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How shit can life get?

Joker62

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
As per the thread title, on this the most poignant weekend in any serviceman's life, I have been given the utter twat of a job to deliver the bad news to my stepfather in law. Those who have followed my posts in the Cat thread know that he was taken into hospital 3 weeks ago with a respiratory infection. The consultant today has confirmed that he has lung cancer which has spread to his liver, spleen, pancreatic gland and is rife through his bones especially his ribs. I have the dubious honour if telling him this because, apparently, it would be better for a family member to tell him. I can do.it but it's not something that I take lightly, in fact, it's breaking me up. How do I tell him.that he's never going home again, he'll never drive his prized Jag again and he'll never complete his model plane collection (over 100 models sitting there waiting for him to complete, ex RAFVR on Vulcans). I'd put this in relevant forum but I can't find the right place.
 
As per the thread title, on this the most poignant weekend in any serviceman's life, I have been given the utter twat of a job to deliver the bad news to my stepfather in law. Those who have followed my posts in the Cat thread know that he was taken into hospital 3 weeks ago with a respiratory infection. The consultant today has confirmed that he has lung cancer which has spread to his liver, spleen, pancreatic gland and is rife through his bones especially his ribs. I have the dubious honour if telling him this because, apparently, it would be better for a family member to tell him. I can do.it but it's not something that I take lightly, in fact, it's breaking me up. How do I tell him.that he's never going home again, he'll never drive his prized Jag again and he'll never complete his model plane collection (over 100 models sitting there waiting for him to complete, ex RAFVR on Vulcans). I'd put this in relevant forum but I can't find the right place.
Take a deep breath and do it. That’s it, no regrets, no “Oh shit, I should have said x, y x”
And done.
Best of luck mukker
 
I sympathize with you. I have had to deliver bad news to the family as Casualty Assistance Officer when their loved one died on active service. I even have had to break the news to my best mate's widow when he did not return from a little exercise in Leafy Land. It's never easy. I do not know if you are a religious person or not, or if your stepfather in-law is, but maybe he would benefit from some encouragement from a pastor or priest. At the very least, he should be told the truth and given time to set his affairs in order as it sounds like his prognosis is adverse and he doesn't have much time left.
 
Do you think it will be better coming from a family member, to whit, you?
I know that when dad went (he already knew he was going but a new and more aggressive tumour developed which made the whole process a lot quicker) we didn't tell him about that development. Perhaps from a doc but with you present? When that was all happening with dad one of my friends sent me a message stating simply that I should be strong for my family, but not to attempt to be stronger than I needed to be, it's something that stuck with me.
 
I'm reminded of the words of a guards senior on that documentary about them a few years ago to the men carrying their mate's coffin. "You will have your chance to grieve, today you will be strong"
 
It's shit, there's no other way of putting it.
One of the problems will be as soon as you mention terminal, all else goes out the window. Once he has got over the shock, you, or preferably a doctor will have to explain everything again. Have you contacted Macmillan? I had a Macmillan nurse explain everything medical, in terms that a layman can understand, they were also brilliant at just being there when needed.
Shoulders back mate, no blubbing now!
 
I've had to deliver the worst news where others had the opportunity, but didn't/wouldn't.

I gained a bit of comfort by knowing I had control of the process. I could do it my way that would ensure the recipients would receive the news in a way best suited to them.

Not easy though, of course. Cometh the hour.... and all that.

Best of luck. You never know, he may react in a very different way to what you expect.
 
All the best to you and your family mate, not a good situation to be in. As others have said, your Father in Law knows - he’ll appreciate it coming from a close family member.
 
Tough gig but think how you'd like be be treated, it's what you'll do instinctively - he's probably fully aware that his time is short so will respect you for stepping up.

I'd have the doc with me so that any questions can be answered immediately.

Best of.
 
Perhaps via the medium of interpretive dance? Seriously though you'll know how best to tell him, as others have said, he probably knows. It's utter shit and IMO very poor to have shifted it onto you, but just do what you can mate, sorry to hear about it. Errr also these models. . .
 
Tough call. As said before, he most likely knows. Maybe jot down a few words, so you know what you are going to say, as it is bound to be a bit emotional.
 
Perhaps via the medium of interpretive dance?.
Have you seen him dance?

How about using the family guy barbershop quartet?

For once this situation will not be helped with fire and/or explosives.

Right, now I've got all that out of my system.
I've never had the job of telling anyone they have anything this serious. A few times that their relative has died, and mostly then through an interpreter. That wasnt exactly fun

I've had the job of letting recruits family know that Pte dopey mcdopeface is in hospital with ... (Insert injury here) the reactions varied.
 
I'm reminded of the words of a guards senior on that documentary about them a few years ago to the men carrying their mate's coffin. "You will have your chance to grieve, today you will be strong"

I’ve been there and heard very similar, „the family are here to grieve, you are here to let them do so with pride and dignity, we will all have our chance to grieve later.“ Five years on I found myself repeating it verbatim to another funeral party.
 
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