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Mother in law is Palliative 
Started by Jackieh89
06 Feb 2023, 4:52 AM

My mother in law has Pancreatic cancer and is declining more and more by the day. I am trying to hold it all together for my spouse and I. I am trying to be his support, but I don't know what to even say to him about what he will soon face in losing his mom. He lost his dad years ago already so I'm very worried this is going to throw him into a really dark place. I wish there was something I could say or do to comfort him. 😔
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Reply by eKIM
07 Feb 2023, 12:08 AM

Hello Jackie, it's eKim and I'm a volunteer here.  I am so sorry to hear about your mother-in-law.  I have a sister-in-law (who I am very close to) who has stage 4 cancer. 

Loving someone and hurting for them is so difficult, isn't it? 

What and who is helping you, to cope Jackie?

There is nothing that I can tell you that will perfectly help your husband in the perfect way that you would love to.

The reason, of course, is that when it comes to grieving/anticipatory grieving, we are like snowflakes.  No two people grieve the same.  So, there is no “cookie cutter, one size fits all” answer.

The fact that you realize that the loss of your husband’s dad will impact him when he loses his mom, is very insightful of you, Jackie.  Compound grief.  The trauma of a previous loss (especially unreconciled issues) will often layer upon the new trauma.

When the time is right (and the timing is different for everyone), speaking with a grief counsellor one-on-one or in a group setting is very beneficial for most people.

A lot of males resist this, to their detriment.  A loving, kind, patient nudging in that direction is something that some spouses will do.

Grief therapy teaches how to ease one’s pain by continuing a relationship with the lost loved one after they have died.  This can significantly aid the healing process.

My mother died, in 1997.  She was the only person who loved me without limits and unconditionally.  To lose the physical manifestation of that love is heartbreaking. 

When my mother died, my wife was kind, understanding and gentle with me.  She stood by me and patiently put up with my roller coaster of emotions without taking my outbursts personally.  She simply just “loved me well”.  She is my soulmate and EarthAngel.  A phrase that does not to be spoken, only felt.

I wish you and your husband all the best.

If you need more support, don’t hesitate to come back to us here at Canadian Virtual Hospice.  We’ll be here for you, Jackie – always.

-        eKim

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