Sunday, October 9, 2011

Forgiving My In-Laws

But you can forgive most things.

I got this image from here

In-laws. (My husband’s parents)

My in-laws.
I have not spoken to them in 1 yr and 10 months.
Until three months ago, I had not corresponded with them for the same amount of time.

My in-laws…
Have not seen my youngest since he was 7. He’s now 9.

My in-laws.
When I tell people the story of how I was treated by them, they are the subject of much head shaking and “OMG! They did what?” by all.

My in-laws
Lets just say …. We’ve gotten along, umm, better when Art was alive.

My little “widow” secret is 9 months after Art died, my relationship died with them died.

For months over a year, I have wanted to write about them but ... first there was the rage to get through, then the shame, then the rage again. And it all felt taboo. I mean, they lost too. I do not know what it’s like to loose a child. How can I possibly pass judgment on their behavior?

That's what I told myself when they were cruel to me. “Grief does wacky things to people.” I said. And so I let them treat me poorly, giving them the space to blame me or the city or his life out here or anything they wanted to for his death because I know, accepting a death is not done gracefully.

In a perfect world, when death hits, a family pulls, together. They round up their wagons, support and love each other right into healing. In a perfect world.

Instead, they didn’t like my wagon, couldn’t understand why I would drive it and why I would not return with their wagons to where they were.

I felt shame … bad widow. You are not the only one who has lost.
Hurt … how could they not help? How could they say no to his kids?
Rejected – they never liked me or the different way my kids "look."
I had quite a few pity parties.

All of that I carried around with me like a purse of gold coins, valuable to my worth by really frickin' heavy. Ashamed to write about any of it, because somewhere I believed that I was not good enough for them.

Until I got tired of telling the story and listening to the righteous indignation of others at my in-laws behavior, until I accepted they never understood the life Art and I built so far away from them, until I realized it was not my problem but theirs, until I just got tired of being so mad.

So I let go and suddenly I forgave them. I do not, nor will I ever, know why they did what they did. (I suspect they don’t know either.)

I didn’t send them a note announcing “I have now forgiven you!” I didn’t call them either. I just started emailing little tidbits about the kid’s lives and how the weather was.

And now I don’t hate them, I don’t worry about what they think of me cause, for the first time, I don’t care.

Death (and time) have freed me.

I don't think we will ever be friends. And the days of staying in their home are very limited if not over. But...they lost a son. God willing, I will never know what that's like. They did what they did. I will never forget that. But I have forgiven them, finally. And it feels good.


  1. Kim I fully understand your feelings of rage and astonishment at the way you have been treated. My mother and sister ( my only family ) have had no contact with me after my husband's diagnosis of terminal bowel cancer and his subsequent death. I too have come to realize that it is their problem, not mine. But it still hurts enormously, especially for the sake of my children. I hope I can forgive one day too. What a shame you can never forget.
    Big hugs to you and yours.

    1. Kim....i just read the narrative above. Your words were so familiar to me! I felt immediate relief after i finished reading! How wise you are. Why of course grief causes people to respond in ways that may be less than desireable. In truth, people often times respond in ways that are completely irrational. I've been in so much pain following my husband's death. His family is treating me, (behind my back of course), as if i were of little importance to my husband. His family does not care for me....long story....they always are! Their accusations have been a constant source of significant frustration for me as the accusations are not even remotely factual! Somehow i still feel so violated. Your words have helped me to realize that, it is better to understand, than to be understood. It really is of no consequence to me regarding how they viewed my relationship with my husband. Thank you for helping me take the first steps in this process of "letting go" of the toxic thoughts and worries that have been clouding my world.

    2. Cari - Kim no longer writes for us, but our Widow's Voice blogs can now be found on the Soaring Spirits web site:

  2. Long-time lurker, first-time (I think) commenter.

    My in-laws rejected me when my husband and I changed churches (gasp!). They never accepted our sons. In the 7 years since Nick's death, they have seen their grandsons (now 9 and 13) twice; the last time was in 2007.

