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Old 02-11-2017, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,951 posts, read 32,676,353 times
Reputation: 57052

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I just wondered if anyone else who has lost a loved one has run across this type of person.

When my dad was in ICU in October, these people from church showed up. Now, let me stress that though they were in my parents' bible study class, they weren't close friends of my parents, or of my husband and me. In fact, we barely knew them. And my mom has dementia so she REALLY barely knew them (though she has early stage dementia and was very aware of what was going on with my dad).

Well, at first I was glad for my dad to have visitors from his class. But after a bit, I noticed that they just stayed - and stayed. And they asked a lot of very personal questions, which made me feel uncomfortable.

Then the doctor came in - and asked who had the medical POA and who was the next of kin. Now let me tell you something - if I was visiting someone I didn't know well at the hospital and a doctor came in asking those sorts of questions, I would high tail it out of there. But not these people - oh no. I happened to look over at them (hoping they would leave) and I actually saw their faces LIGHT UP with excitement and interest. I kid you not.

Anyway, I just noticed this in passing because I was the next of kin and had the medical POA so all my attention then immediately went to the doctor, who proceeded to basically talk with me about deciding to take my dad off life support. It was the worst conversation I have ever had in my entire life, and I felt that these strangers were sort of intruding on it. After the doctor left, they then came over to me and started patting me on the arm and started saying that God can perform miracles, don't give up hope, don't cut my dad's life short, etc, etc. NOT THEIR BUSINESS.

I knew what my dad wanted - He would have wanted me to take him off life support, but I told the doctor that I'd give him a firm answer the very next morning (it was night time already). I just needed to go home, pray about it, think about it, reread my dad's medical directive, talk with family and sleep on it before basically putting an end to my father's life.

The next morning, I got to the hospital bright and early and within a few minutes THERE THEY WERE AGAIN. And so of course they were there when the doctor came by to get our answer - which was to take my dad off life support. The doctor came in and I suddenly realized, "THEY ARE STILL HERE - I WANT THEM GONE!" and thankfully my oldest daughter, aged 34, knew I had been feeling this way and she had the presence of mind to grab one of them by one elbow and the other by another elbow and she marched them both out of the room! MY HERO.

But they didn't stop there. Almost immediately, I got a text from the wife, saying, "Be sure to update us on your dad's condition." No. I have kids, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles - all sorts of people WAY ahead of this woman when it comes to making phone calls. I really resented her pushing on me. Then a few hours later - ANOTHER text wanting to know about his condition.

At that point, I called our pastor, who WAS on the short list (my dad loved him and he loved my dad) and told him basically to call these people off. I asked him if he would be so kind as to update them if he felt they needed to know. OMG!

So...the next day we moved my dad to hospice. Apparently this woman found out about this because I then got a text from her asking me to call her so she could coordinate meeting up with me to deliver some food she had made for our family. WHAT? Look, that was a nice gesture I guess, but we didn't ask for it, and not only that, she was basically asking me to schedule a time to meet her somewhere to pick up food - and I didn't know if my dad would live another hour, or another day, or another week! I wasn't about to commit to stopping whatever I was doing ("Hold that death rattle, Dad - I have to go pick up some soup and sandwiches - be right back!") to coordinate plans with her! To be honest, I don't even know how the food got to our house, but somehow or another it got there.

Then of course it was in dishes that I had to get back to her.

These same people came to the visitation and funeral and hung close by my side, and my mother's the entire time, as if they were close family friends. We barely knew them! And my mother who is so easily confused was constantly worried about getting their dishes and carry thingies back to them as quickly as possible.

I ended up throwing most of the food away - we had a house full of family and company and tons of food from every direction.

I've also noticed that though they haven't been members of our church for all that long - maybe three years - they sit very near the front and are very demonstrative (OK, look - we're Methodist - I'm not opposed to people raising their hands in prayer but it's really not the norm in our church) and often stand up, raise their hands up, cry out "Amen!" - that sort of thing.

Anyway - honestly, they seem like they love the drama. ANY drama.

I will never forget the look of excitement and heightened interest on their faces when the doctor came in and asked about the POA. It made my skin crawl.

Has anyone else experienced this sort of situation before?
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,483 posts, read 15,923,785 times
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That was creepy.

Although, I am surprised that the doctor did not ask who they were and asked you if it was OK for them to stay while he discussed private matters with you.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Lake Grove
2,753 posts, read 1,796,048 times
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They probably meant well, however they do not understand healthy boundaries.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,951 posts, read 32,676,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
That was creepy.

Although, I am surprised that the doctor did not ask who they were and asked you if it was OK for them to stay while he discussed private matters with you.
I guess he just figured they were family.

