To not want to receive bad news whilst on Holiday?

(86 Posts)
mrsshearsagain Sat 03-Aug-13 08:20:46

Dh and I need some views on this one, we are due to go on hoilday with our dc in 3 weeks time, it is a long haul for which we have done lots of saving.
While disussing various points about the holiday it has become apparent that we don't agree on this issue, my view is that if something were to happen whilst we were away in the form of bad news, I would not want to be made aware until we returned, reasons being there is no way we would be able to get back early due to the extra cost, we would worry constantly whilst away and the holiday would be ruined for the children, dh disagrees and says he would rather know.
Whilst I'm not 100% about the idea, I don't see the point of being made aware of something that we are unable to do anything about until we return and that could result in a lot of worry and stress, what do you think?

Pagwatch Sat 03-Aug-13 08:42:27

Thank you Red. thanks

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Sat 03-Aug-13 08:42:27

If I were on holiday and someone close to me dies, or something else as serious and I didn't know:
a) yes I would have a great marvelous time while those around me might even need me and my support
b) when I came back and realised that awful thing happened while I was having a good time, all my memories would be tainted anyway. I wouldn't look back and say 'oh do you remember when we drank cocktails and watched the sun set over a beautiful sea in xxxx?' when actually what was happeneing was 'we drank cocktails and watched the sun set over a beautiful sea in xxx while yyyy had died and life was fucking shit for everyone back home'.

But, it really depends on the news. If it was that someone close to me had a diagnosis that was not good, and they had other people to turn to and rely on before I came home, then maybe that is ok. If it were that some building works went wrong in my absence I would prefer not to know. But, if it were anything to do with the immediate health of my nearest and most loved then I would absolutely need to know. And, I would ensure before I went on holiday that I had appropriate insurance to cover family emergencies, so that I could get home again.

daisychain01 Sat 03-Aug-13 08:42:30

Its one of those "it depends" moments .... Supposing you all fly off to Disneyland Florida just for example, then 3 days later one of your, or DHs parents fell gravely ill, maybe heart attack heaven forbid, I think you would definitely want to know wouldnt you? For that sort of scenario, surely the matter of whether it spoils DCs holiday doesn't come into it? You may even need to fly home again. For the life or death situations, it will require a different set of decisions to be made than something that is bad news but very little you can do when away on holiday. A good example of this is that you don't want to be contacted on holiday to say your employer is making you redundant, that can definitely wait!!

I guess the fact of the matter is that it depends on the situation and your decision as to whether you feel action is needed there and then, or if it truly can wait. Life still goes on, you are right that "ignorance is bliss" but I wouldn't be too fixed about it because there may be cases where you need to keep those options open.

Unfortunately, life isn't prescriptive, if it were me, my general rule would be anything to do with severe sickness or injury where I may need to make a decision to return home early, then yes I would definitely want to be told ASAP but anything relating to jobs, work or material possessions, leave it until I get back please!

Have a lovely holibobs - that's just a response to a post I recently read about the most irritating way of saying holiday grin

LilRedWG Sat 03-Aug-13 08:44:07

Euphemia - please do let your family know under what circumstances you want contacting. Deciding what to tell someone over the phone is awful.

One of my sisters had not told another sister, who lives abroad, exactly how bad things were with Mum, so when I made the call to say Mum had passed it was more of a shock to the overseas sister than it should have been.

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Sat 03-Aug-13 08:45:25

carabos your BIL wanted some support? And you begrudge him that because your FIL went on to live for another 9 months and didn't die while you were on holiday after all? how inconsiderate of your BIL and your FIL!

That actually made me quite sad.

Lighthousekeeping Sat 03-Aug-13 08:46:30

I would absolutely want to know. I always check in with my mum at least once during a holiday. Depending on the news and who it concerned then it would be up to you to decide at the time. Even if it meant just one of you paying for a flight to come home. I'm not one of those people that can go on holiday and just switch off.

daisychain01 Sat 03-Aug-13 08:49:25

TheSun our posts were 3 seconds apart and must have cross in cyberspace - our thoughts were identical. Totally agree re insurance cover for emergency repatriation. Nothing like spending a few quids for immediate peace of mind esp for loved ones back home. Then you really can relax x

Sirzy Sat 03-Aug-13 08:54:09

Personally I see it as much about being able to support other family members through a tough time as I do about it being about actually knowing someone has died/is ill IYSWIM.

The thought of happily being on holiday whilst the rest of my family was going through hell? Even if I couldn't get back I would want to be able to talk to people and comfort them as best as I could.

ChasedByBees Sat 03-Aug-13 08:56:20

If it's your DH's parents you are concerned about, then surely he gets to say whether he wants to receive the news or not?

Floralnomad Sat 03-Aug-13 09:00:51

The thing is you will have to tell someone back home that you don't want to be contacted and I'm not sure how you do that without looking quite bad . How would the conversation go ' oh BTW mum we don't want to be told if one of you dies in case it spoils our holiday ' . I actually ( having lost a parent when they were 50) can't see how any holiday is more important than being with someone I love when they need me most .

rumbleinthrjungle Sat 03-Aug-13 09:01:28

At the end of the day it's personal, some people can't bear not to know, and some know they'd be distraught and unable to do anything about it which feels worse to them. In our wider family the last eighteen months we've had several precarious health situations going on that might go wrong at any moment and had this discussion numerous times among ourselves as different people's holidays come up. They all desperately needed the break and one was a major anniversary holiday that had been years in the planning, their children were all with them and they were the ones they absolutely couldn't have coped with not knowing about, and we agreed differently for different people. Some wanted to know in the case of a worst case scenario, some said they wanted to know when they got home. All agreed there was nothing they could do in the case of bad news, it would be a horrendous stress to try and get home, and they gave the rest of the family permission to do whatever was needed in their absence.

