that his relatives post comments on caringbridge? An even better question is , would you be receptive to someone you are not on good terms with to make contact with you or your husband? My children are not sure if contact they make to their dad would be welcomed. And they are using the excuse that since it may cause more hurt feelings, they should not say anything.

I will check out the site and hope that some of your husbands relatives offer encouragement.

Barbara53's picture
Barbara53
Posts: 659
Joined: Aug 2009

Interesting situation. How old and mature are your kids? I don't think they need to communicate more than a clear "thinking of you" sentiment to the both of them, which is easily done with cards -- not as a group but as individuals. Believe me, when people hit the Big Recurrance, cards have stopped coming in the mail and they start feeling very alone.

Over the years, I easily became friends with my husband's former wife, and after we divorced two of his girlfriends called me for advice -- these bridges can be built, but delicately. I would send over some simple homemade soup if you tend toward such endeavors.

Good luck! My ex died last year (not cancer), and even though he was a bugger to my daughter and me, we were married a long time and you never stop caring.

archer1
Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 2010

Kids are in there 20's and mature, however they have had so many hurtful things said and done to them by x's wife from the get go and now more recently (within the last year) by their dad. While they were teenagers I continually tried to get x and kids to communicate better. They are all very stubborn. I know that my x and my children really do love each other. Even though they all feel betrayed by each other. But over the last couple of years I have kept my nose out of their relationship. The kids rely on me to give them updated info on their dad ( I am still on good terms with x's family and also with x until recently). Prior to the situation with x's wife, my kids would call their dad but he will talk for only a minute or so, but never say anything meaningful but then he will never pick up the phone to just call to see how they were doing. He has missed out on some very awesome moments and not so awesome moments in their lives.

I admire you for becoming friends with not only your x's former wife but girlfriends as well. You are right about the never stop caring part. Mostly I feel sorry for what my x and his wife are having to go through. I just hope my children will reach out to their dad. They have all loss so much because of their actions.

Pennymac02's picture
Pennymac02
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2010

My husbands sisters heard about his diagnosis two months ago and still have not called. The only time he's talked to them is when he's called. On the day of his embolization, my mother in law was upset because I didn't call the sisters afterwards, even though they were at her house when I called through out the say reporting on the surgery. I just donm't have the time nor the inclination to call over and over again, repeating the same story. They live far away in the midwest, and really aren't close; they haven't been for years. Out of the clear blue, one of the sisters requested a medical relase of information so she could see his records and keep up with his treatment.(NOT) Thats when I started the Caringbridge page. It throws all of the responsibility back on them and I can deal with the stupid family politics from afar.

This has been my second round of the caregiver/cancer thing. My mom passed last Christmas of BC and a lot of family fences were mended and relationships were strengthened during her hospitalization. Life is just to short (with or without cancer) to hold onto unforgiveness and anger. Any attemps at amends from estranged family members is welcome. Its not about me, after all.

archer1
Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 2010

You are right about that! Life is too short!! After the pancake breakfast and cowboy movies...ah...I love cowboy movies :) - I hope the rest of the day will be a good one for Mike. I am sorry that he is having some bad days.

I wish your sister-in-laws would be glad to get information from whatever source it was from, and not be upset if they weren't contacted individually. You are way to busy taking care of your husband to play those petty games.

I am not giving up hope that the fences will be mended. I am just sad for both my kids and their dad that they all missed so much precious time together. Time that they won't have again. I am like you in thinking that any attempt to make amends would be welcomed. I just wish the parties on my end would see that too. Like I said, they are all stubborn. To make matters worse, the kids just want their dad to say he is sorry for the hurt they went through, but his pride gets in the way of him saying it. Probably because he thinks he did nothing wrong.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time. I hope your hubby's family will come around. If not, it will be their loss. Take care. I hope to hear good news from you soon.

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