    I don't get angry anymore, but it does sicken me a little when I think about it. Whenever I do get upset that they are not part of my sons' lives, I stop. And give thanks that they are not part of my sons' lives. I really don't want their twisted poison to touch my children.

    But I have always had a certain measure of compassion for them. I have buried my father, my brother, my husband, and I pray to God that I never have to bury a son.

    1. You are an angel. I agree . I have buried a father, a husband and the loss of one of my children would be more than I could take.
      God Bless!

    2. Susan ... the Widow's Voice blogs have moved to our new website. Here's a link:

  3. Wow! I thought I was the only one with this kind of shameful story. My mother in law emotionally abused her son, my husband when he was dying from a terminal brain tumour. It went on for over a year. I tried everything to get her to stop. For periods he and our family refused contact with her. IT had to do with religion. We were no longer practicing Catholics and she convinced herself if my husband returned to church (specifically her church with her) and saw a priest he would be healed of his brain cancer! She even went so far as to contact a priest to come to our house against my husbands wishes. When she was asked kindly to please stop she lost it and stormed over to our house and berated my husband who was only home from the hospital for a few weeks. She reduced him to sobbing with her ranting and yelling.. I was so shocked and mortified by her behavior. Eventually, my daughter and I got her out of the house. Her bahaviour continued to be this crazy - I love you - you have to come back to church or you are not my son. In the end it came down to "her or me" as she pushed my husband to reject me. She saw me as the enemy ( we had never had one cross word in 30 years!) All of this when my husband and i and our children were doing everything to keep him alive and to make his living as deep and as peaceful as possible.
    At first I told myself it is just grief. This actually allowed her to just abuse me more because I wouldn't respond. As time went on, I realized this was just religious zealotry. She was even told to stop by her family priest and the bishop and was assured my husband would go to "heaven" without her intervention. Eventually, I realized what had been there all along - her control and her jealousy over our deep and loving and long marriage. One of friendship and happiness. She never had it, so she didn't understand it and couldn't stand seeing the evidence. Because he was dying, eventually we let her back in our home with his sisters to see him because for him, I did not want him to die and not have seen his mother. I wrote her a letter pleading with her to put all of this behind her, that her son was dying and his time was close. Could she not just love him? It helped a bit. The visits were brief but they were never the same. When he died, my son went to get photos from his childhood and she went through the whole thing again - always - it was all about her. She is a complete narcissist.
    Since his death, I have almost no contact with my husbands family. In the beginning his sisters called a bit. But now, not a thing. When they do call I respond warmly and positively. But I am deeply hurt. I thought after more than 35 years! When people hear what my mother in law did they are mortified. (not that i tell that to people, somehow I feel ashamed that she did this to him and I couldn't completely stop her).
    I thought of trying again to mend fences that I have not broken and my middle daughter who is very wise listened as I said "well maybe we could try . . . " . responded " they can try to pretend it was grief, or old age or that she had some kind of breakdown BUT we know the truth. She emotionally abused my dad while he was terminally ill and dying. I am not going to call it anything but what it was. I can not forgive her for torturing my father and making him cry and increasing his suffering and abusing her power as his mother.
    AND SUDDENLY - I realized once again, what I had known while it was going on (and had buried deep because it was too painful) . THAT IS THE TRUTH.
    and it really is true that "the truth can set you free" I can feel compassion for her but I have no desire to have her in my life anymore.
    Thank you for allowing me to tell this story.

