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How do I get Dad to understand that mom is going to die soon?

Mom is in a nursing home and is on a ventilator, everyone knows she will die soon except Dad. He refuses to admit the possibility and talks of getting her stronger so that she can come back home. How do I get him to face the facts?
Status: Open    Nov 09, 2014 - 12:52 AM

End of Life, Relationships

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Aug 21, 2015 - 12:28 PM

Everyone handles grief differently. I imagine that if your mom and dad have been together for many years, it is even harder for him to admit that she is going to die. I would suggest that rather than trying to get him to acknowledge that your mom is dying, just be there to support him. If he is able to be with her, he will probably get to the point of realizing that it would be best for her, to let her go.

Give him opportunities to share his feelings. It usually does not help to try to force one to acknowledge that someone may die. I have found that it helps to encourage reminiscing about their time together. Also, a spiritual counselor may help, if he is religious.

If there are some decisions that need to be made, such as funeral decisions, you could encourage that he think about those decisions, ‘just incase’.

If he isn’t able reach acceptance of his wife’s death before it happens, just be there for him. Also be sure to support him after her death, especially at times which may have been special times for them.
Keep him busy and involved.
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