What would you do if a family member was dying

@sacmom (14336)
United States
August 9, 2008 3:56am CST
and you lived a hundreds of miles away? Would you go see them one last time before they died? My husband and I have been told that his dad is terminal. He could go any time. Even though his parents live hundreds of miles away from us, we agreed that he should go down there to see his dad one last time. There's a problem though. Money. If he were to fly down immediately (meaning tomorrow) the plane trip alone would be over $300 w/tax. And as he wants to get a motel that would be about another $70-100. So all together that would be about $400, maybe more. It's not that we don't have it, thanks to the stimulus refund, but this money is very much needed here at home so my husband doesn't want to spend it on a plane ticket. He could drive there, but it would take him over 9 hours (one way). Not something I want my husband to do, the way he is feeling. Even if his emotions weren't all over the place right now, he's just not up to driving for 9 hours straight. Poor guy does enough driving when he works. Plus with gas prices the way they are would it even be worth it to drive, rather than to fly? We talked about the possibility of him staying at his parents place to help with the cost, but it is so small. And with his brother, his brother's girlfriend, uncle, nephew, mom, and dad there, it would be rather crowded. Not something my husband wants to go through, especially at a time like this. He would rather stay at a motel. In the end I know my husband will fly down, but why do last minute tickets have to be so darn expensive? Even for those that are traveling to see a dying family member or a deceased loved one? Shouldn't they get a break in the cost?
26 people like this
52 responses
• Canada
9 Aug 08
I certainly would be going especially if it were my parents!So sorry to hear of this and the expense that is going to incur but I say it isn't an option... The only option would be if you went to and did some of the driving...Would that be an option? For me, it wouldn't even be a debate and we sure don't have the money to spare but for my Dad or Mom I would have to go!!! However, when my cousin lost her twins (First pregnancy) earlier this year I could not afford the plane tickets!:( I live in Ontario, Canada and she lives in British Columbia! It was so hard for me not to be there for her!!! As for the cost of the plane tickets I thought there was a discount for flights in a case like that!!! I am sure that when my Grandma passed away my Aunt got a discount...at least I thought she did..... Again, so sorry to hear of this and I wish you you and your husband all the best! Take Care, ~Heavens~
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
11 Aug 08
You are right, it isn't an option. I was trying to tell this to my husband the other day when we first found out about his dad. Driving is not an option. Our car needs work (that's what the stimulus money was going to be used for) and our truck is a single cab. There was just no way for my husband, both our kids, and I to drive down there. I guess we could have rented a car, but with our oldest being autistic it would have been added stress that I didn't want to put on my husband. Unfortunately we lost my father-in-law yesterday (Saturday) morning. We had planned Friday night for my husband to fly out sometime Saturday, but when I got up in the morning my husband told me the bad news. So, sadly he didn't make it to see his dad one last time. But he took a flight out today (Sunday) to be with the rest of his family that is there. Both of us are glad he went. Regardless of the cost. And even though he missed saying good bye to his father he needs to be down there during this difficult time.
2 people like this
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
11 Aug 08
I almost forgot to mention that there are discounts for such situations, but not all airlines do this, not to mention it isn't always the cheapest or best way to go. American Airlines wanted a lot more than the airlines we went through, even with the discount that they offered. Plus AA, along with a few others that had the same kind of discount didn't offer non stop flights, which meant my husband would have been traveling for hours. Instead it only took him about an hour and a half and he was there.
2 people like this
• Canada
11 Aug 08
So sorry to hear of your loss and that your husband did not make it in time but it is good that he is there now! I totally understand about the Autism and anything new or different it can be a nightmare!!! My son also has Autism..... I also understand the importance of a direct route....who wants a stop over at a time like that!?! Again, I am sorry and my thoughts are with you and your family! Take Care! (((((((((sacmom))))))))) ~Heavens~
2 people like this
@kaleegirl45 (1474)
• United States
9 Aug 08
Hi sacmom I'm so sorry to hear about your father in law. Is there anyone near that relative and would go with your husband, they each could take turn driving. Have you also priced the tickets somewhere else. there is a site CHEAPTICKETS.COM and they seem to have good deals. They may also be able to get the motel/hotel with the tickets.Last year when my sister and mom when to go visit her brother who was also dying, she was able to get the tickets and motel/hotel for around 350.00. Unless he is able to stay with another member of the family. Let me know if you were able to find something cheaper. Airlines don't care about family emergencies, it's all about the money. Take care.