    1. Your story has resonated with me so much. My husband died two weeks ago after a very brief and brutal battle with late diagnosis cancer. He was only 45. My MIL turned into a hell bitch, blaming me, despising me and my very supportive family, trying to bar me from his hospital bed and finally physically attacking me when finally I lost my temper and told her to leave his room ( as he had requested to no avail). Since then I've had no contact and am left to make all the arrangements and pay all the bills with no support from his family at all. She even drive me away with her spite at the end. I was so distressed at the distress her treatment of me was causing him that I wasn't with him when he died. I believe some deep seated guilt is responsible for her inexplicable behaviour - and jealousy that in the end he only wanted me and nobody else. We had almost 12 amazing years together and were two halves of a whole. He was my universe and my home. I'm distraught without him but I know I acted selflessly and only in the name of what was best for him. She didn't, she was selfish and spiteful when the chips were really down. She disrespected her son at the end of his life and was cruel to the one person he loved more than anyone - me. She will have to square with that one day, and will need a very good excuse when she meets him in heaven (assuming she gets there). As for me? I will hold my head high, as proud to be his wife now as the wonderful day we got wed - of all the girls in the world, my wonderful, handsome and intelligent man chose me. That means everything to me and is an endorsement I don't have to share with a single soul. X

    2. Momma bear ... the Widow's Voice blogs have moved to our new website. Here's a link:

  4. I never had the chance to meet my husbands parents. They had passed away before we met. But my husband has a brother. From the very beginning he and I clashed. Our personalities could not be more opposite. We did not see him very often over the years but kept in touch with them, he has a wife and two girls, but we purposefully stayed away because it just was not fun.
    When John was diagnosed, his brother in law surprised me by completely stepping up. He drove the five hour ride to us as often as he could. He was the only one. The only other person, beside myself, who would sit with him in the hospital, he would send me home so I could be with the kids and sleep in my own bed. He witnessed a lot of the horrible, ugly things that go on during a persons fight for his life. He was there when I would just collapse, he stood up for me, he agreed and supported every impossible decision I had to make during Johns illness. I honestly don't know what would have happened without his support. How could I put a DNR order on my husband without someone there, beside the doctors, telling me it truly was the best thing, that it was ok? How could I move him to hospice against his wishes? Or make the decision to remove the feeding tube? He was there, with his arm around me, telling me it was all the right thing to do. He was standing next to me through the wake and funeral, he was there when I first viewed my husband in the casket, and he was here for the one year anniversary of his death. Those this were the greatest support he could have given. I am always going to be grateful to him.
    I wish so much that we had been able to iron out our differences so long ago. He and john could have seen more of each other, he is the only one left of his immediate family.
    Our relationship is so much better, I guess in a way we were in the trenches together and came out of it with a bond that will always be there. I think the world of him for being there for John and for me.
    There is more peace, and that is always a good thing. I am so happy for you that you are able to find forgiveness for your in laws. I was very lucky to have my brother in law step up. If he hadn't done that, I don't know what could have happened to me having to go through it without his support. I hope your in laws are able to see their role in the broken relationship as well and find peace too.

  5. Thank you for addressing a problem I have been dealing with.

  6. Thank you for posting what Im dealing with too, a little different its his "bio" son as his son would say. Danny was my love and we too had an amazing love, marriage and life together. To have his son and his mother discount that is so incredible. Oh well, I too will not have that or them in my life.

  7. I just decided it was not my job to make sure my husband's mother had a relationship with my sons. That was her job. She has not done much to make it happen. When her son was alive, we made sure we kept up with the her, and I went along for the sake of my husband. He is gone, and she is not my mother-in-law any more. BUT, my sons are still her grandsons. This is how I handled the bad feelings I had toward her and my sisters in law. My sons see them once a year during the Christmas holidays. I quit going after the 2nd year, cause I had had enough. They were not interested in me or my life struggles at all. I explained all this to my sons, and they did not question me about my decision. I told them grandma was their grandma, and I understood they loved her as their grandmother, but that I had a totally different feeling toward her, and I chose not to spend holidays with her and the aunts any more. It has worked out pretty good these past 6 years. Both boys are in college now. I too feel the sentiment of praying I never have to bury a son. I am glad to see I am not the only one who has dealt with this problem. Thank you all for sharing today.

