Because you gave such excellent advice following my post last week, I wanted to inform you that the visit has passed, and that it went far easier than anticipated. The news about my relative’s father were such as to give rise to cautious optimism (although very important information will only be available next week). Conversations about the illness were matter-of-fact and not all-dominating. We had a lot of fun at other times during this visit, and I think it helped all of us that we were together as a family when a decisive phone call to the doctors was made.
Probably I should not have worried so much beforehand! And I also think it may have helped that I had determined before that I would be as matter-of-fact as possible, and stuck to this.
Anyway, thanks a lot for your kind words and good advice!
– Rike Horstmann