Jump to content

Deathbed requests - would/do you honour them?


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 Wineandchocolate

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:37 PM

I'm not even sure why I'm thinking about this... but I am!

Would you (or have you) NOT honoured the dying wishes of someone who has since passed away, because it was something you didn't want to do or agree with even though you promised the dying person you would do it?  Obviously there are relatively easy things to comply with (e.g. having certain flowers at the funeral, etc.)... but what about other things like:

- promising a grandparent you'd do a certain thing for your kids (e.g. send them to a religious school when you're not religious)
- patching a relationship with someone you don't like and want nothing more to do with, particularly if it's another family member
- marrying (or not marrying) someone
- having kids (or not having kids)

So pretty important stuff, not trivial things?  And if so, how did you feel about making such promises to the dying person, knowing you had no intention of carrying the request out?

No real basis for asking, was just curious original.gif

#2 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:42 PM

My parents promised my nonna as one of her last requests, that I would do my holy communion. I was 16 when she died. To be frank, I don't feel it was their place to make such a promise and it's not something I have any interest in doing.

#3 elizabethany

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:46 PM

I wouldn't make those type of commitments, but no, I wouldn't feel guilty about breaking them, it is not like they are there to notice.

#4 ubermum

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:47 PM

I would make promises to a dying person that I didn't intend to keep, just to make the last of their time happy.

#5 asdf89

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:55 PM

This was a call-back topic on radio once... and a woman said that her grandmother wanted someone to push pins into her eyes to make sure she was actually dead. And the granddaughter did it.  wacko.gif

Also I think if you promise to do something, you should follow through. If you know you won't do it, maybe try and get another family member who will?

#6 MrsLexiK

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:13 PM

I wouldn't make those promises I didn't want to keep. If I was planning on sending my child to one school but a dying relative said send them to this school here is the money, and it was going to be a better school, then I would have no problem making that promise. If I had to break it because of an outside reason ie my child being bullied or something that would be ok. But I couldn't take the money and then not at least try to fulfil the promise.

#7 MissingInAction

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:14 PM

I wouldn't make a promise i had no intention of keeping but if they were really insisting on something and i really disagreed but knew it would make their last few days/moments happy ones if i went along with it i might just nod and smile but not actually AGREE if that makes sense...

#8 BadCat

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:45 PM

I would have no problem making such promises and no problem breaking them either.  I pretty much put requests like that in the "smile and nod" category.  But then I don't believe for a minute that the dead know what goes on after they're gone.

I've never been in a position to do it but I don't think it would bother me.

Edited by BadCat, 07 January 2013 - 09:47 PM.


#9 Bwok~Bwok

Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:17 PM

Yes I have made a promise to a dying person and I will make sure I fulfill that promise!

#10 Stellajoy

Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:39 AM

I would just make the promises but not keep them. No real harm done.

#11 lozoodle

Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:31 AM

Nope, they will be dead and wont know.

#12 kiam

Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:08 AM

I'm a smile and nod person.

I remember when my aunty was dying, there were a lot of things she was saying, some things we really did take on board, things about the funeral, make sure you enjoy your life and make the most out of it and so on.

There were other things, like specifically she wanted me to promise that if I had a daughter to name her Amira, because she always loved that name and never got to have children, I wasn't going to argue with her about it, I just smiled and nodded. Am I going to do it? No.

Simply put, many times when you get that opportunity to say goodbye to someone who you know you will not see again, it is usually in a hospital and they usually have a fair bit of medication in their systems, some of which can effect their thinking, not to mention that one does not tend to think the most rational thoughts as they are dying and are more likely to make very odd requests that they probably don't exactly mean, however there is no harm in making them happy for what little time they have left.

#13 HollyOllyOxenfree

Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:24 AM

It depends. My grandmother has made clear that she doesn't want any eulogies at her funeral and doesn't want people wearing black. I'll be doing my best to honour that even though I don't really believe in an afterlife. It's not technically a deathbed request, but it is a final wish if that makes sense.

An actual situation like you're describing OP I think it would very much depend on what they were asking. I'm pretty forthright in life and I would imagine anyone whose dying wishes I'd be privy to would know what sort of things I'd say yes or no to. I wouldn't feel right agreeing to something I had no intention of honouring (christening our son comes to mind), but I also wouldn't want to get into an argument with someone in their final days. I'd likely go for the good old non-committal smile and nod

#14 BobTony

Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:38 AM

I'm in the smile and nod category. I don't believe in an afterlife, so I don't believe there will be wringing of hands in some parallel universe. And I do believe that making someone happy when they know they're dying is a good thing to do.



#15 annie13

Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:41 AM

My dad made me promise I wouldn't marry my partner. It wasn't because he didn't like him he just didn't want me to be tied down. At the end of the day I get to decide who I am with so no I won't be honouring my promise. He also asked me to do something else which I have tried to do but I'm coming to the conclusion that while I respect my dads wishes at the end of the day it is my life. Also dad had severe liver failure when he died and was probably not thinking to clearly.