    1. I am dealing with this for the first time this Christmas season; my husband passed away a year ago and our son is now 2 years old. My in-laws only want to see my son and not me. They want me to leave him with them over the holidays. They are multi-millionaires and have never once asked how they could financially or emotionally help after my husband passed away. They don't care about my work or how I am doing emotionally, spiritually, financially. I want to just break clean away from them and not have any contact but I don't know if that will back fire as my son grows up. They have missed both his birthdays and don't make the effort to call or Skype so he doesn't know them anyways. They just want to see him at Christmas time. It has been causing me sleepless nights and lots of stress trying to plan my limited holiday vacation around driving over a snowy highway just so they can see their grandson. Would it be worth just saying we are going to go on with our life and they need to go on with theirs? Need advice!

    2. Anonymous ... the Widow's Voice blogs have moved to our new website. Here's a link:

      I'd also recommend you join us in Widowed Village where you'll find others who are facing a similar issue.

  8. Anon above said "she is a complete narcissist." Bingo. I read your entire post and you knew the answer all along. And I agree. I have a mother like that. The uber-Catholic, never wrong, martyr who sacrificed herself for her children. Apparently she has never heard of making choices, or being selfish, or biased or judgemental. What a great Catholic. Fast forward, I put her out of my life in 1991, for the sake of my mental health, after a lifetime of emotional and psychological abuse. When I was in my early thirties I finally went to a therapist, and between her and my husband I discovered that it was her all along, not me. Took a little more time to learn about boundaries, self esteem (yes I am worthy to be on the planet), and always looking for the person who owns the problem. Good for all of you who have stopped trying to be rational around an irrational person, because you will never win, and torture yourself in the process. I have radar for these "energy vampires" now and they don't make it past a few minutes with me. And for the love of God, keep them FAR away from your children. Toxic city. Instead of being pissed at them, thank God every day that you have the brains to keep them away.

  9. Having just recently lost my husband of 8 years I find comfort in reading about other widows in similar situations. My in-laws are nice people who wanted the world for their son. But for some reason they are incapable of seeing beyond their grief and reaching out to me and my son. When flowers were to be arranged on his coffin, my MIL insisted on having a bigger and better arrangement than mine (which was already assigned to on top of the casket). Why? I don't know. They are just inconsiderate, self involved people in mourning. I try not to take things personally but they have yet to ask about me or my son. How are we dealing with our loss? How can they help us? Nope. None of that. Maybe I'm the selfish one...but from reading other people's posts, I'm guessing not. Apparently, it all too common for families by marriage to dissolve. I think I'm ok with that, except I know my husband would really have wanted us to get along.

  10. I am so comforted that I am not the only one in this situation. I have twin 5 year old boys who have not spoken to their in laws for over a year. I speak only good about my in laws to my children to protect them... I was told by my fil a few weeks after my husband died, that I am not their family only my sons are... They also said a few weeks after he died that if i ever remarry they will have nothing to do with me... I hold no bitterness towards them but i know my husband would be so disaapointed to know what has happened. I will keep trying as they are a link to my husband...

  11. I was married for 18 years, have been widowed for 17 years. The last time that I saw my brother in law and his family is probably 14 years ago and my mother in law and father in law was 6 years ago... until last night. we talk on the phone once a year at christmas! last night my father in law died and we got the phone call in the morning to come to the hospital to say our good byes.

    My children and I drove 5 hours, we were treated kindly, but we got to watch the other grand children's FRIENDS come to the hospital and display a closer relationship than we had. The other grandchildren are posting pictures of a life with their grandparents, which we didn't have, because my husband, their son died.

    Shame on my in laws, all of them. I am angry, hurt and disappointed. My children did not deserve to have so many losses in their lives, but that is our reality.

    I used to give my in laws a pass -- their hearts broke that day -- their son died -- etc. etc. all of the rationalizations, but they hurt my children with their selfish behavior and there is no excusing that. Back when we visited their houses (first 6 years after his death), my mother in law would burst into tears every time that she saw them and run out of rooms! Our house made her sad, so she couldn't visit our house! But seeing us made her sad too and after a while, infuriated me... imagine knowing that every time that your grandmother saw you, she cried?

    arghhhhhhhhhhh!!!! and now we have to go to funeral services and listen to all of the people tell stories of a life with people who ignored us... completely.

    i thought that i could tell them that i forgive them, but i can't and i don't. the best that i can do is attend the services and repeat that my husband loved my father in law very much. (and choke back that they let him down).

