You have a right to it. She is part of your life. Nothing takes away the history you had together.
I would visit her, if it were me, to say goodbye.
But it is not me. My second choice would be to write a letter similar to what you've written here - of your memories, of how much she meant to you, and to send it to her husband, after she passes, or to your girls. To share your grief, and the love you so obviously feel for her.
A lot of time has passed since your divorce. Most people are glad to know that their loved one was loved by many.
I talked to my ex to offer whatever help with transportation, etc., is needed. He's flying in today and is going to convey my desire to visit to the family and let me know how they feel about it. I feel fortunate that he and I get along so well, because no matter what they say he will at least tell his mother that I love her.
You have a right to it. Go see her, even if it's just once.
John is arriving today and will talk to his family and then call me. I will try to make arrangements to see her that cause the least possible stress for everyone.
2011-08-23 05:26 pm (UTC)
You do have a right to your grief.
She became your Friend as well as your Mother-In-Law. Due to circumstances you fell out of touch. That does not negate your right to feel grief and go through the grieving process any more than if you had fallen out of touch with a different friend and they were passing. Don't feel like you shouldn't feel grief. Any and everytime we lose someone we are or were close to we grieve. It's okay.
I would ask one of your daughters to find out if it would be okay to come see her. If that is not possible ask them to tell her that you love her and will miss her. Even if nobody thinks she will understand we don't know that.
((((Hugs)))) You and your family have my sympathy.
2011-08-23 06:08 pm (UTC)
Re: You do have a right to your grief.
Talked to my ex, with whom I have a very good relationship now. He is on his way there and is going to at least give her my love and try to arrange for me to visit.
Oh wow. I can sympathize. I felt the same way when my former brother-in-law passed away last Winter. I felt like I had no rights to my grief. I was actually selfishly relieved they didn't have a public funeral and felt guilty for that.
You Do have a right to your feelings.
Edited at 2011-08-23 05:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks; the empathy is greatly appreciated.
She was part of your life; you have a right to mourn her. I'm sorry for your loss.
Wow...I'm sorry this is happening, and hope you can find a way to not be so hard on yourself. You are entitled to feel however you feel about this. The fact that you haven't kept up with someone (for reasons that sound quite valid to me) in no way negates the impact they had on your life.
It was comforting to talk to my ex and have him confirm that she always liked me and always understood. He's going to try and smooth the way for me to visit.
I could echo the words already written here, or tell you of my own mother's issue with this same situation. Don't beat yourself up, and don't deny yourself the right to grief. Do what you can, and what the family will allow you to do, and know she understands.
I like your icon.
My ex is going to try to make it work. I'm glad we get along.
I'm very sorry, sweetheart. You have every right to your grief - grief and love do not care about marriage bonds, or the severing of them.
If you're up to it, finding out if a visit from you would be welcome or not would probably be a good thing. If not, I second what someone said above about writing down those sorts of memories for your girls.
Know that you're loved. *hugs*
Thanks, dear. John is arriving there today and is going to sound out the situation for me. I'm so grateful to have a good relationship with him.
poppycock, "no right"and "don't deserve." (Wherever do we get these self-torturing notions?) It's totally right that such a lovely lady should be mourned and missed by all who knew and loved her. We should all be so lovingly remembered and held in people's hearts when it's our time to go: that's our only immortality, pieces of us in the people we've touched. Love and caring stand on their own, without labels or limits or "rights to."
Not visiting so you don't make things awkward for the dad is another dilemma. I would hope he'd get over it after all this time, and welcome you with open arms to the circle of grievers waving farewell to her at the station.
You make a good point. My ex is sounding out the family for me.
Feelings are. At the risk of negating my own statement, the idea of one having a right to one seems a bit silly. What one does about feelings may be right or wrong, but their existence?
As others have said, this is a person who was important to you. The loss you feel is a testament to that importance, notwithstanding the distance that came later.
What you do about it may be more about your consideration for the feelings of other family members. For yourself, you are experiencing grief, and should mourn.
