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 MintyBiscuit

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 BunnyBob

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 HRH 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 Lucrezia 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 Imaginary friend

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 Feral_Pooks

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

 

Tot meets his heroes, falls apart with excitement

Two-year-old Quincy finished his potty training last week, and as part of his reward he was able to meet his idols.

Beautiful in our eyes: Georgia's story

I will never deny the fact that grief has a place when you give birth to a child who brings a set of circumstances very different to what you imagined. Because for nine months, I thought I knew my Georgie.

'It's been phenomenal': widower dad of quads thankful for support

There was nothing Erica and Carlos wanted more than a baby.

Vin Diesel names daughter after actor Paul Walker

The actor said there was "no other person" he was thinking about when he chose the name.

How midwives can help women who experience domestic violence

More than half of women who live with abusive partners experience violence during pregnancy.

Mum describes giving birth during Cyclone Pam

A new mother was told she must flee Port Vila hospital with her baby as Cyclone Pam bore down.

6 signs you're done having babies

There were a few signs I'm never going back to the land of maternity jeans, breast pumps and bassinets.

Marta Dusseldorp reveals breastfeeding cost her an acting job

Australian actress Marta Dusseldorp has revealed she was forced to withdraw from a Sydney Theatre Company production because a director did not approve of her breast feeding.

Female celebs (or their babies) with traditionally male names

Looking for a name that's a little bit different for a girl? Turn to names that have been traditionally used for males, as these celebs (or their parents) did.

'If you're anti-immunisation ... take a look at this picture of my son'

Greg Hughes is "an absolute shell of a man" as he and his wife Catherine struggle to come to terms with the loss of their newborn son Riley to whooping cough.

How an extrovert can raise an introvert

Introverts are often misunderstood as shy, and sometimes even rude. A timid child can be difficult to build rapport with, but it's important we nurture their sensitive natures.

Sheryl Sandberg's advice

'Choreplay': Help out at home to get more sex, Sandberg tells men

Forget foreplay. The new and improved route to intercourse is "choreplay" - it's good for your spouse, good for your house, and comes with the imprimatur of feminist du jour Sheryl Sandberg.

How to play with your baby

The first time your child learns a new skill at playtime is very exciting - for both you and your baby! Play is important to your child's development for a variety of reasons - here are some simple ideas for you to try at home.

I'm a single mother by choice

For me, being the best mother I can be means being a mum alone, at least for now. Thinking of my friends with inadequate partners, I wonder why more people don’t choose single motherhood.

Awkward wedding photos

Weird poses, surprise photobombs, bizarre editing: these are the wedding photos that should have never seen the light of day.

Four-week-old baby Riley Hughes dies of whooping cough

The mother of a four-week-old Perth baby who died after contracting whooping cough says her family has been left devastated by the loss of her "gorgeous, sweet" son.

Win a Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom prize pack

To celebrate the April 1 release of Holly's Magic Wand on DVD and Digital, we are giving away five DVD packs featuring the newest installment of Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Holly's Magic Wand and many more hours of family entertainment! Enter Now!

Oh boy! Video shows family's reaction to baby surprise

Little Peyton Williams thought she was getting a baby sister named Charlee. But the two-year-old has had to settle for a doll dressed in pink after her baby "sister" turned out to be a boy.

How to help build up your baby's immune system

We all know that having a strong immune system is the best way to stay healthy – but what can we do to help it along?

'Nick, you need to call an ambulance': home birth mum's tragic death

A Melbourne mum who died after the home birth of her baby pleaded with her husband to call an ambulance because she felt she was going to die, the Victorian Coroners Court has heard.

When dads believe their baby doesn't 'like' them

Q: My two-month-old baby doesn't like me. He's perfectly content with my wife, but when I try to hold him, he gets upset and cries. I've backed off a little, thinking that he just needs a little time to get used to me, but that doesn't seem to be working. I'm starting to think I'm just not a very good dad. Is it too late for me to build a relationship with my baby?

When was the last time a stranger praised your parenting?

Wouldn’t it be great to get some nice feedback every now and then? After all, everyone likes to hear positive praise, particularly when it comes to parenting.

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

15 names on the verge of extinction

If you're looking to revive an older name, or don’t want anything near the top 1000 list, check out these rare monikers for your unique baby.

5 characteristics of great dads

It’s great to see a generation of dads who are more actively involved with caring, nurturing and loving their kids.

Why doesn't Australia have more breast milk banks?

When there’s no question that milk banks are important, why don’t we have more of them in Australia?

Carrie Bickmore announces birth of daughter

Television personality Carrie Bickmore has given birth to her second child.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

Man faces jail after giving woman abortion pill smoothie

A Norwegian man is facing jail after putting abortion pills in his ex-girlfriend's smoothie, causing her to have a miscarriage.

'He's a blessing': family of baby born without eyes

Jordy Jackson was born without eyes. He has anophthalmia, which affects one in every 100,000 babies born.

Win one of 5 Cadbury Easter Hampers

With Easter fast approaching, Cadbury are giving away 5 Cadbury Easter Hampers. Enter Now!

Super fit model Sarah Stage defends her pregnancy body

Model Sarah Stage has defended her pregnancy body after critics claimed her slim figure at eight-and-a-half months pregnant wasn't "normal".

Win a Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom and Peppa Pig prize pack

To celebrate the April 1 release of Holly's Magic Wand on DVD and Digital, Essential Baby and Entertainment One are giving away five bumper DVD packs featuring the newest installment of Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Holly's Magic Wand and many more hours of family entertainment! Enter Now!

Why I post breastfeeding photos online

I love to take pictures of my children. In some of the pictures, my younger son is nursing.

The day I broke my baby

There are things I wish I didn't know. I wish I didn't know that companies make tiny braces, small enough to hold necks no bigger than a wrist.

The place just for dads of multiples

When a couple discovers they're expecting multiples, the dad can sometimes be almost forgotten in all the excitement and preparation. But one group offers a space just for dads of twins and higher-order multiples.

Brave mum calls for domestic violence law reform

A brave mum of two has shared details of the harrowing attacks she suffered at the hands of her partner in a bid to help other victims of domestic violence.

Why I had the new test for Down syndrome

Early last year I turned 35, and having just found out I was pregnant, I opted to have the new test for Down syndrome.

Geeky baby gear

If your family is more into Star Wars, gaming and the periodic table than most, you might want to check out these geek-chic baby items.

2015: the year of the sheep

According to the Chinese zodiac, babies born in the year of the sheep are creative and enjoy spending quiet time with their own thoughts.

Breakthrough genetic testing now available in Australia

Pregnant women will for the first time have access to locally analysed, accurate, non-invasive pre-natal genetic testing when the first Australian clinic to offer the services opens its doors next week.

Grandbabies: the babies born looking old

Not a day under 65 and a lifetime of struggle! That's the look of these newborns, who look adorably older than their real age. Social networking site Reddit recently featured user submissions of adorable grandbabies, here are our favourites.

Family kicked off flight after toddler seatbelt drama

An entire family was kicked off a Cathay Pacific flight when a misbehaving toddler refused to put his seatbelt on.

Stolen baby found after 17 years

A baby stolen from her mother's arms shortly after birth has been found through an astonishing coincidence.

53 creative pregnancy announcements

Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.

IKEA hacks for the nursery and kids' rooms

Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.

36 baby names inspired by food and drinks

A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Sign up now!

30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Receive a daily email from Essential Baby during April with great play tips and ideas, then submit your baby at play photos to our Playwall, Instagram or Twitter for your chance to win.

 
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.