3 people like this
@patgalca (14061)
• Orangeville, Ontario
9 Aug 08
Driving down with someone else is a good idea, even if they are not close by but, perhaps, on the way.
2 people like this
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
13 Aug 08
Thank you, kalee. Some of his relatives are near us and I spoke to my husband about doing just this, but we didn't think it was a good idea, especially at a time like this. I did look at cheaptickets.com, but they weren't any cheaper than what I found them for, plus none of those flights were non stop. I did find an airline for about the same price and it was a direct flight there. Unfortunately my father-in-law didn't make it before my husband could get there. He passed away early Saturday morning. My husband flew out Sunday to be with the rest of his family.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Aug 08
Hi sacmom, I'm so sorry to hear the bad news. I just don't know what to say. Take care of you and your husband.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (92453)
• Marion, Kansas
9 Aug 08
Been there, done that, with hubby, but he had a place to stay. I understand, but cannot verify, that some of the airlines do give a break if it is for this reason. Nine hours of driving really is not that bad, if you use your head about it, though. I know it depends on where you are driving. I wish him, and you, all the best. My hubby had this experience while unemployed.
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
12 Aug 08
Some airlines do offer such a discount, but these are through the more expensive airlines, so it is still more pricey than some of the airlines that don't offer it. My husband was in no shape to drive, and there is no way I would let him drive like that. It just isn't a good idea, being an emotional mess on the road. Unfortunately, my husband didn't get there in time to say good bye to his dad. But he flew down anyway to be with the rest of his family. I'm just glad we had that money to be able to send him there.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (92453)
• Marion, Kansas
12 Aug 08
That is sad, my condolences to your husband. Very similar thing happened to my husband when his dad was dying, but that was before we met. It still hangs on for a long time. The first instance I mentioned was more recent, it was a brother in law, husband of his favorite sister.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
12 Aug 08
Thank you Gerty.
• United States
10 Aug 08
I'd definitely go, in fact, I do have family mmembers way more than 100 miles away, and I've pondered this before. I think money is sort of a problem, but hey, it's someone you really care about. I would go see them one last time before they die, or at least try to. Yeah, they should definitely get a break in the cost for those last minute tickets but since they are last minute, they are expensive. It's a hard world out there.
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
21 Aug 08
Sorry, there was a typo in the discussion. My in-laws actually live hundreds of miles away (a little more than 500 to be exact). My father-in-law passed away before my husband could fly out there. My husband flew out the next day to be with the rest of his family members. He has since returned and is glad he went. He needed to be with them during this difficult time.
@di1159 (1580)
• United States
9 Aug 08
If its only 9 hrs perhaps you might try checking the prices of Greyhound. I don't like to travel by bus, but the fares are reasonable and that way he wouldn't have to drive. He definately needs to go and see his dad because he will feel terrible if he doesn't and it will torment him in the future. Also try lastminutedeals.com as sometimes there are cancellations where airfare will go at a cheaper price. Cheaptickets.com is another site you might try as well. Hope this helps you.
2 people like this
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
12 Aug 08
Thank you for your help. I did get to check these out the other day, but travel time with these flights was almost as long as taking Greyhound. My husband wasn't up to traveling for several hours, especially with him only going to be gone for a few days. So flying on a non stop flight was his best option. Even if it wasn't the cheapest way to go. We spoke Friday night about him flying out the next day, but sadly his dad passed away that morning. However he is there now with the rest of his family, during this difficult time.
@iyah10 (4116)
• Kuwait
10 Aug 08
I cannot find my answer on this question friend because I am 10,000 miles away from my Homeland is in Philippines and I am residing here in Kuwait at present time with my Husband and Daughter which is a year old already and if ever there is something happened like this incident if have enough to fly direct then I have to go there but if it is not enough then I have to send it for them so it can help them out in the situation.........
