Author Topic: Announcing serious illness on FB w/o warning?  (Read 5648 times)

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jimithing

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Re: Announcing serious illness on FB w/o warning?
« Reply #30 on: April 11, 2012, 02:12:31 PM »
As scary and tragic as it may be to hear one's dad is ill, your DH needs to realize this isn't about him.  Your DH isn't the one who is sick.  Your DH's role is one of supporting cast not as the star. He should follow his dad's lead and not try to push his own pace and preferences.

I'm not sure where you are getting the idea that DH was being selfish or a drama queen, and I'm honestly a little offended by the accusation. He was distraught that his father, who is only in his late forties, might potentially die. How is calling him to find out if he is okay trying to "railroad" him? If your parent announced on facebook they had a terminal illness, wouldn't you try to contact them? You are being way to harsh. He was in no way trying to make it about him. He was worried about his father!

If my dad tells me something via Facebook that concerned me, yes I'd try to contact him but I would not call.  I certainly would not call repeatedly.  I would send him a note via FB or an email.  Because, as I already stated, I truly feel one should reply via the same means they were contacted.  IMO your FIL made it abundantly clear he did not want to speak verbally about his illness.  So yes I absolutely think your DH trying to push his own preference to speak on the phone over your FIL's preference to handle it all electronically was a way of railroading over your FIL's feelings.

I'm sorry you feel offended by this.  Clearly you and your DH have a different opinion.  But that doesn't make your opinion right and mine wrong (or vice versa) both opinions are valid.  But since your FIL is the one who is sick and perhaps facing death, I think your FIL's preference - no matter how distasteful you  or your DH feel about it - is the one that takes precedence; if you FIL didn't want to talk about it on the phone IMO your DH was wrong to call, especially more then once, trying to get him to do so.

Is there an etiquette rule that says you must respond in kind to the communication you receive? So, if I receive a letter via snail mail, I am not allowed to call a person up or email them, I have to write a handwritten letter back? I just don't think that is reasonable.

I understand your basic message, but I think the harshness of your post loses the message you are trying to convey. "I'm sorry you are offended, but..." reads as very condescending to the OP.

I don't think this is so black and white. I give Dad a pass too. But that doesn't mean that no one else in his life can't feel hurt or worried or upset, and they should just stand back in the corner, quietly, and say nothing. While I agree the Father's wishes take precedence, his loved ones are also going to be going through this with him. They may not actually have cancer, but from personal experience, the entire family lives with the illness.

WillyNilly

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Re: Announcing serious illness on FB w/o warning?
« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2012, 02:23:13 PM »
^ I might sound harsh or dismissive in this last post, but its my third in the thread and all I have said about the OP's DH's response was I felt it was "inappropriate".  I even clarified "Not cruel, not horrible or hateful, just inappropriate."  I didn't call him a "selfish or a drama queen" those were OP's words, not mine.  I'm not trying to be condescending of the OP's feeling by saying "I'm sorry you are offended, but..." but rather trying to assert that my opinion is just as valid - to be honest I have found her continued dismissal of my opposing opinion and accusations of name calling to be quite off putting myself.

I don't think its an etiquette rule or a communication rule one must respond in the same way they were contacted, but I do think its a best practice.  And this thread is a good example why.

Mikayla

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Re: Announcing serious illness on FB w/o warning?
« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2012, 02:30:53 PM »
^ I might sound harsh or dismissive in this last post, but its my third in the thread and all I have said about the OP's DH's response was I felt it was "inappropriate".  I even clarified "Not cruel, not horrible or hateful, just inappropriate."  I didn't call him a "selfish or a drama queen" those were OP's words, not mine.  I'm not trying to be condescending of the OP's feeling by saying "I'm sorry you are offended, but..." but rather trying to assert that my opinion is just as valid - to be honest I have found her continued dismissal of my opposing opinion and accusations of name calling to be quite off putting myself.

I don't think its an etiquette rule or a communication rule one must respond in the same way they were contacted, but I do think its a best practice.  And this thread is a good example why.

I didn't think you were condescending, WillyNilly.  But where I disagree with you is in your second paragraph.  You seem to be saying that receiving bad news gives the Dad a free pass in how he announces it, but the son - who is receiving equally bad news - is not given that same latitude.

To be honest, I understand the son's actions more than the dad's, but I've already commented on that upthread.


