Our last visit from father in law was hard work. He spent the best part of his waking hours plonked on our sofa, not stirring to make himself a cup of tea. He went on a rant about "pa**is" and "Asians", which I was appalled about (and was even more appalled that my husband didn't pull him up). The Boy had visited his house a few weeks before when it transpired that he was fully in the knowledge that his house had mice, although denied they left any droppings; it genuinely didn't seem to have occurred to him that we might not want the Boy crawling around a house with mice. After we dropped him at the station I had a massive row with my husband.
My father in law died last week. Suddenly, of a heart attack.
I feel a mixture of emotions. I'll miss him - he had become increasingly difficult over the past couple of years, and I need to make an effort to remember him before that.
I also feel slightly relieved that we didn't have it out with him about the racist language (not to make excuses, but he was from a small town, and a different generation, where that sort of thing was more widely accepted).
Also, if I'm being honest, I'm relieved that we don't have the worry of him getting ill and needing long term care, which he would have hated.
But we're got an awful lot to sort out, too. We already have quite a lot on our own plates, and now this summer is going to be spent, in part, travelling to the other end of the country to work on de-junking the endless amount of stuff that has been hoarded in my husband's old home.
More importantly, I guess, is the emotional side. My job is to help my husband however I can. His mother died a while back too, and a lot of the burden of sorting things out will fall to him.
It's funny - with the IVF and miscarriages and everything, they changed me, but I didn't feel older. This has made me feel older, like we're sliding into middle age. The generational balance of our family has shifted with his passing.