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MIL funeral, but FIL won't allow my children to attend - Page 7

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

edited 7 January 2015 at 8:33PM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
211 replies 22.6K views
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  • Torry_QuineTorry_Quine Forumite
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    Very good point above. Thinking back to when my Grandma died, my sister was 9 and I was 6. We lived 150 miles away and like you, had no family nearby. We came up as a family, but sis & I were shipped off to a friend of my Aunt's for the funeral/wake. Our half brother (age 19) was allowed to attend. At that age, I didn't question why we weren't going, though I was devastated at the loss of my Grandma. This was in the 1970s.


    Perhaps FIL is of the age where people fully expect no one will take children anyway, so has not felt the need to stipulate to anyone other than yourselves? No idea, just rambling...

    It was the early '70s when I went to my grandparent's funeral at 9 and my sibling 7. I would have been very upset to not have gone.
    Lost my soulmate so life is empty.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
  • When my Dad died I organised the funeral and I stipulated that a family member was not to attend.

    I would have been very distressed and upset if my wishes had not been respected. It was a difficult enough day as it was. Please, please respect your FIL wishes with good grace, he is experiencing a devastating loss, and some semblance of control of the funeral and wake may just help him to cope a little better than he may otherwise.

    OP I think you are being overly precious about this on your children's behalf and they are getting upset because you are upset about the situation. You are taking the whole thing far too personally, especially as your children haven't seen MIL for four years (a very long time in childhood)

    At this time it is your DH who most needs your support now and at both the funeral and the wake. Your children have not had such a significant loss by a long way. I agree with Mojisola
    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.
    It is a good idea to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.
    James Douglas
  • ALI1973ALI1973 Forumite
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    Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. I am taking on board all the comments and trying to put it into the right perspective.

    Just to clarify - We will not be taking the children as per FIL insistence.

    I cannot respect FIL decision as I think it's cruel to deny my children (who are old enough to know what is happening, how to behave etc) the option of paying their respects to their Grandma - I know they haven't seen her for 4 years, but that is because she couldn't remember us, and became agitated after about 30 mins of a visit, which after a 4 hour drive, with no hotels local is quite a strain on us all, so we decided that DH visiting solo was the way forward (we did discuss this with FIL who agreed at the time).

    The decision is do I go with DH? or do I remain at home to support my children? - DH says he will resent me if I don't go, whereas, I feel guilty about leaving my children to grieve on their own? - I know it shouldn't be about me - but I feel it's been foisted upon me to choose between my husband and my children.
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    ALI1973 wrote: »
    The decision is do I go with DH? or do I remain at home to support my children? - DH says he will resent me if I don't go, whereas, I feel guilty about leaving my children to grieve on their own? - I know it shouldn't be about me - but I feel it's been foisted upon me to choose between my husband and my children.

    But you are making it about you - your DH wants you there so go!
  • I think your children, given the opportunity, will find ways to cope on the day of the funeral, be it friends, supportive teaching staff etc. This could be an opportunity for growth and discovering how to cope. They will not fall apart. (And to be honest, if they did, they will discover that the world does not end and they have inner resources that will help then to find ways to get through it.)


    The older two also can be taught to see it as an opportunity to put daddy's needs first (and to be honest at 9, I think a child is able to do that too)


    I really really want you to go with your husband and support him, with a willing heart.
    I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once
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  • ALI1973ALI1973 Forumite
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    Mojisola wrote: »
    But you are making it about you - your DH wants you there so go!

    I don't feel I am making it about me, more that I am the one left having to choose between supporting my hubby OR my children, that isn't me making it about me.

    It's all well and good saying the kids will be fine, but what if they're not? - it will be me who has to live with the repercussions of that, you see.
  • duchyduchy Forumite
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    If your children haven't seen her in four years then they are grieving because you have told them they should be upset - You've created this situation .

    If you are matter of a fact and tell the children that yes it is sad - but as they hadn't seen her in so long there isn't any reason for them to be super sad or to attend the funeral but you and Dad are going and the best way they can help Dad who is extra sad because he has lost his Mum is to be good for the friends who are looking after them whilst you look after Dad.

    There really isn't any need for drama or to feel your nose is put out of joint.
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

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  • Torry_QuineTorry_Quine Forumite
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    Mojisola wrote: »
    But you are making it about you - your DH wants you there so go!

    I disagree, she's between a rock and a hard place. Either she supports her husband and goes or she stays home and comforts the children, she can't do both. She is also grieving herself.
    Lost my soulmate so life is empty.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
  • edited 3 January 2015 at 8:40PM
    duchyduchy Forumite
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    edited 3 January 2015 at 8:40PM
    ALI1973 wrote: »
    I don't feel I am making it about me, more that I am the one left having to choose between supporting my hubby OR my children, that isn't me making it about me.

    It's all well and good saying the kids will be fine, but what if they're not? - it will be me who has to live with the repercussions of that, you see.

    Surely it will be both parents who will deal with any upset .......and frankly without you feeding it -it'll just be a day they go to friends rather than home after school. If there ARE repercussions they will be of your making because you've involved the children into your drama .

    Your OH has asked for your support - why can't you do that instead of creating all this drama about the children ? He's your family too !!

    What repercussions are you imagining ? The youngest is nine - it's not like they are babies after all.
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

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  • bossymoobossymoo Forumite
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    I agree with the majority. A funeral is not an experience to tick off for children. They have not seen the family for years. I can understand why he doesn't want them there. When my DH died I didn't want children at his funeral either. It would have been disrespectful of anyone to bring them when I'd asked them not to. I would rather people stayed away than deliberately go against my wishes on such a day.

    As it happens, my own children (1 & 2 at the time) didn't come to the crematorium for their fathers funeral. I felt it wasn't appropriate and that was my decision to make. We had our own Memorial Day shortly afterwards, where I could spend time explaining to them, and taking photographs that they can keep forever.

    You don't have to understand his decision to be able to respect it. He has probably based it on far more things than you know about.
    Bossymoo

    Away with the fairies :beer:
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