How do I - not share- my loved one is in rehab?



We have a funeral to attend, if my son doesn’t go I just don’t feel it’s my place to tell others if he isn’t ready to tell others he is in rehab yet. Of course I will ask him, but even in general, there are family members I don’t feel safe with sharing his situation. Does anyone have helpful responses for me?
Thank you

UPDATE: My son will attend the funeral. Thank you for helping me with your responses. :slight_smile:
We had a family meeting with the therapist in rehab. My son’s been doing very well and he wants to stay home after the funeral. Reluctantly, all agreed. I do not feel good about it, but he has a plan for continuing his sober journey. My husband feels we should have hope and support him. So we shall. Thank you for being here.


Hi @Raking- I am sorry you have a funeral to go to. When you talk to your son ask him how he wants you to handle it. If he doesn’t give you a recommendation- then trust your gut and share what you feel is helpful to your son and you. Then the whole family dynamic- which only you know- you can figure that our later. It’s nobody’s business really.

a nice duck and jab is focus on the funeral, so if someone asks your where your son is, say, " Thanks for asking, but he couldn’t make it. How are you doing? Have you been sleeping since XXX died? " whatever is appropriate.


Hi @Raking,
I’m sorry for your loss. @Thinkstet offered some helpful words. Your situation reminds me of when my husband was in rehab. It was around the holidays, and the first weekend he was gone, his entire extended families on both sides were having their holiday gatherings. I was in rough shape and couldn’t bear to go without him and face all the questions, so I skipped them. His parents had to deal with the questions, and i believe they just told everyone we were sick.

I think it ties back to this question of “Who do we tell?” I always found it hard to not be honest because I’d lived with my husband’s lies for so long. All I want is the truth, ever. But setting boundaries is also something I’ve learned, and protecting myself and my family. It’s not everyone’s business, and I don’t have an obligation to open up my world that I’ve worked so hard to heal to those who will not offer the compassion and understanding it deserves.

Sending you love! :pray::sparkles:


Thank you. Yes, the duck and jab is a really good response for me. That is what I needed help with, the words to use, in case I am put on the spot. Your suggestions make perfect sense to me,
I’m not thinking clearly on my own right now. We will be speaking with our son before his uncle’s funeral and I feel I am prepared now! Again, thank you Thinkstet.


Thank you momentsandlight
I hope all is well in your family at this time.
While I struggle with being open and wanting the stigma of talking about addiction to be lessened in the world - I still feel it is not my story to be open with. Your advice, "It’s not everyone’s business " is true. It is ok to simply not share the why of someone’s absence. I do not feel safe with an in-laws need to know in this case. :slightly_smiling_face: Your response is very helpful to me.


Thank you so much. Yes, I believe most will be stuck in their own stories! I am worrying ahead, probably needlessly. Again, i appreciate you for sharing your input. It’s nice to have understanding people to reach out to.


Good luck. Your uncle understands everything now. Don’t fret too much. People are pretty stuck on their own stories. I hope it goes ok. It’s nice that you’re understanding to your son about all this.


Thank you for the update @Raking! Glad to hear your son is doing well and that he has a plan. You’ve got a Village here if you need support when your son returns home.

Here are some topics in the Community that you might find helpful:


@Rae- it sounds like there’s a plan and that’s the most important thing. Now it’s up to you to hold your boundaries and to continue to hold him to a higher standard. Support doesn’t always mean “doing for” sometimes it’s more like “spotting” him in case he needs a little extra. Why do you not feel good about it? It might help you if you express your fears out loud so you can fully-realize your inner thoughts. Also, it gives your son the opportunity to address your fears and decide how to act with that awareness. You’re going to be OK and I am glad that you will be going to the funeral as a united group.


Hello Thinkstet,
My son came home for the funeral and we took him back to rehab this morning to finish the program! He had a change of heart, he really seems to be working on his program. We were proud of him, but more importantly, he was proud of himself!! I did not feel good about him leaving rehab because it was a continuation of not completing things he starts.
You mentioned boundaries, they are SUCH a problem for me! We did have some really good discussions while he was home. Open discussions about boundaries, fears, awareness.
All your words were soooo good. I thank you for your kindness and wisdom! It is so nice to have someone just say “You’re going to be OK”. There are no words to express my gratitude to you.

PS Also thanks for the additional posts for me to read!


That is huge progress that your son chose to return to rehab. There’s security within that structure and now I understand why you didn’t feel so great about him coming home- i didn’t realize his stint in rehab wasn’t fully ended. Good decision. Me and my son are all about small good decisions. They really stack up over time.

The additional posts to read are courtesy of @momentsandlight- she’s a fountain of youth and knowledge. You’re doing so well for yourself! Your son’s chances of long-term sobriety are better when the whole family addressess their part in the whole dynamic.

If you think you have leaky boundaries or lousy ones, you can go have a look at a podcast called “Beyond Bitchy” with Vicki Tidwell Palmer . They have a downloadable PDF worksheet about your specific boundary issues. Good luck- remember - boundaries are for you- not for him.


Thank you! And thank you @momentsandlight!