1. OurJud
    Offline

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,028
    Likes Received:
    942
    Location:
    England

    Not saying goodbye

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by OurJud, Nov 13, 2015.

    Not sure why I'm posting this, other than to just unload, but I have a dilemma.

    An aunty of mine is expected to pass away over the weekend and one of her grandsons has contacted her family to say that anyone who wants to say goodbye needs to do so ASAP.

    The lady in question is my dad's sister-in-law, whom I haven't seen in a good number of years, and when asked by my parents whether I wanted to go with them the next time they visited, I said I didn't, and that I'd rather say goodbye at the funeral.

    Regret in not saying goodbye isn't a concern. It's not that I'm uncaring, but as with most families we drift far away from most of our uncles and aunties as we grow older, and I just don't feel the 'need' to say goodbye.

    However, my one concern is that I'm being selfish and need to consider how my parents - especially my dad - might feel about my decision not to go and see her. He says he fully understands and has not put any pressure on me at all, but then he probably would say that anyway.

    I don't mind admitting that my decision is partly borne out of cowardice on my part. It would be awkward and upsetting to see her in such a state, but I still don't feel it's something I need to do.

    Am I being selfish and immature over this?
     
  2. Tenderiser
    Offline

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,294
    Likes Received:
    5,164
    Location:
    London, UK
    Not in the least.

    When my nan was dying, I stayed with her in the hospital. My mum went home at night to sleep. My brother visited a few times but it was killing him. Some of my nan's other children and grandchildren visited once, the rest didn't come at all. None of us judged the others. Nobody even judged the non-visitors to me behind their backs, and I think I would have been the natural person for them to moan to since I was the one who stayed 24/7, and they would have assumed I was the most receptive to that kind of bitching.

    I mean, it largely depends on your family whether they will TRULY support your decision, but if my experience is anything to go by then people understand that these goodbye visits are really not for everyone. I honestly think my brother would have coped better if he hadn't seen her in her dying state at all, and if his last memory had been of her alive and well.

    People react differently to death. Nobody's way is correct or incorrect. Most people get that.
     
    jannert and OurJud like this.
  3. OurJud
    Offline

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,028
    Likes Received:
    942
    Location:
    England
    Thanks :)
     
  4. matwoolf
    Offline

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    2,333
    Likes Received:
    2,263
    Location:
    Brighton Heights
    If there were no other factors involved: say your cash-flow, or a wife, or your children - children who require close playground supervision, aren't they lovely, then you should e-mail that grandson, and go see your dying aunty in the hospital; see the almost imperceptible rises of her tiny chest under its sheet. In the grey room probably, see all life departing, angel now crushed, sparrow fallen from its tree. The final scene, she watches the walls of the tunnel close surround to darkness, the cold fear, the horror of nothing faced entirely alone if you did not make it in time.

    It is entirely up to you. I never went to see my Grandma when she passed away, I was very busy. I did, in my defence, read a quite touching eulogy, a famous poem at the service afterwards. Although my cousin wrote her own poem, and read hers aloud after my poem, in the chapel - hers was basic and grammatically imprecise really, I was distressed when everybody clapped, and stood up. Of course the coffin stayed in its place. She didn't think about that, the stupid bitch, always moaning on about how she'd been there at the end. This situation is still, remains distressing for me.
     
    BrianIff likes this.
  5. DueNorth
    Offline

    DueNorth Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    116
    Location:
    Minnesota
    There is no right or wrong to grieving. Don't let others tell you how to do it. It is a natural process. Trust yourself. BTW, isn't it possible that the dying could be burdened by visits from even "distant" relatives who feel compelled to make a deathbed visit to say goodbye to someone they rarely saw during more robust times? Maybe it is an intimate time for those in the inner circle--but no right or wrong to that either.
     
    OurJud likes this.
  6. Tenderiser
    Offline

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,294
    Likes Received:
    5,164
    Location:
    London, UK
    This is a great point. I didn't leave my nan's side except to go to the bathroom for six days. On the seventh my now-husband and I went to pick up my engagement ring, which took a few hours. My nan died almost as soon as I left, though her condition had been more or less the same for six days. The nurses said it was very common for the dying to not want to do it front of certain people. I don't think she was saying it just to comfort me because I wasn't upset at having 'missed' it. I don't like to think that she had clung on for nearly a week, waiting for me to leave so she could let go and if I had known I would have left sooner so she didn't have to suffer.
     
  7. OurJud
    Offline

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,028
    Likes Received:
    942
    Location:
    England
    Never looked at it that way, but quite possibly so.

    Thank you.
     

Share This Page