My husband's father has terminal cancer, how do I help him

Mel - posted on 12/15/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )




My husband and I have been together 15 yr s and know each other 27 yr s, we have 4 children together aged 18,17,12 and 5.

His Dad has been given 3-6 months to live, 3 wks ago unexpectedly, they are so close and work almost everyday together he is a mess, he goes to his parents everyday and his friends, sometimes he comes home early hours of the morning for a few hours sleep if he comes home. He seems to hate me, but is happy with everybody else, I am trying to believe that it's because you hurt the one's you love the most and he knows I want turn my back on him.
I am given him space, and have said that he needs to concentrate on his Mum and Dad, and not to worry about the kids and me as I can take care of it.

My heart breaks for him all I want to do is give him a hug but he won't let me he wants nothing to do with me( I think because it will let his emotions surface and at the moment he feels he has to be strong for all his immediate family) so I am just following his lead with things, as I cant understand the heart break he is going through (my family are not close), I just feel so helpless and scared I don't want to lose my husband he is my only family and I love him with all my heart and soul.

He has chronic back pain (he had cancer in his spine when he was 14 and is now 40) and is on all sorts of med's (morphine, oxy contine etc.) but now is having amphetamines as well, he is a contractor and has worked 7 days a week/16 hr days, and has now had to take over his Dad's work as well, he is the financial provider in our family, he just has stress upon stress, he won't slow down and take time out I am scared that this will break him

The few times he has spoken to me, he has stated that when his Dad passes he will concentrate on his Mum and when that is done he wants to end life or become a junkie, and if I say anything he will leave me just like that, I have not commented to this, as I think it's just a traumatic response and if I did he would just yell at me and leave. I try my best not to cry in front of him.

He will be moving in with his parents just after Xmas to help care for his Dad and support his Mum as they have been married 60 yr s and understandably she is not coping, and will stay there till his Mum either passes away as well or can cope and wants to have the kids 3 days a week as it will help his Mum.

I am trying to be strong,and supportive as we will be there later and these coming months are the last times he will ever have with his Dad,
I am devastated too his father is the most kindest, gentle man ( I would have given anything to have had a dad like that even for a week) and the best granddad in whole world its just so unfair its going to be a loss that will never be filled.

I believe/pray/hope that 1 day my husband will be back or allow me to help him and I will be there to catch him.
I want to make it the best Xmas ever for him and his family, I would love to do it all while they just enjoy each other, but I am not sure he will allow me, I was thinking of getting them a lovely photo album for Xmas and as well as cooking, take ton's of photo's for them, but am worried they will take offence, I don't want to upset them or make things harder for them... its so hard to know the right thing to do.

Has anyone been in a similar situation do they have any more advise on how I can make it easier for him and his family.


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Mel - posted on 12/16/2012




Thanks, I am in New Zealand, scrapbook, collage photo frame, something for memories I reckon for Xmas sounds like a great idea, thanks for your time, even just the conformation that I am hopefully doing the right thing makes me feel a bit more positive, hope you have a lovely Christmas Thanks

Katherine - posted on 12/16/2012




I think you are thinking of all of the right things. Just be there for them. Obviously your husband is going to need grief counseling or something....sounds like he's going to have a hard time of this. Get some scrapbooking supplies and make an album! That's what I'm doing for Christmas. But in your situation I think to make it more special would be to spend the extra time making it into a scrap book. I'm not sure where you live, but Michael's has some really great things. Also cooking is something that can't go unnoticed. So you have all of the good ideas.

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