#16 countrymel

Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:50 AM

QUOTE (HappyNewBob! @ 08/01/2013, 07:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm in the smile and nod category. (......................)
And I do believe that making someone happy when they know they're dying is a good thing to do.


This.

When my Dad was very ill in hospital the year before last I agreed with all kinds of craziness.. just to try and calm and soothe him.

In spite of holding his hand and looking deep into his eyes while I said it I had no intention of acting on the demands - they were the confused ramblings of a very frightened and very ill person.



#17 Fluster

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:34 AM

I had a distant relative once mention to me that her husband's dying wish was that she keep, and love, his two dogs.  These dogs were apparently quite vicious towards the wife and had bitten her several times.  Needless to say, she despised them.  She agreed but 'one week later, I took them to the vet'.

I've also known a young widow whose husband had passed away giving her unreasonable requests about how she raise their daughter (i.e. $20k a year primary school when she was in catchment for an amazing public school).  She was struggling under the weight of his demands, but carried around immense guilt she couldn't fulfill them.

Me - I like to think I wouldn't make a promise to someone who I felt was using their impending death to manipulate me, but guilt would get the better of me and I'd probably smile and nod.

#18 Lucretia Borgia

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:41 AM

Yes I'm in the smile, nod keep them happy category.....I wouldn't pick a fight with a dying person, and I don't believe in an after life so they will never know.....having said that, if it was something like "put white lilies on my grave every birthday" or something, well, I think I would do that, but that's more about me, honouring their memory and me feeling good about it.....

#19 JJ

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:49 AM

No. I'm on team "smile and nod", I wouldn't argue, I would try to honour the do-able things, but certainly not make any major, life-altering decisions based on a deathbed request alone.

My aunties (dad's sisters) honoured their mother's (i.e. my late grandma's) wish and never got married. Strange wish, but they did it. It didn't make for happy lives for them. One of them had a long-term partner and would have loved to be married to him. He died about 10 years ago, and I think she's going to regret not having spent her life with him for the rest of her days now. sad.gif

My dad ignored the wish, which is a good thing or I likely wouldn't have been born. wink.gif

#20 4kidlets

Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:28 AM

QUOTE
In spite of holding his hand and looking deep into his eyes while I said it I had no intention of acting on the demands - they were the confused ramblings of a very frightened and very ill person.


I think agreeeing to confused and rambling requests (or to agreeing with someone who has dementia etc) isnt something I would even try to keep - the person didnt understand what they were asking, after all.


But for a lucid person, I would either not agree or would try to keep promise if I did agree - smiling and nodding non-comittally is one thing, you didnt actually agree - but if  I clearly did promise something  I would keep it as much as possible.

#21 JuniPooks_

Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:46 AM

It would depend on so many things. I know someone who was the ex of a dying woman and promised to take in and care for the teenager they had had together, and then didn't. That really stank, because she could have arranged it with another person instead. She needed to die in peace knowing her son would be ok, and he just lied to her... And the son wasn't ok. There was then an argument among relatives about who should take him in, whereas if she had asked someone in particular and they had agreed, the family would have respected that as her final wishes. I think that was wrong of the ex.

#22 Propaganda

Posted 08 January 2013 - 02:13 PM

I wouldn't give a dying person any more consideration than I would a living one, in regards to how I run my life. They're dying, but that doesn't make them an expert on the best way my life can be run.

I'd comply with simple wishes that wouldn't have much of an impact on me, but I would never, ever comply with wishes about who I do or do not marry, whether or not my children are baptised, etc. They'd get absolutely no say in that as a healthy person, and get no more say just because they're dying.

I might agree to let them die in peace, but I'd never have any intention of following through.

#23 Guest_AllegraM_*

Posted 08 January 2013 - 02:18 PM

When dying of cancer 21 years ago, my uncle mand my aunt promise that she would not leave their acreage and move into town until their beloved 10 year old horse died. That bloody horse lived another 20 years. My aunt is now 78, failing fast and despite all of us being willing to drop everything to help her move into a town unit, the idea is now too overwhelming for her and she will no doubt stay put until a fall or illness forces her into hospital and slow decline. It is very sad and I am always cross about that deathbed promise.

#24 Caitlin Happymeal

Posted 08 January 2013 - 02:26 PM

Hmmm DH's fathers father was a Freemason and his request was along the lines of DH's father becoming one. And he did. DH has a funny feeling the same thing will happen, and he has absolutely no intention of honoring this as he has no interest and also feels that it is an outdated mysoginistic boys club. I think they do some stuff for the community of course, but its the "No chicks allowed" sort of stuff that gets up his nose.

Anyway, in that instance, I would fully stand by him. I also would not honor a parent or grandparent telling me to raise my child in any particular faith unless I was already that way inclined. I would probably say "ok, no worries, Ill do that" to make their last days/hours/minutes peaceful, but I wouldn't compromise what I believe in.

