Handling Sick Parents

Yesterday, my father-in-law started his first day of chemotherapy. It’s been something we’ve been anticipating for a while now, but nevertheless, it’s certainly scary. I saw that hubby was a little unnerved yesterday, and no doubt he’s been worried about his dad’s health. At church on Sunday, the pastor prayed vigorously for the family, and at the end of the prayer, I noticed hubby and my mother-in-law both sneak off to the bathroom to wipe their tears. It was quite emotional.

Just a few years ago, it was my mom who was very sick and it was really scary. We constantly were going to the emergency room. Multiple medications and misdiagnoses later, my mom had a heart attack. I was so scared, but hubby (then boyfriend) was there for me the whole time. The tough thing is, it’s sort of hard being there for your significant other when a parent is sick. It’s hard to see them going through the emotions, and knowing that you can’t do much except offer supportive words.

A lady I know and respect told me that one of the hardest tests on your marriage is when a parent passes away. I can’t imagine the pain that has to be experienced when that time comes. I hate talking about death, and don’t want to imagine a life without our parents, but it is unfortunately inevitable. My in-laws are considerably older than my parents, but anything can happen. It’s just really stressful to even think about.

One of the stressors is the inevitable drama that will occur when my FIL passes away. Hubby has 11 brothers and sisters who will undoubtedly come out from the woodwork insisting something belongs to them. MIL is going to be in a daze. Hubby is going to be upset. I’m going to have to be the rock and the glue to keep things in order. It’s going to be hard but as is life and death.

I pray that my FIL’s chemotherapy goes smoothly. I’ve heard stories about how hard it can be on the person and the family, so I’ve just been asking God for strength for my family.

Have you had to deal with a sick parent or in-law? How did it affect your marriage?

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