I was SO MAD!!!!!! But I was very proud of my daughter the next day when she grabbed them, one in each hand, and pushed them out of the room!
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,951 posts, read 32,676,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen88 View Post
They probably meant well, however they do not understand healthy boundaries.
LOL I think they do now.

But WOW.

I think they sort of thrive on this type of thing. Someone needs to tell them though that they are adding to the grieving family's stress, not the other way around.

I honestly think they sort of enjoy being "that close to the action."

WEIRDOS.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:32 PM
 
Location: The house I built
308 posts, read 132,729 times
Reputation: 741
Religion attracts some good caring people, and some people we can do without. I had met a couple pastors at the hospital. They cornered me in the hall and I don't go to church. I see no need for it. I have a personal relationship with God. I don't like him and I tell him so.

If I had people like that in my wife's room I would have come unglued and thrown them out with extreme prejudice. I have no problem being a complete raving maniac to the point where they are afraid to cross my path.

We did have a couple women try to get close to me after her death. One showed up at the service at our home and acted just like you describe. Then she posted stuff on my FB page and sent me recipes. It really stressed me out and my daughter put an end to that. She even looked like a witch!
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:43 PM
 
6,013 posts, read 2,699,091 times
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I can relate after spending two weeks in the hospital with my BIL which ultimately resulted in removing life support and his death following a heart attack.

In a small town, from the minute I got the call from his best friend that he was at the hospital with my sister, to showing up in about 15 minutes there were over 40 people in the waiting room. Someone, guessing best friend possibly at my sisters direction had notified all their acquaintances/support system.

I will say that we received a huge amount of support from a lot of really good people. But there were also some strange ones who seemed to thrive on the drama and created issues with their need to deliver food etc.

I will just say that some people whether well meaning or not, are socially inappropriate.

I also think that some people who decide to go to a hospital during visiting hours, must invest so much in that decision, that they are unable to limit themselves to a 10-15 visit.

Honestly, unless you know for a fact, because the family has told you, that your presence beyond 15 minutes is desired, do not exceed that time limit when visiting someone in a hospital.
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:43 PM
 
Location: The house I built
308 posts, read 132,729 times
Reputation: 741
What is it with the food business? I had that same problem. We need to tell everyone in the world, stop it! I won't eat your food cause I don't know you and I don't want to get sick. I can buy a snack if I need one.
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,951 posts, read 32,676,353 times
Reputation: 57052
Right on!

There were two "food things" that went down that I really appreciated - out of about ten.

1) The funeral home sent us home with a huge container of premade sandwiches from a local deli. This was VERY appreciated and a very nice touch considering that I had a house full of family from out of state. Also, no containers to get back to people, no coordinating pick up and drop off times with folks. As we were leaving from making the funeral plans, someone just ran up to us and handed us this big disposable plastic box filled with sandwiches. Nice.

2) The church offered to host a covered dish dinner after the funeral. They required nothing from us other than an estimate of how many people came to the visitation - apparently there's some sort of predictable tie in for how many show up at the funeral...and then want to eat together afterwards. Who knew? Anyway, it was nice to have access to the fellowship hall because we did have about 35 people come to the church after the funeral - all immediate family or very close friends. It helped that the church is less than a block from the funeral home. They put together a delicious meal and close family and friends (including about 10 kids ranging in age from 1 year to 15 years old) were able to sit around and catch up, take photos, etc. and the kids were able to run around and burn off steam and also play with their cousins they don't see all that often.

Oh, I remembered one other helpful food thing - people who brought over some ready made finger foods that needed no cooking - chips, applesauce in little individual containers, ready made potato salad, etc - no cooking, nothing to do but open a container.

But all this coordinating bringing over casseroles and big vats of soup and stuff like that that takes up all sorts of fridge room and is in containers you have to get back to the right people - and you have to leave the hospital room to meet up with them somewhere at a specific time...wear me OUT!!!!!!! Note to others - that's the last thing people need at a time like this.

I know people mean well but dang.

As for the drama queens who attach themselves suddenly to a grieving or stressed out family and start hanging out, offering unsolicited advice and opinions, texting wanting updates, etc. Please get out of my life.
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:06 PM
 
3,964 posts, read 5,249,971 times
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I am so sorry this has happened to you. I had a church community to support me when my husband was ill and dying, but no one ever invaded our privacy or behaved in such an awful way. I really don't know why anyone would think that is acceptable. Never did they demand anything of me that would take me away or inconvenience me. We did have lots of food brought to us (some of which wasn't so good and really went to waste) but the church knew about the containers that needed to be returned. I could just leave them outside the front door, and someone picked them up. Food for people who needed it (for whatever reason) was really coordinated. I never had anyone act in a way that was insensitive.

I am so sorry you had to go through this - making a horrible situation even worse.
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