My condolences on your loss.
I think it's patently untrue that feelings can't be wrong. I've known people who massively ruin their lives by misplaced or overly-indulged feelings. They can run wildly amok.
It's my worry about that that gives me pause. But it's true that she was important to me.
You will miss someone who was good and kind and loving to you. You have a "right" to respond with grief that she is dying. My condolences.
I think I would experience the same dilemma that you are. I hope that John finds that a visit from you would be welcome, but regardless, I hope that your grief passes quickly into fond memories and you can find peace. My heart goes out to you and your family, Gini.
Thank you so much. I do find comfort in the good memories.
This is beautiful. Thank you; you have touched my heart.
Just lost my (truly spectacular) MiL this past weekend; funeral's Saturday. Spent last night trying to arrange The Kid's transportation in from the left coast. So I hear you on a thousand levels -- and want to share some thoughts.
Life is too short not to let the people you love know you love them. I'd rather you go visit, whether she's "with it" or not, to tell her the three (sometimes four) critical things that dying people need to hear: I love you, it's ok to go, I forgive you, and I ask you to forgive me.
After some years of hospice nursing, I gotta tell you -- I've seen too many or too jangly visitors wear out my patients, yes. I doubt you'd be one of those. But what tears up this hospice nurse, what makes good dying turn into suffering (and yes, there is such a thing as a good death), is when the dying person hangs on and hangs on waiting for a touch or a voice from a loved one who doesn't come. Sometimes for days, until their body just can't wait another second. And watching my patients suffer just tears me up inside, makes me mad at whoever the asshole was who made them suffer like that.
It's important that the people we love know that we love them. Let the rest of the BS go -- she was good to you and you're coming to thank her for that and tell her you love her. If the rest of the famdamily can't deal, they can not-deal outside of her room and away from her hearing.
And sometimes hospice means hours or days, but I've had to graduate more than one for 'extended prognosis' that turned into years ... people are funny critters. Go give her some loving, you'll never regret doing anything from a place of love.
Two cents for your consideration, with empathy for your loss(es) -- :Dana
i want to thank you for being a hospice nurse. the ones who took care of the late Mate were SUCH good people, it would have been much harder if they hadnt been there to support both him as he died and me as i let him go.
thank you. its got to be horribly hard. thank you for doing it anyway.
There is no "right to" or "deserve" in grief -- you honour her by grieving her passing, and all who love her will appreciate everyone who honours her thus. I was deeply touched by the number and variety of people who expressed to me their grief over my father's death.
Be guided by your ex's advice with regard to his dad, but never for a moment feel that you are doing anything but a fine and honourable and right thing in grieving the passing of someone who was a good person and touched your life.
Thank you. You make a really good point.
I do hope it works out that you can see her. I'm very sorry for your and your daughters' loss. :(
You are as entitled to your grief as much as you were entitled to your love, and as none of us here would ever say that you should not love, neither will any of us say that you should not grieve.
I am sorry. I hope you get to see her. She sounds like a truly good person.
She's a very wonderful person. We didn't agree on everything, but I always knew that she wanted the best.
I'm so sorry for what you're going through and I'm thinking of you and your family.
Go see her, for both yourself and your children. You might have divorced her son. but you are still family. Some part of her likely would appreciate hearing how much she helped you become the mother you are today.
By the way, this is a lovely written tribute to the woman you knew.
Thank you. I will be talking to my ex about it, because I think you are right.
I sincerely hope J. is able to arrange things so that you can express your love (and sorrow and anything else that needs to be expressed) in person. I once had that opportunity (when E.M.'s mother passed away), and it still hurts to this day that Death beat me to the house by 12 hours or so.
He is going to try. He will at least convey it.
I remember the suddenness of that. I'm sorry it still pains you.
Everyone has the right to love. There are no rules to the heart. I'm so sorry. ::Hugs::
*hugs* She touched your life... I am sorry for your coming loss.
She did, very much. Thank you.