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MIL funeral, but FIL won't allow my children to attend

edited 7 January 2015 at 7:33PM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
211 replies 22.6K views
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  • edited 5 January 2015 at 10:32AM
    duchyduchy Forumite
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    edited 5 January 2015 at 10:32AM
    You really don't get it do you !!!

    There was no need to tell your children they were "banned" from the funeral by their step grandfather. You could have simply said "Just Dad and I are going" or "It isn't an event for children" and protected THEIR feelings ....but no it was all about YOUR feelings

    and now you can't even pick up the phone -to ANY member of your husband's family - because YOUR nose is out of joint- even though it would make your husband's life easier.

    You wanted to go to the funeral and draw attention to yourself by pointedly sitting at the back and when your husband said no you insisted he tell you exactly where you should sit instead (like he'd know !!)

    You sound like a petulant teenager who thinks the world revolves solely around you. The worst of it for me is that you allowed your children's feelings to be hurt when it was entirely avoidable. You just needed to say nothing about the ban and say something simple like "Well as you've not seen her in such a long time and it's a school day - we think it's better for us to go alone as funerals are depressing" Instead of making out they are "missing something". It's not like they even have same age cousins it would be an opportunity for them to see.

    It's all about you isn't it !!

    If I were your husband I'd be petrified you would sit through the funeral and the wake shooting evil looks at his bereaved siblings and step father or worse make veiled comments and start a row.

    You claim to have loved your MIL- the best way you can show that love is to show a respectful attitude to her funeral and wake.... and to her bereaved children.
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  • seven-day-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
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    duchy wrote: »
    You really don't get it do you !!!

    There was no need to tell your children they were "banned" from the funeral by their step grandfather. You could have simply said "Just Dad and I are going" or "It isn't an event for children" and protected THEIR feelings ....but no it was all about YOUR feelings

    and now you can't even pick up the phone -to ANY member of your husband's family - because YOUR nose is out of joint- even though it would make your husband's life easier.

    You wanted to go to the funeral and draw attention to yourself by pointedly sitting at the back and when your husband said no you insisted he tell you exactly where you should sit instead (like he'd know !!)

    You sound like a petulant teenager who thinks the world revolves solely around you. The worst of it for me is that you allowed your children's feelings to be hurt when it was entirely avoidable. You just needed to say nothing about the ban and say something simple like "Well as you've not seen her in such a long time and it's a school day - we think it's better for us to go alone as funerals are depressing" Instead of making out they are "missing something". It's not like they even have same age cousins it would be an opportunity for them to see.

    It's all about you isn't it !!

    If I were your husband I'd be petrified you would sit through the funeral and the wake shooting evil looks at his bereaved siblings and step father or worse make veiled comments and start a row.

    You claim to have loved your MIL- the best way you can show that love is to show a respectful attitude to her funeral and wake.... and to her bereaved children.

    I do agree that the OP comes across as very unsupportive of her husband at a time when he needs her full support. I also think that she should respect her f-i-l's wishes, even if she doesn't agree with them, and just accept it as his wish without grizzling about her husband's family to him at this sad time.

    I don't see why it matters where she sits. If someone wants her to sit in a particular place they will tell her. However, I do think that to pointedly sit at the back, away from her husband's family, is piling yet more stress and angst upon her OP and is yet again showing an unsupportive attitude.

    Neither do I see why she can't just contact someone to ask where the crematorium is, instead of expecting her husband to do it.

    Having said all that, I do understand how such an event can be very stressful to someone who suffers from anxiety, but she really needs to try to be the strong one on this occasion and give her husband the support he needs and deserves, without worrying about the rest of his family.

    Just my two pennorth.
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  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    Having said all that, I do understand how such an event can be very stressful to someone who suffers from anxiety, but she really needs to try to be the strong one on this occasion and give her husband the support he needs and deserves, without worrying about the rest of his family.

    Although ALI has worked on her anxiety before, I think there's plenty more to do. For such a small issue to have become the major drama it's turned into is not a healthy way to live, especially when the emotions have spread to her OH and their children.

    It's quite possible, as someone said earlier, that the family were hoping that ALI would stay at home with the children.
  • OP you have my sympathy and complete understanding. 3 years ago my FIL died after a fairly long illness, during which time my step MIL did everything she could to distance my OH and his/our family (including his sister). The death notice in the paper said beloved husband and father of step MIL, OH's half sister and her kids. She refused to talk to me to give me information about the funeral and told us that as we were aware it was FIL's wishes that the children didn't attend. We live at the other end of the country to them. Our Children were 12 and 14 at the time.

    We ignored her "requests" as he was my husbands (and his sisters) father and our childrens' grandfather, who they wanted to say goodbye to. The only difference is our children had only seen their grandfather a couple of months previously. When we attended the wake, we discovered that step MIL had told a complete pack of lies to the family (including that we had deliberately moved somewhere step MIL didn't feel comfortable visiting). She has cut us off completely since. But it was worth it for the children to say their goodbyes.

    You have made the correct decision for your family (as your OH seems to want to follow the family direction, mine didn't). We did have another little service at home after the funeral just for us. I can really understand why you would like to leave the wake as soon as possible, they are not making you feel welcome.

    I hope it goes as well as these things ever do and unless his family change their tune you are probably better off without them.
  • ALI1973ALI1973 Forumite
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    duchy wrote: »
    You really don't get it do you !!!

    There was no need to tell your children they were "banned" from the funeral by their step grandfather. You could have simply said "Just Dad and I are going" or "It isn't an event for children" and protected THEIR feelings ....but no it was all about YOUR feelings

    and now you can't even pick up the phone -to ANY member of your husband's family - because YOUR nose is out of joint- even though it would make your husband's life easier.