    1. One year and eight months after my husband lost his 4 month battle with cancer, I can see the lives of my daughters and myself being what you are living. I so pray I never know the grief of losing a child. She has to be broken. One day she may realize my grief! What would have happened had her mother in law treated her the same had she been in my shoes? Your words of your home making your MIL sad are mine. Instead though she said our home makes her mad. We built our home only three years before he passed. She refers to it as her sons house. We were married 21 years. It is our home. My daughters are "our daughters!" I will live my life repairing her damage. When we knew my husband would not beat cancer, she asked my then thirteen and seventeen year old daughters to pray their daddy would die! I will teach them to live and seek a great life.....the same life they would have sought had their dad been here. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    2. I'm very sorry your in-laws are behaving this way. If you'd like to continue to follow our Widow's Voice blogs, please visit us at:

  12. My commom-law husband committed suicide last year, he was 42 yrs old. His family did not think I was right for him (I was 51) We were together for 7 yrs. During the funeral, and for 6 months afterward, they said I was family, an extension of him etc. Now apparently I am not. Not once did any of them come to my home to help pack, move, or grieve. They were looking for someone to blame, and that happened to be me. This is fine with me, because I am sure, that like them, I have no answers, so if it makes them feel be it!

  13. My husband died 4 months ago. 3 days ago, my in-laws, whom I love very much and long to be family with for the rest of my life, told me they can no longer consider me to be family, that I am not welcome at holidays and that I am to be considered now a "friend". Apparently, I am too great a reminder of their loss. I am incredibly hurt by this and shocked. I am thankful, however, to read that I am not the only one this has happened to. I will strive to forgive them, because that is what Jesus did for me and not to be bitter against them. I will strive to love them anyways because I know they are grieving too. But, I'm so sad now, and never would have expected that 4 months after the loss of my husband, I'd be grieving the loss of my family too.

  14. My husband just passed in July 2013. I was with my husband for 30 years. His passing was relatively quick and he was only 50. His parents did not go to the funeral home or help with any arrangements -planning or financial. Even though I called and checked with them and my brothers and sister in law throughout the planning, my in-laws have since questioned every decision I made. Just this weekend I was asked - Why haven't you called us? (they are retired) I asked if they could contact me since I have so little time to do anything now - they could not understand why I could not call. This is only a small sampling of what has happened so far. I am trying to prepare myself and my children for what seems to be the family abandoning us. However, looking back over the years I realized that all family events were creating by our contacting and having everyone over. I am just so sad about this and it is eating away at me.

  15. This was helpful to read. My husband has terminal cancer and has been given a death sentence - and his whole family has turned against me. Their unrelenting criticism and negativity have me completely overwhelmed at a time when i need to be strong for my husband and small children. They are ganging up on me. And he wont stand up to them. And when i try he gets angry. & upset. So im supposed to just swallow the constant antagonism - in my own home. Its literally making ME ill. I dont know what to do. But im glad to hear there are others out there like me. You never know who your true friends - or enemies. - are, until someone gets sick. Thanks everyone for all the posts. Its helpful.

  16. This is interesting reading. I'm 28. My father died when I was 10 and his family rejected me and my brother. Prehaps it was to painful for them I don't know. I found my gradparents address and wrote to them 6months ago but no reply. Sent recorded delivery so I know they got it. Its hard to understand

  17. We were married for just shy of 9 years when my husband died suddenly, accidentally while I was out of town. My mother-in-law got really cold towards me after he died. She went behind my back to communicate with my young child, and would not speak to me to make any arrangements to see my child. She just asked my child to ask me if she could do this or that with , along with telling her that I was a liar. In addition, my sister-in-law told me some nasty things about how she disliked seeing on social media me getting rid of my husbands things and how it looked like I was having a good time doing it. We did not speak for 6 months, then she called me and told me I was a nasty bi*&h, a piece of crap and that she never liked me. She was hateful, and hurtful. Her mother followed up by telling me I was a liar and needed help, and that I was to blame for my husband's death. I told her and her mother to never contact me or my child again after that, as I did not want my child to hear any of that nastiness. They went behind my back anyway to see my child at school, emailed and left messages for my child. Now I have had to block them from being able to contact us at all. I have made the decision to remove them from our lives, as we do not need people like that around us while we try to go on. I forgive them, but I do not condone their behavior or wish to be around them any longer. I am better off without them, as is my child. Freedom. Breathing easy. Blessed.