2 people like this
@someonesmom (5768)
• Canada
10 Aug 08
I'm very sorry to hear about this, and although it's a hardship due to finances, I'm glad that your husband will be going no matter what. I'd 'move heaven and earth' in a similar situation. It's good too, that he won't be driving alone, and he's made the decision to fly. I don't really know anything about this, but I see some here have given some good advice regarding a possible discount. I truly hope that such a thing exists, as it definitely should in these cases. Take care.
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
16 Aug 08
Hi someonesmom. Yes, such a thing exists. Unfortunately by what I saw they are through the more expensive airlines, so even with the discount it was a lot more than the airline my husband went through that didn't offer it.
1 person likes this
• Canada
16 Aug 08
It doesn't seem right that it should be more with the discount. I do hope everything works out, for your husband to spend this time there. Such a hard time for all concerned.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
18 Aug 08
I think you may have misunderstood me. It is cheaper through these airlines with their discount, but at the same time still more expensive than some of the less expensive airlines. For example if their (the more expensive airlines) tickets are $1400 for a round trip and they offer a 50% discount for grieving passengers, it comes to $700 which is still $400 more than my husband paid through the less expensive airline that doesn't even offer this type of discount. Sadly my father-in-law passed away before my husband could fly out there. But my husband did fly out to be with the rest of his side of the family for a few days during this tragic time. He has since returned. We are still in shock over his father's passing...
1 person likes this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
9 Aug 08
Sacmom!! Thanks to being in the military life I have a secret for you!! There's such a thing as a discounted flight for people in such situations and it's called bereavement flight so call up the airline that your husband is flying on and tell them that you need a bereavement flight for him and tell them why that his father is dying and he needs to get there fast and they'll help you get it. If the person you're talking to doesn't know what it is then tell her to transfer you to someone else who does or ask to speak to her boss and keep going till you find someone who does know what it is and get you one. Good luck sweetie and tell your husband that I send my condolences in this terrible time. Bless his heart and yours....
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
13 Aug 08
Thank you, both of you. Yes, I did hear about this type of discount. But the airline my husband went through doesn't offer it. I did see about some other airlines that do, but they were more expensive, even with the discount. I'm sad to say my father-in-law passed away before my husband was able to get there. However he did fly out the following day to be with the rest of his family. All of them need to be together during this tragic time.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Aug 08
I am sadden to hear that your father-in-law has passed away. You and your husband have my deepest sympathies during this time of mourning. May God's love bring solace and peace to you, your husband and his family for your tragic loss.
2 people like this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
14 Aug 08
celticrogue said it perfectly. Our condolences go out to your husband and his family, including you. May God be with all of you during this hard time.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
11 Aug 08
Hi There Sacmom, Do everything you can to see your father-in-law. Money is just nothing compared to a person who is dying. I mean you can always look for ways to raise your plane ticket and be there before anything happened to your husband's dad. Who knows this will be the last time you could be together. At least he will be happy seeing his family for the last time around.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
22 Aug 08
Hello Sacmon, My deep condolences for you family. May your father-in-law's soul rest in peace. It's true that in times like this we can always count on with our family. And of course MyLoters are here for you always. Take care. Have a great day.
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36491)
• United States
10 Aug 08
yes, youshould get a break in the cost for those circunstances but don't guess the airlines or alot of poeple have much compassion any more. my dad is 87 & is not doing well at all so i know how u feel. thank goodness i have him right here in martin. hope y'all work something out, good luck. greetings from tennessee.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
18 Aug 08
I'm sorry to hear that your father isn't doing well. My husband decided to fly down the night I wrote this. He planned to go out there the following day, but sadly his dad passed away that very morning and my husband just wasn't up to traveling that day. He ended up taking a flight out the day after his dad's passing so that he could be with his side of the family during this difficult time.
@ANTIQUELADY (36491)
• United States
18 Aug 08
i'm sorry for your loss.
