Ill Mother-in-Law, Wife in Another City - When Do I Go?

My mother-in-law is in a hospital in upstate New York. She has been battling multiple sclerosis for over 40 years. She was brought to hospital late last week with pain and breathing difficulty. My wife went up there this morning to be with her.

She was hooked up to breathing tubes yesterday. They say she can live that way for about two weeks. My wife asked about a tracheotomy. The doctors say the likelihood is she winds up in a “facility” which I know would not be acceptable to my mother-in-law, wife or my stepfather-in-law. The discussion is running about whether there is any quality of life. So I think the outlook is for her to pass away shortly.

My older son is in college in Pennsylvania, has a car and can drive to the funeral. My younger son is a high-functioning college student on the autistic spectrum in college in New England, about a three hour drive from where I am now and where my younger son is.

I am pitching this to the board as to whether I should stay put and wait for the death or go straight up to my wife. The logic of staying put is to pick up my younger son for the funeral, which tends to be close in time to the death in my religion, Judaism.


I’m afraid I have no wisdom for a situation like this. I’m praying for you.

Does your son not have a car, or a friend (or a friend of yours) who could drive him some place where the both of you could at least meet in transit?

My son is high-functioning but on the autistic spectrum. His driving is a few years down the road I’m afraid.