  18. When my husband became sick, he knew his life would be short lived. I have always got along with the ILs. I knew to stay my distance during family disputes and not get involved. My mother in law gave the house to my husband years ago after we have been living in it for over fifteen years. We took out a sizable loan and fixed it and which I am still paying for. My heartless sister in law told my husband that he needs to give back the house because he was dying and I was not family. I might not be related by blood but my kids are. Knowing how his sister was he told her off and made arrangements so that our home will go to our daughters. I have never interfered with his family matters but I supported his decision. When he passed away we hadnt even buried him yet. My mother in law and sister in law approached my daughters and I and wanted to discuss about the "house". My daughter told them that this was not the time and place (church) to talk about this. All the ILs stay at the house while they were in town for the funeral as this was the Family house. A few weeks later I get a call from the ILs saying that I was insensitive about not sharing the money given by guests who stop by during the funeral to give their condolence. That money help to for the funeral expenses and what ever healthcare expenses not covered by insurance. Believe me to this day I still get bills that I had overlooked. My daughters soon after transferred title of the house to their names. Now the ILs are pist off. I still try to be respectful to my MIL because she is old and care the least about the rest of the ILs. MIL would mention to me that my husband tricked her into giving him the house. I would not buy it, because this house was total mess when we moved in. This house meant alot to him growing up. Everyone moved away and no one wanted to take care of it except for my husband. I have been threatened by the ILs that they would take us to court. I am not at all scared from their threats because they just want to sell the house for money especially after all the upgrades that was done. They never saw what we did till they came for the funeral. As a good jesture I send my MIL money monthly and pay for what additional medical expenses may arise. We have not talked to her in almost a year, but the checks I send are being cashed. A few weeks ago my daughter and her kids wanted to visit my MIL when she was nearby where they lived. The ILs threatened to have her arrested for trespassing. My daughter was crushed and now it is starting up all over again.

  19. My husband was seriously assaulted and suffered a head injury. He was in intensive care for 3 weeks in an induced coma and I didn't know if he would make it. I thought my life was over. I have a 22 month old daughter and she was the only thing that kept me strong. My inlaws all turned against me; to the extent that they launched abuse at me in the corridor of the ICU. They blamed me and accused me of hiding things. The assault happened outside our home and I was tending to my daughter when it occurred. I didn't see anything but apparently I was part of some big conspiracy. I will never forgive them. Luckily my husband came through and is currently in rehab because of the brain injury. He is doing incredibly well and I thank God that he is still with me. I travelled 140 miles every day to see him when he was in intensive care, Luckily he is now more local. His mother told me I had put him where he was. They nearly broke me; his parents, his sister and her husband made it there mission to destroy me and in doing so showed no consideration for their granddaughter. I know they were worried but what they did was unforgivable. They even went on to give my husband inaccurate details of the assault when he was at his most vulnerable, despite being advised against it by both the police and the medical staff. They even told him I had witnessed the attack and was deceiving him. This had an impact on my husband's recovery and I just cannot understand why they did it. My husband is coming home for the weekend and is still very fragile. I have to stand by and accept the fact that he will go to visit his family. This is very difficult for me. We have been together for 19 years, since I was 16. I have to put him first but I am terrified it will break us. I haven't told him the extent of it as he is very vulnerable and recovery from a brain injury is a long process. I feel lost and distraught.

