SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

November 20, 2012

Dear Abby: Doctor’s silence after wife’s death adds to widower’s grief

:Dear Abby: My wife, “Margie,” recently lost her five-year battle with leukemia. I’m still grieving this huge loss. Something I found particularly upsetting was the apathetic attitude of her doctor and his staff.

Margie was seeing a specialist in a city 300 miles from our home. It involved many trips to his office, as well as extended hospital treatments. During this period, we considered the doctor and his staff more than health care providers. We thought of them as our friends. Margie would often bring them home-cooked meals or pastries from a bakery. In addition, because she did fine needlework, she made all the women a set of dish towels.

After my wife passed away at home, I sent a note to the doctor and his staff, thanking them and expressing gratitude for all they had done for her. I never received one message in return. I understand they treat many patients, but don’t you think SOMEONE could have given me a call or sent a sympathy card?

I attend a bereavement support group and was surprised that I am not the only one who has had the same experience. Is it normal for health care providers to stop all contact with spouses after a loved one dies?

Still Grieving in Arkansas

Dear Still Grieving: I’m very sorry for your loss, and for your disappointment. However, everyone deals with death and dying differently and doctors are people, too. In the field of oncology, for every victory, there are also many deaths. Emotional detachment is sometimes the way that these physicians and staff protect themselves from emotional pain. Please forgive them.

Dear Abby: My son-in-law “Ralph” is a good father and good husband, and we have gotten along well for nearly 20 years. But an issue has come up that has me really upset.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Wednesday's Best Bets Best Bets for Wednesday, Aug. 20

    Looking for something to do this afternoon? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Husband who relives past should focus on present Dear Abby: I'm married to the love of my life. I can't imagine loving a man more than I love "Wayne," and I know he feels the same about me. The problem is, he's always telling stories about things he has done, including past relationships, in graphi

    August 20, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Young man with heart scar has options for covering it up Dear Abby: You printed a letter from "Self-Conscious in Georgia" (May 15), a young man who is insecure about the scar from his heart surgery. I have had three surgeries for congenital defects, my first at 2 years old. Because many women's fashions ex

    August 19, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Angry wife resents husband for hiding news of his health Dear Abby: When my husband is sick or needs to have surgery, he refuses to tell his family and doesn't want me to. This puts me in a very awkward position. I'm damned if I do tell them because he will be upset with me, and damned if I don't because h

    August 18, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Romantics should come back to earth Dear Abby: I have been single for a couple of years. I have always been levelheaded when it comes to romance, but I'm finding myself unable to control my feelings about the new man I'm seeing. "Brent" is smart, intelligent, sweet and loving. We have

    August 16, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Saturday, Aug. 16 Church Yard Sale, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Our Lady of Fatima Church, 50 Walsh Ave., Peabody. Church-sponsored yard sale features home furnishings, clothing, children's items, furniture and more. Portuguese food will also be available. All

    August 16, 2014

  • North Shore religion news in brief The Church of the Holy Name is seeking artists and crafters to participate in the Fall Arts and Craft Fair on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church, located at the corner of Monument Avenue and Thomas Road in Swampscott. A limited a

    August 16, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, Aug. 16 and Sunday, Aug. 17

    Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore Gardener: Toad in your garden? That’s a good thing Q: There are several large toads -- some as big as a fist -- that live around the hosta on the shady side of my garden. They seem to especially like to be near the faucet, which sometimes leaks! Are they doing any harm? My small dog got one in his mo

    August 15, 2014

  • Dr. Kate's Parent Rap: Mission statement can help with co-parenting troubles More often than not, when I speak with parents today, they describe struggles with their children that originate in parenting conflicts. Parents often disagree when making daily decisions, and yet, they are steadfast in their beliefs that they share

    August 15, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker