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Please let me know what I can do for my ex-husband's father.

 

My heart aches for him because he lost his wife 3 months ago after a very long battle with cancer. They were married for over 33 years and together 24/7. They didn't have many other friends because they had each other. In the end he was the primary caregiver during her sickness and now he is alone.

 

My ex and I are still good friends and we've been divorced for over 15 years. He has been giving his dad support, but is leaving for Kuwait on Friday. I don't know what to do. I don't want to impose, but I want my ex-FIL to know we are here for him. We had him and my ex over for dinner to let him know we are available and he seemed to appreciate that, but beyond that I don't know what to do.

 

How much calling and how many invitations are too many or not enough? If I called him every few days, is that enough or too much? If we invited him over for dinner once a week, would it be too much?

 

Any guidance and advice would be greatly appreciated because I've never had to deal with this before, but I want to help him adjust.

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The short version of a well-known rabbinical story -

 

A man was utterly distraught when he lost his beloved companion of 60+ years. He felt completely lost and didn't know what to do with himself. <snip out much of the story> At the end, a rabbi asked him if his wife would have been as miserable had he died first. "Of course!" he responded. "Then you have spared her all that misery by taking it on yourself."

 

I think this is one way to give some meaning to the suffering a widow/er feels upon the death of a spouse.

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I would probably call once a week. I would take cues from how that goes, to either invite him over or to just drop by once in a while with some cookies or some other simple token of your love.

 

:iagree:

 

I think there's also a danger of doing too much for people. They do need to learn to live in their new reality. We lost my mil three years ago. Everyone has hovered over my fil since, including neighbors who have him over almost every night for dinner. He has become like a small child. He never learned to be alone and find his way.

 

It is good of you to care.

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The short version of a well-known rabbinical story -

 

A man was utterly distraught when he lost his beloved companion of 60+ years. He felt completely lost and didn't know what to do with himself. <snip out much of the story> At the end, a rabbi asked him if his wife would have been as miserable had he died first. "Of course!" he responded. "Then you have spared her all that misery by taking it on yourself."

 

I think this is one way to give some meaning to the suffering a widow/er feels upon the death of a spouse.

That's a beautiful sentiment. We lost my FIL this year and I might have to use this story.:(

 

I agree to call him for a while and see how that goes. Maybe dinner over once every few weeks. Does he have anyone to spend Christmas with? Or maybe include him if your kids are doing something special. I know he's not technically family anymore, but being included will help him heal. You are doing a great kindness!:grouphug:

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