  20. My father-in-law kicked me out of the family when I refused to "sign off" on my husband's estate without obtaining financial disclosure. He turned my sons against me at a time when they were grieving the loss of their father. FIL is a bully and thinks this is still the 1800's when women had no rights or say. Everyone is afraid of this man because they know he is a bully and don't want to be his next victim. They are just waiting for him to die. He should be in the ground and not my husband. The good die young. This horrible man only cares about money. My husband couldn't do enough to please him. I am trying to find forgiveness in my heart, but it isn't easy.

  21. My husband just died from a rare cancer he had for 3 years his family visited only once and I guess they thought he was going to die while they were there but he didn't.

    I thought my brother in law was a good guy but his wife got jealous when I went to check into a hotel for one night out of all these years of live in caregiving! Since that ONE night I had to get a break (husband was watched and OK) my BIL was rude on the phone and hasn't spoken to me once.

    I called one of my sisters in law to tell them my husband died with me at his side after spending a hellish week at his bedside while he died.

    Did any of his family show up? Heck no. Has any of his family phone me with condolances? Heck no.

    I guess thats why he wrote most of them out of his will!! A few get very small percentages of his will I inherit the home and 80% of everything else some people are going to be very suprised when the will is read.

    Does this all hurt, the shunning from my in laws? Heck no I am relieved my husband is out of pain he really struggled now I can keep up on my sleep and I am old enough to avoid drama period.

    Widows to be expect the worse from your in laws and make sure you have a air-tight will in place otherwise you'll have to be connected to a bunch of jerks who don't care about your mental health.

    Thank god for our angel friends and bless the soul of my recently departed dear husband and his family can go to hell no lost!

    1. The Widow's Voice blogs have moved over to the new Soaring Spirits website. Here's where you can find the current blog posts, along with all of the old ones, too. They are now tagged, so you can search by topic. Here's a link to the blog page:

  22. The entire year my husband lay dying, his mother wrote only of her own health. Neither my husband's sister or mother offered to help do anything. As soon as my husband died, his mother began writing hate letters from Boston, and his sister had refused to speak to him in his last years. They wrote their own obituary the next day (for the Boston Globe) without asking us how we felt... So, I had to write mine without any of them helping, plan 2 services, and a newspaper interview without them. I had no family of my own, and my MIL had never even let me call her "mom." The in laws left me and my son totally desolate, and the MIL even told lies to all our Boston contacts defaming me, also holding back all condolence cards we would have received as a family (me and my boy). They caused my Ed so much grief while he was alive, it is truly difficult to understand forgiving that. The entire time I was disabled AND carwgiving, but they showed no mercy... I try to forgive... The pain never goes away.

    1. I'm so sorry, Anne. The Widow's Voice blogs have moved over to our new web site. You'll find them at You might also like to join us in Widowed Village where others have shared similar issues:

  23. Very similary story. Had an okay relationship with my ILs for 20 years and great marriage to my wife. When she was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer, MIL refused to believe doctors about prognosis and would only talk about full recovery.

    Even my wife, who fought with every ounce of her strength to be cancer, found her mums attitude hard.

    When my wife was in hospice with a few weeks to live, the IL's were still pushing for more chemo and still expected a full recovery. When I told my MIL that it was only a few weeks and that there was nothing the doctors could do, her response was "I thought she would be there to look after me when I got old." I was shocked and begged my FIL to keep MIL from saying that to my wife on her death bed.

    After she passed away, there was a fight about the cremation, service, and viewing. My wife knew I would have problems with them so she wrote down exactly what she wanted. Ever after showing them what their daughter wrote down they pushed for a church service.

    4 months after my wife passed away they took my 7 year old daughter out dinner without me. They came home and pushed a headstone design in front of me and said "your daughter likes this and we are going to order it this week". Their headstone design had my wifes maiden name and both their names on it, but nothing about being married or a parent. It told them again that my daughter and I would look after the burial and headstone.

    A few months later they brought it up again and I said again we would look after the burial.

    They went nutz and called yelling, called and yelled at my parents, threatened to sue.

