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Dying spouse is well enough 3 or 4 hours a day to talk to the caregiver but he won't text or call adult son. Now my son is hurt and angry and doesn't want to fly to see dad. Any suggestions?

I'm going to give you the advice I am constantly giving someone in my life - stay out of the middle, you just get all the angst and possibly blame but have zero power to change anything. They are both adults and need to deal with each other (or not).
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Reply to cwillie
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My sympathies are with you having to even ask such a question.

1) Not knowing either your husband or your son, I am thinking
The Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
gotta love um.

2) Don’t put yourself between the two of them. Your son knows his dad is dying. Your husband knows his son is reaching out to him. I would not give either a bit of information about the other. (Well. I like the way that sounds but truth is I haven’t had my husband declared near death).
This is happening to you as well. Where is the concern or consideration for what you are going through. I’m afraid I would have a problem with both their behaviors, although your post sounds a bit more sympathetic to your son.

I am very very sorry that you are having to deal with this.

Over and over I have witnessed how in the most heart rending times, some family think that surely the disagreements or hard feelings will melt away in this time of imminent death. Surely the hard a$$ will bend a knee to the situation at hand. I have been disappointed to see that a human being who has drawn a line is quiet willing to take it to the point of no return. Of course in this situation, your son is who has the most to lose because his dad will be gone and he will be alive with whatever regrets he has. Plus his dad being near death is perhaps not thinking clearly. For that reason I would be leaning towards the son needing to make the concessions if that is any help. Perhaps he would consider a visit to support you at this difficult time. I think I would not be telling the son that dad spends hours talking with the caregiver. I know it must be very hard at this time. I am sorry and I wish you peaceful days ahead. Each of these dear people in your life must choose their own path forward.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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lovinghb Apr 14, 2021
Thank you.
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Don't say a word to either unless asked.

If asked, counsel each to do what he thinks is best.

It is between the two of them and you can do nothing about it (except not make it worse).
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Reply to Countrymouse
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It may be that DH feels ashamed of dying from liver disease because of alcohol, and doesn’t want to acknowledge it to your son. Particularly if they have already fallen out about it, it might be difficult to avoid the subject in a call.

It might be worth your son writing a snail mail letter or card saying something like ‘We’ve all done things that we regret later, including me, and all we can do now is to make the remaining time as OK as possible. I would really like a chance to tell you to your face that I am grateful for the many good things you have done for me’. He might even do a list of the things he is still grateful for – it might help you and both of them. But there is no magic wand, unfortunately.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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One or the other needs to stop being so stubborn, but I imagine your husband feels that he shouldn't have to beg for acknowledgement and attention. IMO if your son wants to connect with his father then he shouldn't be waiting for an invitation.
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lovinghb Apr 14, 2021
Thank you for your reply. My son texts him all the time with no response. Spouse does not answer phone at all. Not for anyone.
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Has your husband always had an aversion to the phone? I'm asking because I personally hate making phone calls (apparently it's an introvert thing) and I find chatting on the phone can be very awkward, especially calls I have initiated at a time when seemingly the other person isn't primed to talk.
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Reply to cwillie
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This is their own dynamic. I would not interfere with it. This didn't come out of nowhere. Clearly there has been a problematic relationship between the two. I would stay clear of the middle of it. It is their choice and their own business. Just my opinion.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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I've read the replies all are from good-hearted people mho. Things change, one never knows. Our family had an experience with our father when he was in the VA hospital on his last days. It was a true gift.

He was manic-depressive (His mother committed suicide when he was young. They were from Finland and new to America, no family, or friends, father alcoholic and she just wanted out but left a note stating she could not bear any more children. He was the only child.) He had an exceptional IQ and was promoted to adjutant general because of it (yet would rant about the war as if he was in the battle field). A child prodigy on violin or any instrument for that matter. Arts, and gifted writer.

There was abuse as children. Severe. One could not move or even breathe without him noticing and "paying the consequence". There were good times (camping, hiking, trips in nature) but the knowledge that the crazy behavior and abuse could crop up suddenly made it never safe to relax.

Mother was told by ministers to honor her vows "til death do you part". (I eventually convinced her to obtain a divorce and helped to get him placed in the VA hospital).

None the less, we children and mother saw him on his last days. Each coming from different states at different times.

On this final days at the VA hospital he became this other person. Lucid, gentle, articulate, remembered events and places. Loving and kind. He said he was grateful that the family had rallied around him. A totally different person. He was full of light and love not rage.

My mom and I were walking in the gardens and she said "That's the man I married".

I was so grateful to have had that experience - to see how it would have been without that horrific mental derangement - it was a true gift.
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Reply to sazure
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When my daughter was a child, her father was not involved in her life that much. She complained about something he had or had not done. I told her that he was that way with everyone. I repeated this to a family therapist and was told that "everyone is not his daughter"

Is your husbands mind being effected by his desease. Is there some Dementia here? If so, he may not realize he is getting texts. Maybe he is forgetting how to use a cell phone. My Aunt has Dementia and just lets her landline ring.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Just a little information, my husband is a jerk and never maintained a relationship with his son. Their relationship was sending text messages every 2 months. That's it. My son has never done anything to make his father act like this. His father is an alcoholic who didn't want a relationship with anyone.

But come on, if you can physically send a text to your kid, give the kid some peace of mind at the end of your life.
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Petite1 Apr 18, 2021
Sorry but no matter what.....your son is not the one thats dying. I believe your son should look at the bigger picture here and make an effort. He will surely be glad he did when his father is gone. Your son can give his father some peace of mind at the end of his life.
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