    You wanted to go to the funeral and draw attention to yourself by pointedly sitting at the back and when your husband said no you insisted he tell you exactly where you should sit instead (like he'd know !!)

    You sound like a petulant teenager who thinks the world revolves solely around you. The worst of it for me is that you allowed your children's feelings to be hurt when it was entirely avoidable. You just needed to say nothing about the ban and say something simple like "Well as you've not seen her in such a long time and it's a school day - we think it's better for us to go alone as funerals are depressing" Instead of making out they are "missing something". It's not like they even have same age cousins it would be an opportunity for them to see.

    It's all about you isn't it !!

    If I were your husband I'd be petrified you would sit through the funeral and the wake shooting evil looks at his bereaved siblings and step father or worse make veiled comments and start a row.

    You claim to have loved your MIL- the best way you can show that love is to show a respectful attitude to her funeral and wake.... and to her bereaved children.

    Thank you for your input I am very clear now on how you think I should deal with the situation.
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  • ALI1973ALI1973 Forumite
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    I do agree that the OP comes across as very unsupportive of her husband at a time when he needs her full support. I also think that she should respect her f-i-l's wishes, even if she doesn't agree with them, and just accept it as his wish without grizzling about her husband's family to him at this sad time.

    I don't see why it matters where she sits. If someone wants her to sit in a particular place they will tell her. However, I do think that to pointedly sit at the back, away from her husband's family, is piling yet more stress and angst upon her OP and is yet again showing an unsupportive attitude.

    Neither do I see why she can't just contact someone to ask where the crematorium is, instead of expecting her husband to do it.

    Having said all that, I do understand how such an event can be very stressful to someone who suffers from anxiety, but she really needs to try to be the strong one on this occasion and give her husband the support he needs and deserves, without worrying about the rest of his family.

    Just my two pennorth.

    Thank you for your response. I appreciate that you do not like the way I feel about the situation, and I am clear with how you feel that I should handle it.
  • Janey13Janey13 Forumite
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    I agree with Duchy and believe you have, for whatever reason, got this all out of proportion and turned what should be a normal event into a drama.
    My father in law didn't want any young family children going to their grandmother's funeral which we quite understood and respected his wishes. Instead of telling them they had been banned we told them that their granddad didn't want to see them get upset which was true. We all contributed to a family wreath which is quite common and practical these days.
    Funerals often throw people together who wouldn't otherwise want to be but most people accept this and get on with it without making any fuss and bother. If you want to know where the crematorium is help your husband and pick up the phone and ask and do exactly what he wants to do on the day and stop turning this into a drama of your own making.
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    It's quite common these days to see in funeral notices "Family flowers only" and that's often just one big arrangement.

    We had a big coffin spray from the family for Mum and Dad and donations to the hospice if people wanted to contribute something.

    There were a few groups of wreaths left out from earlier cremations but it seems to be the rarer option these days.
  • ALI1973ALI1973 Forumite
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    Thank you all for sharing your opinions, I really do appreciate you taking the time, even those who vehemently don't like how I feel.

    The world would not be a good place if we all thought alike, and I have read some great tips that are helping me to deal with the situation. Some have said that this is all about me, and for the purpose of this thread it is, I have used it to rationalise my own feelings, and it has given some distance and perspective for exploring the best options for us as a family.

    For anyone who cares to know, it was DH who decided what was told to my children about them no longer being able to attend, although we delivered the news together.

    People who know both DH and me well (including some who also know his family) have also said that they disagree with FIL decision, and those that know his family have also said that they think it is somewhat borne out of resentment of my DH not visiting when they wanted, they also think that DH should to some extent, if not now, soon, start standing up for himself with his family.

    DH has also now had instruction on where they want everyone to sit, so as I suspected there was a plan in place. And I also am now aware of the exact Crematorium. This has given me so much relief, as I now have a clear route (printed and sat nav) and no longer feel worried that I will cause offence when in the chapel.

    I am afraid despite the comments that suggest my children's nor my feelings should bear any consideration in this situation, I respectfully disagree. I believe we are all permitted to feel and grieve, and especially at this moment it is harder to switch those feelings off.

    As I stated earlier, I shall attend as per my DH's request, and I shall indeed "suck it up", but it will not change my feelings toward his family. I only hope that when this is over that my DH will also respect my wishes that I no longer want any contact with his family.

    I have now planned a memorial service for my children and will send some balloons with messages skyward (thank you to whoever suggested it).

    Should you wish to know how it goes, let me know.
  • edited 7 January 2015 at 8:02PM
    ALI1973ALI1973 Forumite
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    edited 7 January 2015 at 8:02PM
    Janey13 wrote: »
    I agree with Duchy and believe you have, for whatever reason, got this all out of proportion and turned what should be a normal event into a drama.
    My father in law didn't want any young family children going to their grandmother's funeral which we quite understood and respected his wishes. Instead of telling them they had been banned we told them that their granddad didn't want to see them get upset which was true. *We all contributed to a family wreath which is quite common and practical these days.
    Funerals often throw people together who wouldn't otherwise want to be but most people accept this and get on with it without making any fuss and bother. If you want to know where the crematorium is help your husband and pick up the phone and ask and do exactly what he wants to do on the day and stop turning this into a drama of your own making.

    I don't think I have ever said this is the word we used. We simply told them that they would no longer be able to attend the funeral and wake as Granddad did not want children to attend. They asked why, we told them because he feels he isn't coping very well.

    * we have no issue having a "family wreath" but DH would have liked to have had a say in what it looks like/what flowers were being used.
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