    They said my wife told them she wanted to be buried with them on her death bed.

    They said my wife was trying to save her marriage 6 weeks before she died.

    It's all so horrible. They decided they wanted their daughter to be buried with them. They assumed that my wife and I didn't talk about her wishes over and over. They assumed I wouldn't care that their ploy only had room for three, my wife and her parents, no room for you! They assumed I wouldn't care about respecting my late wifes wishes. They assumed they could bully me.

    That was 18 months ago, and now they want to pretend that nothing happened and want to spend time with their only granddaughter. They only want to see her, not me, and I'm not letting my only child alone with those toxic people. I'm angry at myself for trusting them once.

    My IL's want someone else to solve their problem for them. They won't take any responsibility for what they said or did. They only say things like "I'm sorry you made us angry" or "I'm sorry I did that but here is why I was right".

    The hard part for me is this is not what my late wife wanted. She wanted her parents to be part of our daughters life.

    I'm angry that they made me doubt the loving marriage I had with my wife. There was never a hint of any discontent from my wife and reading her journals where every day, she remarked how grateful she was to have me and how I was her rock. But still, they made me momentarily doubt it; to hurt me.

    On her deathbed, my wife was consumed by guilt. Leaving me and my daughter alone. I was so worried my MIL would make her feel more guilty I tried to be in the room with her whenever her mum was there.

    They send birthday, Easter and Christmas cards to my daughter and say stuff like "We wish your daddy would let us visit you". They send out Christmas cards to friends and relatives where they photoshop me out of family pictures so it is only them, my late wife and daughter.

    They are so desperate to see my daughter that they have not called in 18 months, have not called my parents to apologize, have not every said anything to make me think they are truly sorry.

    Much too late now for me to ever forgive.

    No way I can ever forget.

    My daughter can decide when she turns 18, in 9 years.

  24. My son passed away 15 months ago. It was a horrible, unexpected disease. My DIL was cold and rude during his hospital stay but after my sons passing she got much worse. I tried to sucks it up as she was grieving but I was too. Still am. My older daughter and I did free child care so she could save money. We helped out alot. Her attitude was, she was the only one suffering. My son left her and their 2 young children a big life insurance. Two months after my son passed, she had a live in boy friend, 6 months later they bought a big new home together. During this time my daughter and I continued to help her,though it was very difficult. We kept our opinions to ourselves. When it was time to move, she did it secretly, with the help of her parents . The same people who hugged us and told us how much they loved my son at the service my husband and I planned, because they said they did not want be involved. My DIL also she she did not want to be involved. Then she texted us and said she was hurt and brokenhearted because we didn't include her in all the planning. She moved about 30 miles away with her 2 children, my grandkids, and her boyfriend. She had no intention of letting us know the new address. Thanks to the internet, it wasn't hard to find. Long story short, we get no response to calls, texts, letters, nothing. I can't see, or talk to my grandchildren. In fact all my family and anyone who used to be close to my belated son are all cut off. I feel angry, very hurt, I want to give her a piece of my mind. I honestly don't think she cares at all, it would be a waste of time. I write to the kids. I don't know if they receive what I send. I will just keep sending happy letters to my grandchildren. I believe the pain will take years off our lives.

  25. I thought My family was the only ones. My son passed from secondary HLH. He was married with 2 young children. We were and are devestated. Our DIL acted cruel and rude during his illness. After our son passed, it got worse. Two months later when she moved in a boyfriend, it got very tense. We watched children for her while she worked, cleaned the house, did laundry, etc. My late son loved her, and I wanted to do right by him. Also I wanted to see my grandkids. Six months later she secretly moved away, with the kids,and boyfriend to a big, new home. Financed by my sons life insurance, at least her half. Long story short, she has cut off all contact with my family and anyone who cared for my son. I can not talk or see the children. I write but don't know if they receive it. We don't understand it. I have never know anyone this cruel and uncaring. It is so painful, on top of losing our son.

    1. Kim no longer writes for us, but our Widow's Voice blogs can now be found on the Soaring Spirits web site: