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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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  • ALI1973ALI1973 Forumite
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    He hasn't seen your children for 4 years.

    They were aged 5-10 when he last saw them and that's how he's remembering them and that's what he doesn't want to cope with.

    I had thought of it that way. Thank you, that gives another perspective.
  • edited 3 January 2015 at 6:24PM
    duchyduchy Forumite
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    edited 3 January 2015 at 6:24PM
    Savvy_Sue wrote: »
    There is a part of me wondering what's the worst thing which could happen if you take the children to the service? You fall out with FIL and SILs. Is that much loss?

    Not sure what I would do personally: probably leave them with friends and stick to DH like a leech, but not stay long at wake as a result.


    Seriously ?

    You are suggesting the OP stomps over everyone else's wishes because hers come first ......at a funeral ?

    I had a similar situation with my brother- He didn't want a particular relative at my mother's funeral . The relative's brothers and sister (who did attend) didn't really understand why my brother was so adamant (I understood his reasons but wouldn't have taken it to that point but yes him not attending made it easier to get through a very difficult day) however they thankfully respected that the day was going to be terribly hard on my brother and the attendance of their brother would add to his anguish. We simply didn't tell him where the funeral was -and asked his siblings not to tell him either as he is the type of man who would have ignored the request not to attend and rocked up anyway <sigh>

    You didn't have a close relationship with your MIL in recent years OP nor did your children so your FIL's feelings come first at this time- either send your husband alone or find babysitters . People do all sorts of odd times when in grief -and to even consider going against his wishes when his grief is so raw would be unkind and likely further alienate you from the rest of the family.

    Children don't need to attend funerals and the older generation do generally expect them not to attend. It may not be your way - but it isn't your spouse's funeral. It isn't a slight to your kids- the funeral isn't about your children it's about your inlaws. The kindest thing you can do for them both as well as the most respectful is to follow FIL's wishes.
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  • ALI1973ALI1973 Forumite
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    Mojisola - Andypandyboy, you are both right I have taken it personally, my children are upset because they cannot attend their grandmothers funeral and as they only "children" in the family I am finding it hard not to take it personally, especially as all the family know how difficult it is going to be for us to sort out the children stay here and us going there.

    I guess I hoped that there was something I hadn't thought of that would magically allow me to be both a support to my kids and to my DH without me feeling like I am failing at both roles.
  • ALI1973ALI1973 Forumite
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    I know you've said that the children aren't going but is seems sad to me that the family can't grieve together. I wonder what others may think when the children aren't there?

    Wonder what he thinks he will need to do to cope?

    I do too, I have never encountered a funeral before that banned certain people from it, this is a new one on me.

    Personally, I accept that upon death the ones left behind don't cope for a while, so I'm not sure that them not being there will really make a difference either way?
  • gwynlasgwynlas Forumite
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    I don't know the age of you MIL & FIL but it certainly wasn't the done thing for children to attend funerals in the 50's & 60's and I wasn't allowed to go to that of a favoured aunt. More recently my great nephew attended the church service for his father at 8 but not the internment.
    Your children won't know anyone else there and have little memory of your MIL as she was. Go with your husband to the ceremony and wake as it is an important part of the ritual and a time to look back on your MIL pre alzheimers. I think you should travel by public transport if possible and ask your mum if able to stay over with the children, if she cannot then beg a favour off a friend.
    Your DH is part of the family and they all need to be together at this time.
    What would you do if it was an emergency situation and you needed somebody to take care of your children???
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  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    ALI1973 wrote: »
    I guess I hoped that there was something I hadn't thought of that would magically allow me to be both a support to my kids and to my DH without me feeling like I am failing at both roles.

    If you want to be upset because the day isn't happening like you would want, that's your choice.

    Your OH needs your support at the funeral and the wake, if he wants to go. If you go without the children, you can focus on supporting him completely.

    Your children don't need you on that day - for them, the day of the funeral won't be any different to the other days since her death.

    You can have your own family memorial for her and that's when the children can be your focus.
  • ALI1973ALI1973 Forumite
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    duchy wrote: »
    You didn't have a close relationship with your MIL in recent years OP nor did your children so your FIL's feelings come first at this time- either send your husband alone or find babysitters . People do all sorts of odd times when in grief -and to even consider going against his wishes when his grief is so raw would be unkind and likely further alienate you from the rest of the family.

    Children don't need to attend funerals and the older generation do generally expect them not to attend. It may not be your way - but it isn't your spouse's funeral. It isn't a slight to your kids- the funeral isn't about your children it's about your inlaws. The kindest thing you can do for them both as well as the most respectful is to follow FIL's wishes.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I will not be taking the children, but that does not mean that I agree nor accept that that choice should have been made by FIL alone (DH actually knew his mother longer ifswim?)
  • BobQBobQ Forumite
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    OP, sorry to be blunt but you should tell DH to act like a man and take his children to the crematorium. FIL can stop them going in any funeral car but DH should travel independently with you and your children. He cannot stop them attending the service.

    As to the wake, if that is at their home or in a private function room he is hiring he can stop them attending, in which case DH should explain that he will not attend either. If it is in the open area of a pub it is up to the landlord to exclude people not FIL.

    Frankly I do not think he will create a scene in front of others. If he does you should all leave as a family. Your DH may have divided loyalties but he needs to stand up for his children's right to pay their respects.
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  • ALI1973ALI1973 Forumite
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    gwynlas wrote: »
    I don't know the age of you MIL & FIL but it certainly wasn't the done thing for children to attend funerals in the 50's & 60's and I wasn't allowed to go to that of a favoured aunt. More recently my great nephew attended the church service for his father at 8 but not the internment.
    Your children won't know anyone else there and have little memory of your MIL as she was. Go with your husband to the ceremony and wake as it is an important part of the ritual and a time to look back on your MIL pre alzheimers. I think you should travel by public transport if possible and ask your mum if able to stay over with the children, if she cannot then beg a favour off a friend.
    Your DH is part of the family and they all need to be together at this time.
    What would you do if it was an emergency situation and you needed somebody to take care of your children???

    They are in their 70's. (as is my mother, who incidentally said that it was my choice whether my children attended my own dads funeral, but I accept probably was the "done thing")

    We couldn't go by public transport as it would take 7-8hrs to travel each way.

    We have a very good network of friends who would help in an emergency until we could get help over from godparents, my family from other parts of the country. BUT I would not impose them overnight in this situation as I feel they will need me later in the day to support them in their grief.
  • BobQ wrote: »
    OP, sorry to be blunt but you should tell DH to act like a man and take his children to the crematorium. FIL can stop them going in any funeral car but DH should travel independently with you and your children. He cannot stop them attending the service.

    As to the wake, if that is at their home or in a private function room he is hiring he can stop them attending, in which case DH should explain that he will not attend either. If it is in the open area of a pub it is up to the landlord to exclude people not FIL.

    Frankly I do not think he will create a scene in front of others. If he does you should all leave as a family. Your DH may have divided loyalties but he needs to stand up for his children's right to pay their respects.

    I don't think that is the way to go at all.
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