There would be exceptions to this I'm sure, but I cant think of any specifically, other than what they wanted done with their body and at the funeral etc, or memorial type stuff.

#25 Romeo Void

Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:37 PM

Dad wasn't on his death bed but he got me to promise to have my (non existent as yet) children christened.  Dad was very easy going and never made any demands or put any pressure on me in anyway so when he pleaded with me to do it 'for him' I agreed.  It was so out of character for him.  He didn't give a rats which denomination as long as they were 'protected'. Then the bugger went and died before I could sort it out so I followed through but I talked to the priest in both cases and explained that I was a 'non believer' and that I was doing it to fulfill a promise. We had DD christened my families faith and DS done in DH's faith.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Britain's youngest parents: mother 12, father 13

A 12-year-old schoolgirl and her 13-year-old boyfriend are believed to have become Britain?s youngest parents, after the birth of their baby girl earlier this week.

When Prince George met Bilby George

Prince George has met an Aussie marsupial named after him in his first official engagement in Australia.

Asphyxia link another piece of the SIDS puzzle

An Australian study has uncovered information which could lead to a better understanding of why babies die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Pregnant woman dies after doctor removes ovary instead of appendix

When a UK woman went to hospital suffering appendicitis, doctors mistakenly removed her healthy ovary - with tragic consequences.

The milestones I can't wait to celebrate

Nothing can beat the feeling of witnessing that first smile, first step and first word - but here's a list of 'firsts' I'm really looking forward to now.

How you develop in your baby's first year

Just as babies undergo rapid growth as they learn and change in their first year, we?re learning and changing quickly as parents, too. Don?t underestimate the developmental stages you go through when you have a baby.

Can you make your baby smarter even before birth?

A product new to Australia claims to help babies be born "as intelligent as possible", but not all experts agree on the benefits of educating babies while still in the womb.

How a mother's love helped unearth the skills of an autistic savant

Autistic savant Ping Lian Yeak, a prodigious artist who has had his work shown all over the world, couldn't have done it without the support and love of his proud mum.

Rescue dog Zoey and BFF Jasper star in adorable pics

Photographer, self-professed "crazy dog lady" and mum Grace Chon takes photos of rescue dog Zoey and her 10-month-old son Jasper together. The results are just too cute. See more on Instagram @thegracechon.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

A tiny heart: a baby?s death gives life to another

Simon Alexander Garcia lived only one brief hour. But somewhere, a little girl?s heart is beating today because of him.

Ear piercing: what age is best?

What is it that shapes our opinions on what?s an 'appropriate' age for our children to get their ears pierced? Parents share their views on how young is too young when it comes to piercing.

Why is childbirth still such a pain?

The options given to women to help them cope in labour have barely changed in years.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Ideas for recording baby milestones

Get the props, lights and camera ready to record the milestone moments in your baby's first months and years. Tip: set a reminder in your phone (or jot it in a calendar) to make sure you remember it every month.

From penis amputation to fatherhood

After a botched circumcision as a child, Mike Moore was left without a penis. Years later, and after meeting the right surgeon, he was able to become a dad - naturally.

Asphyxia link another piece of the SIDS puzzle

An Australian study has uncovered information which could lead to a better understanding of why babies die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Your baby's first shoes, made with your own hands

Imagine someone saying to you, "Your baby?s shoes are magnificent, where?d you get them?" And you reply, "Oh, these? I made them."

Mother bites off pit bull's ear to save toddler

What would you do if your child was being attacked by a vicious dog? One mother recently had to learn the hard way.

Couple dies 15 hours apart after 70 years of marriage

A couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.

Behind the scenes of Kate and George's cuddly photo

Every face is partially obscured, but there's no denying the happiness and love in the faces of the royal mum and bub.

7 tips for a kid-free trip, not a guilt trip

Although I?m jumping out of my skin to take my child-free holiday, I?m dreading the goodbye. But I?m determined to make the most of it without tarnishing it with guilt or sadness about leaving the kids.

Your baby?s developmental roadmap

Caring for your new baby can feel like driving along a dark highway without a GPS: you know your destination ? a happy, healthy human being ? but you?re not sure whether you?re heading in the right direction.

Breaking out of the isolation of motherhood

There can be many reasons for mummy isolation ? and you don?t have to be a new mother to feel like you're often doing it all alone. Here, mums share their stories of feeling isolated, and what they do to try to break out of it.

The billionaire baby with $10,000 worth of prams

When money is no object you can go all out when it comes to baby transportation, as this billionaire socialite has shown.

Medication helps depressed mums to breastfeed

Breastfeeding mums are often told their medication may pass into their milk, but a new study suggests the benefits of taking antidepressants are greater than any risks to baby.

 

Free Printable Activities

Keeping little hands busy

Free printable acitivity pages like colouring in, cutting, word finders, mazes, maths activities and puzzles.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.