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My own mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer shortly after I started dating my boyfriend (now together 5+ years, although my mother sadly passed). When she was diagnosed, I offered him an out for fear of putting too much strain on a new relationship. He chose to stay with me through her decline and death, and I have never forgotten it. Whatever happens to our relationship in the future, I will ALWAYS remember and love him for what he did for me during a really crappy time in my life.
Best of luck.
However, I say go too. Keep in mind though that whatever sacrifices you make to be there for her are gone and you can never ask for restitution.
Finally and most importantly: your girlfriend may be emotionally unreachable for the duration of your visit and maybe for a long time afterwards. There's no telling how grief will affect someone. Good luck.
Go. Go and pretend she's just a friend you aren't sleeping with if you need to, so that you don't have any mental Girlfriend expectations. Go and take care of her however you can, whatever she needs. Your gut is telling you to go. Listen to it.
The girlfriend is going to want support at some times, and distance at others, and to not feel responsible for anyone else's happiness. People don't respond rationally during these times, and they don't respond how they think they will. The entire situation is fraught with danger, and coming could make it less miserable or much worse -- Eesh.
It can make one feel quite mad, suicidal & just totally wretched
Sounds like you love this woman, LW- so go. If you know grief, then you'll know what to do. If not, just follow her lead. And what Dan Said..
Go, if you can give the gift of adding more time for your girlfriend and her sister to be together.
It's a gift you can give.
What I know, when was diagnosed two years ago this week and I really shouldn't be here now, but I am, thankful everyday. When I was feeling my worst, the circle of people around me was fairly small, and the fleeting moments with my wife and children were/are priceless.
There is definitely risk here, to be clear. If you aren't successful in being need-free and completely supportive, she could really begin resent you and that would be the end.
Only go if you're already done a lot of inventory work on yourself, and are able to be clear about your own motivations and expectations. Unless you have done that and are a person who is very mature, emotionally stable and grounded, then do everyone a favor and stay home.
As for that "you might always be associated with that terrible time" stuff, take it from me that the only association will be of you with kindness and support during a time when she needed some.
Yeah, sure. A woman worried about leaving her visiting girlfriend alone for too long to attend family events is definitely going to have 2 hours she can set aside each day to Skype. Makes total sense.
The LW might be better off letting her girlfriend be alone now, but then to buy a plane ticket for a few weeks later, when she will really need a friendly face.
But ultimately, Dan is right -- she she shouldn't spend the money flying there and then get huffy because the girlfriend doesn't have any time for her.
It was about 5 years for me before my life really settled down and reached its new normal. And I still cry when something reminds me of her.
Good luck to both of you. There are counsellors who specialize in helping people who have suffered loss, if that would help. Your local United Way can probably point you their way.