WillyNilly

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Re: Announcing serious illness on FB w/o warning?
« Reply #33 on: April 11, 2012, 02:40:08 PM »
^ I might sound harsh or dismissive in this last post, but its my third in the thread and all I have said about the OP's DH's response was I felt it was "inappropriate".  I even clarified "Not cruel, not horrible or hateful, just inappropriate."  I didn't call him a "selfish or a drama queen" those were OP's words, not mine.  I'm not trying to be condescending of the OP's feeling by saying "I'm sorry you are offended, but..." but rather trying to assert that my opinion is just as valid - to be honest I have found her continued dismissal of my opposing opinion and accusations of name calling to be quite off putting myself.

I don't think its an etiquette rule or a communication rule one must respond in the same way they were contacted, but I do think its a best practice.  And this thread is a good example why.

I didn't think you were condescending, WillyNilly.  But where I disagree with you is in your second paragraph.  You seem to be saying that receiving bad news gives the Dad a free pass in how he announces it, but the son - who is receiving equally bad news - is not given that same latitude.

To be honest, I understand the son's actions more than the dad's, but I've already commented on that upthread.

I think the bolded is the key.  I don't think the son received equally bad news.  I think learning of your own mortality is far worse then learning of someone else's, even if its your beloved parent.  This is more - IMO - happening to the dad then the son.

MyFamily

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Re: Announcing serious illness on FB w/o warning?
« Reply #34 on: April 11, 2012, 09:44:17 PM »
I think the son went too far with multiple calls - one call was fine, but multiple calls was just too much and yes, rude.  I am sure this was very difficult for the OP's DH and he is in a lot of pain right now, but his father is facing his mortality and needs to do that in his own way, and right now, his needs (in regard to his illness) trump the needs of others, including his son. 


"The test of good manners is to be patient with bad ones" - Solomon ibn Gabirol

kareng57

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Re: Announcing serious illness on FB w/o warning?
« Reply #35 on: April 11, 2012, 09:53:15 PM »
I think it's terrible to break that kind of news to loved ones over Facebook. This is a real hot button for me. In my case it was my cousin posting that our grandparent had died.

I think your father in law gets more of a pass in this case, for the reasons JustEstelle mentioned -- that choice, combined with the dodging calls etc. seems like he is not coping. I think if your husband must say something, wait til the anger has subsided somewhat and he can convey his feelings in less of a blame-y way.


I agree with your general sentiment, but I very much disagree with your assertion that he is "not coping".  It's only been a few days!  People need time after receiving a devastating diagnosis like this.  Often, they are still in the midst of going over treatment-options with doctors, and it's just too much to keep dealing with endless questions from even well-meaning family and friends.

Editeer

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Re: Announcing serious illness on FB w/o warning?
« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2012, 01:16:39 PM »
The FIL didn't handle it perfectly, but the guy just found out he has cancer. I give pretty much anyone a free pass for anything when they're facing a horrible diagnosis, or are deep in grief.

And for that reason, I think the OP's husband should get a free pass for not doing everything perfectly when he found out his dad may die. I can't imagine facing that. I hope it's a long time before I have to. But when I do, you can bet I won't have the presence of mind to do everything tactfully and correctly. I think everyone gets a free pass on this one.


ITA. Both FIL and DH were hit with dreadful news and are dealing with very strong emotions. Sometimes a person is too upset by devastating news to respond in the most etiquette-approved way.

TootsNYC

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Re: Announcing serious illness on FB w/o warning?
« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2012, 01:16:22 AM »
I think there are people who don't think of Facebook as "detached." They think of it as a quick, efficient and wide-reaching way to notify all the people they care about at once. They may easily be thinking that their nearest and dearest will get the info this way more reliably.

My sister and her family found out that my mother had died because my niece read it on her newsfeed; Dad had posted it on Mom's home page.

Dad *had* tried to reach my sister, but had to leave a voice mail on her cell phone. She didn't check it for a few hours, and Dad had moved on with his to-do list.

His wife had just died. The people who saw her most frequently needed to be told. So he used Facebook.

But yes, I do wish we could get to the point where it was universally accepted that you announce things like that on Facebook later rather than earlier.

Allyson

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Re: Announcing serious illness on FB w/o warning?
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2012, 09:03:03 PM »

I think the bolded is the key.  I don't think the son received equally bad news.  I think learning of your own mortality is far worse then learning of someone else's, even if its your beloved parent.  This is more - IMO - happening to the dad then the son.

I think that's a matter of enough debate that if I give the dad a pass, I'd give the son a pass. Obviously there's no actual method to measure ions of grief, but for many people, both finding out of your own serious illness or a parent's would fall into 'the worst' sort of bad news, enough to give someone a pass on the sort of behaviour outlined in the thread.