My brother was in a terrible car accident this week and walked away.  He is extremely lucky.  A car crossed the median and ran into the front and driver's side of his SUV.  All the air bags inflated and EMS personnel dug him out of the passenger side of the car. 

Which, by the way, is a total loss.  He is fortunate and we are blessed that he's still here.  

Do you tell everything you know?  Do you overshare?

The accident started a bit of a family discussion about who needs to know what.  The accident happened away from home, so likely won't show up in the newspaper or heard by Nosy Parkers on police scanners.

The question is: do the family member tell our elderly father?  My dad is still in relatively good shape and active. He sometimes tells us things twice, and has limited his driving to daylight for errands -- bank, grocery, doctor, etc.  He's closer to ninety than to eighty.

Having worked in hospitals most of my career, I fall on the side of the "need to know basis."  If someone doesn't need to know something, why tell them?  I have asthma and I can think of a couple of times when I've been in the hospital and not shared it with my dad.  Had I been seriously ill, there might not be a choice.  But I was pumped full of oxygen and steroids and good to go after a day.

Another family member says he has the "right to know.

I stopped telling my parents the gory details of my life when I was about 40. My mother is gone now, but I don't think my dad needs to know and worry about things over which he has no control.

What do you think?  

Views: 123

Comment by koshersalaami on March 18, 2017 at 8:31pm

Phyllis has a point. If there's a danger he finds out from someone else, tell him to preempt the issue. You don't want two problems. 

That's If

Comment by Theodora L'Engle Knight on March 19, 2017 at 1:10am

wow, this is a conundrum. i'm an oversharer from a long line of secret keepers. i'm with FM about it's being your brother's story to share. i think it has to be a case by case basis. older people can seem quite fragile but, then, as in my extended family, they are tough cookies. so cool that you are catching up with OS people!!

Comment by Foolish Monkey on March 19, 2017 at 8:44am

for the sake of discussion let me say this - being an adult of some age, I routinely make my own decisions about what to discuss with members of my family, so when someone in the family feels they have to TELL someone else about my life - it's very annoying.  I'm private and I don't care for "telling".  we're not kids.  especially if it's going to create repercussions.

if I want to tell a family member something that's happened to me that's a positive or a negative, particularly if it's going to impact something or someone, it's on me to be the one to break the news the way I want to break the news especially in the case of a family member being close to 90 and in this case, the fact that there was no harm done except a car totaled.  

as I see it there's two choices -  telling a man his son's car was totaled.  or that his son was nearly killed in an accident but walked away without a scratch.  or not telling him either because it really isn't news - it's just ALMOST news and it's almost scary news and guaranteed to raise his BP a few points. 

Comment by Bernadine Spitzsnogel on March 19, 2017 at 8:59am

Thanks, FM.  I tend to go on the private or conservative side.  If something will upset someone greatly (and you know them, so you know this) i think it can be kept private.  Case by case, I think. Had this happened to me, I would not tell my father.

Comment by Theodora L'Engle Knight on March 19, 2017 at 7:06pm

i'm with FM about the risk of raising the BP for no real reason because your brother is okay. i learned that lesson early because most topics were not to be discussed with my very volatile grandmother. never mind ones that were fraught.

Comment by Theodora L'Engle Knight on March 19, 2017 at 7:06pm

i'm with FM about the risk of raising the BP for no real reason because your brother is okay. i learned that lesson early because most topics were not to be discussed with my very volatile grandmother. never mind ones that were fraught.

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