How Do I Handle In-Laws After Death of Husband

Adrianne writes in: Do you have any audios in your archive that deals with how to handle your in-laws after your husband dies? My husband died 2 years ago from cancer. Prior to his passing, his siblings became angry with him because he set limitations on visits during his battle due to his chemo. They felt they should come and visit with him as much as they wanted. But it wasn’t what my husband wanted.

So due to the anger of that situation other things were brought to the surface. By the time my husband was hospitalized he was finished with all the fighting and refused to see them after he was hospitalized. He died without saying goodbye.

Now that he’s gone I don’t hear from them.  I’m ready to see them …. however I’m not sure how to go about making it happen.  If you have an audio on the subject I’d appreciate it if you could instruct me on how to acquire it. I hope I will hear from you soon.

Dr. Gloria Horsley responds: Dear Adrianne: In-law relationships are very tricky especially when the biological family member has died.  I am so sorry to hear about how difficult your husband’s relationships were with his siblings prior to
his death.  You of course had no option but to respect his wishes.  You did not say whether you had children.  I assume you do and that makes for a strong connection with in-laws.  Anyway, your desire to now connect is admirable.

I would suggest that you proceed very carefully.  Connect with a family member that you feel comfortable with and don’t take them on as a whole.  Check it out and see how safe the environment is.  You don’t want to end up splitting family members into
those who support you and those who don’t. Be kind and loving and understand that some family members may be very slow to warm up to you.  Recognize that there will be some family members you just don’t have a life contract with.  Connect up with other widows as they will understand and support you on your journey.  Also, get my book, The In-law Survival Guide.  Lots of great advice on dealing with in- laws. Unfortunately we do not have an audio that deals with how to handle the in-laws after your husband dies. We filmed one for YouTube on in-laws that should be out in the next couple of weeks.  When it is available, you can find it at http://www.youtube.com/opentohope. Thanks for contacting us and good luck in your
healing.

Dr. Gloria

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Gloria Horsley

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Dr. Gloria Horsley is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years. Dr. Horsley hosts the syndicated internet radio show, "Healing the Grieving Heart," which is one of the top ranked shows on Health Voice America. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and frequently serves as media spokesperson. Dr. Horsley is often called on to present seminars throughout the country. She has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including "The Today Show," "Montel Williams," and "Sallie Jessie Raphael." In addition, she has authored a number of articles and written several books including Teen Grief Relief with Dr. Heidi Horlsey, and The In-Law Survival Guide.

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