@vimaal (3365)
• India
7 Sep 08
hi sacmom, iam so sad to heard this. i went with my parents and crying for that person. take care.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
8 Sep 08
Thank you vimaal.
@lucky_witch (2713)
• Philippines
24 Aug 08
I am sorry to hear about that. Your husband needs your support and he is very lucky to have you in his side. If it was my parents, then no doubt I would fly as soon as possible and wont thinking of anything. If I have no enough money then I would stay with the family even if it is crowded, I wont mind... I would be very much willing to take away my comfort to be with my dying loved one. I just hope there would be some consideration in case like this. But the truth is maybe they do not realize it yet. My prayers are with you.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
26 Aug 08
Thank you lucky_witch. At one point my husband asked if he should stay at his parents house, instead of the hotel that he was at, as he was still concerned about the cost. He said he was willing to sleep out in their backyard (it was that crowded). But I told him not to worry about the cost, if he felt that he would be more comfortable sleeping at the hotel then he should stay there. So that is what he did.
• India
23 Aug 08
i wud definately go nomatter wat the cost...i think your hubby should do the same else he mite keep thinking about it all his life and regretting not seeing his dad for the last time
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
24 Aug 08
My husband did go. On the night I wrote the discussion he had planned to go out the following day. But sadly his dad passed away early that morning, so my husband was unable to see his dad alive one last time. As my husband was in no shape to travel the day of his father's passing he waited until the day after to go out there to be with the rest of his family during this sad time.
1 person likes this
@rosedust82 (2075)
• Philippines
21 Aug 08
Hello my friend... reading the thread, it looks like I'm a little late on the news. It's a good thing that your husband went down to see his father for the last time. I would definitely have gone regardless of the price. If it were an immediate family member, I wouldn't think twice. I love my family very much and if anything were to happen to any of them... Don't even want to think about it....
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
24 Aug 08
My husband and I are glad he went. If only he could have made it there before his father's passing...
@wisedragon (2331)
• Philippines
15 Aug 08
Yes I would definitely go, especially for my parents. Have you tried checking other airlines? It is very unfortunate that gas and plane tickets have gone up so much. I will pray for your husband's father.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
23 Aug 08
Thank you. Unfortunately my father-in-law passed away the morning after I started this discussion, so my husband wasn't able to see his dad alive one last time. I did check the other airlines. They were all more expensive, even with their bereavement discount, then the price I posted on here. As this was the cheapest I could find this was the airline my husband went through. He flew there the day after his father's passing as all of them needed to be together during this time.
@Modestah (11195)
• United States
15 Aug 08
yes go at all costs it is better to see dad now than in the casket later, though I would not want to miss being there for that and offering my prayers then as well.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
23 Aug 08
My husband did go, but sadly not before his father passed away.
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
14 Aug 08
Have you asked them about discounts for morning relatives? Any way i think if it were my dieing i would want to see people while im alive.
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
23 Aug 08
I saw some bereavement discounts, but they still cost more than the airline I found that doesn't offer it.
13 Aug 08
I am so sorry to read about your husbands loss. It is too bad that he didn't get to make it before he passed away. I lost my dad two years ago to a massive heart attack, very sudden and unexpected and it is a terrible thing for anyone to have to go through. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
1 person likes this
• Canada
11 Aug 08
we just went through the same thing with my wifes' uncle. We decided to bite the bullet and have her fly out to be with her aunt (more of a mother than aunt). She ended up staying 2 weeks (without pay from her job) but at least she was able to be with her uncle in his final days. It cost us a lot of money but in the ind it was worth it for her to be there for her aunt.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
22 Aug 08
My husband decided to "bite the bullet" the night I started this discussion. He planned to fly out the next day to see his dad. But sadly his father passed away early that morning. My husband still flew down to be with the rest of his side of the family during this tragic time. It was definitely worth the cost, even if he wasn't able to say goodbye to his father...
@freedomg (1684)
• United States
11 Aug 08
I would go. Especially with it being a parent. I know I would not be able to forgive myself if I didn't. I'm sorry to hear you guys are going through this and wish you all the best of luck.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14336)
• United States
21 Aug 08
Thank you freedom.