ImagineJL Sat 03-Aug-13 09:01:53

I wouldn't be able to relax and enjoy my holiday, knowing that something awful might have happened at home, but I wouldn't know because I'd told everyone not to tell me. I work on the "no news is good news" theory, but that wouldn't apply if I'd put a ban on people telling me what was happening.

Shamoy Sat 03-Aug-13 09:04:36

Thesunthemoonthetruth...I don't think you read that post properly! The PP was the sole day to day carer for FiL and having a much needed week off. BIL insisted on ringing them every day to tell them how tough he was finding doing it for one week! They then returned to do all the care for a further 9 months....that's how I read it.

Shamoy Sat 03-Aug-13 09:06:20

And OP I don't think you get to say whether you want to hear bad news regarding your Dh family or not. Surely that's entirely his call. You can tell your family that you'd rather not hear from them regardless of what happens, but DH gets to tell his family whatever makes him most comfortable (and I agree with him)

ConcreteElephant Sat 03-Aug-13 09:08:52

I think if you aren't expecting any problems you may be over thinking this.

However, that said, if you are worried about your PIL, it's probably best to let someone know if you'd like to be told in the event of a death or serious incident, otherwise it just places the burden of decision on them and that can be quite rough on them.

Many years ago, my parents were on holiday when my Dad's brother died unexpectedly. My brother and I had no idea if we should tell him or not, we felt like we'd want to know if it was us, but on the other hand there was nothing Dad could do to change the outcome and this holiday was long-awaited and well-deserved. It was a dilemma. In the end we told our Mum and she made the decision to tell him. He was glad we did.

DP (now DH) and I had a long-haul holiday booked when his Mum's cancer became terminal. We were ready to cancel but she was insistent that we go. We were quite young and she hated the idea of people putting their lives on hold effectively waiting for her to die. She wanted us to enjoy ourselves, send postcards and photos. There was a real possibility that she might die while we were away and there was no question that we wanted to be told if she did. We would have come home, to support his Dad and Grandparents. In the end she died 5 weeks after our return and we were glad we'd gone as she seemed to really enjoy hearing about our trip.

I hope you have a nice holiday and these discussions with DH prove entirely theoretical.

lurkerspeaks Sat 03-Aug-13 09:10:38

My mother died unexpectedly but after a long illness in January.

My Dad told me about her sudden deterioration while I was in a gondola.

I would have been furious if they had hidden it from me. Is this a real dilemma or hypothetical?

K8Middleton Sat 03-Aug-13 09:13:12

Surely your travel insurance would pay out in the event of a family emergency?

If you have children and you're travelling abroad with them but without proper insurance then you are an idiot.

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Sat 03-Aug-13 09:21:57

This happened to our family. My Gran died suddenly on the day her elderly sister was flying to NZ to see her daughter & family. The family were in a dilemma, do we tell her and she gets on a plane back to UK after a days flight?? aged 80?
We decided (not completely in agreement) that we wouldn't tell her. This could be her last chance to see that side of family and there was nothing she could do.
Not same as OP but there are definitely shades of grey.

valiumredhead Sat 03-Aug-13 09:26:43

What pag said!

OP, seeing as no one is actually ill, just go on holiday and stop stressing about stuff you might not have any control over!

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 03-Aug-13 09:31:48

I would want to know and then make my own decisions.

In the situation the OP described I would consider in advance what I would do in the event of receiving bad news. If it was not going to be possible to get back early (eg somewhere with one flight per week) then I would make sure that anyone likely to want to contact me would understand this.

We have had this conversation with family. I was really quite surprised to find that FiL wouldnt want to know. The problem was that he told us that he wouldnt tell us if there were a problem at home because he wouldnt want to know even though we would!

Iaintdunnuffink Sat 03-Aug-13 09:32:05

I know someone who's parent was terminaly ill when they went on holiday. It was one of thse situations where it could've been any day or another 6 months. By the end the parent had no consciousness and couldn't recognise anyone.

They desperatly needed the holiday and came to the decision that they didn't want to know. They had arrangements in place and told every one their wishes. When I was first told i was surprised at their choice but In the end I think it was the right thing for them to do.

I remember doing upbeat responses to their Facebook posts despite knowing the person had died the day before. They had a peaceful time away and got some rest before having to deal with the funeral.

thegreylady Sat 03-Aug-13 09:36:18

I would want to know. I was on holiday when my Dad died and we came straight home-we were only in Germany though. When my much loved Aunty died I was in Turkey and the funeral wasn't until after we were due back so I stayed as
I was staying with family anyway.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 03-Aug-13 09:36:37

I agree with your logic OP but it depends on how bad the news is. If it's something expected or a bit distant from you that you can do nothing about and others are dealing with, fine. If it's someone very close, an unexpected situation and your input, or preparation to help, even from a distance, would make a difference, you might want to know.

carabos Sat 03-Aug-13 09:40:01

Thanks shamoy that's exactly the situation. We knew he could die, everyone was prepared for that, and if that had happened, there was nothing we could have done. BiL had, up until that point, closed his mind to how bad things were because to have done otherwise would have required him to get involved, which he didn't want to do.

Once involved, unwillingly, because we were on holiday, he got quite a shock, which he seemed to feel the need to share... The other thing is, he has another DB and a DSis for support too, but he didn't want to bother them.

Caster8 Sat 03-Aug-13 09:42:48

I presume you are saying that you could not afford for even 1 of you to come back early.

But wouldnt you would to send condolences, speak to whoever was left to make the funeral arrangements, support, even offer advice on say, what colour flowers they liked, nothing at all?

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