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    • ALI1973
    • By ALI1973 3rd Jan 15, 4:01 PM
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    ALI1973
    MIL funeral, but FIL won't allow my children to attend
    • #1
    • 3rd Jan 15, 4:01 PM
    MIL funeral, but FIL won't allow my children to attend 3rd Jan 15 at 4:01 PM
    I am at loss of what to do, as I feel torn. My much loved MIL passed away last week after years of suffering. They live 4 hrs away. I have children. Due to the circumstances of her illness, they have not seen her for 4 years, but we have tried to maintain telephone contact with FIL, it has been difficult and he has not wanted to speak with the children. DH has visited alone for the past 4 years.

    There are brothers and sisters who all have adult children, only mine are younger. Sisters have pretty much estranged themselves from us, I am not totally sure why, as I have always encouraged DH to keep in touch, but I will admit that eventually I left it to him to converse with his family (as I do with mine).

    Everything regarding the funeral has been told to us (no input from us). Anyway, we have made plans for the funeral, only to be told today by FIL that our children are not welcome.

    We do not have family local to us, and will have to rely on goodwill of friends to watch our children if we both attend, not to mention how upset our children are that they cannot say goodbye. My DH wants me to be with him at the crematorium and the wake after, BUT, I feel I am betraying my children by "socialising" with his family (whom I am very disappointed and angry with) at the wake.

    I know this is not what my MIL would have wanted (we were very close) but quite rightly DH doesn't want to cause a scene, I also though don't want to pretend all is ok when it really is not.

    What would you do?
    Last edited by ALI1973; 07-01-2015 at 6:33 PM.
Page 2
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 3rd Jan 15, 4:41 PM
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    Mojisola
    Why would he need to keep his emotions in check? for me, the funeral is the beginning of the grieving process and I would have thought that everyone accepts that there are tears going to be flowing?
    Originally posted by ALI1973
    Everyone grieves differently and he may not want other people to see him crying.
    • ALI1973
    • By ALI1973 3rd Jan 15, 4:43 PM
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    ALI1973
    He's not - he just asking that they don't come to the funeral.

    We've had a cluster of deaths in the family the last couple of years and found that people don't behave rationally when they are grieving and I give anyone in that situation a lot of leeway.

    He may have a good reason - worried about being able to keep a stiff upper lip or having had a horrible experience as a child himself at a funeral - or it may be a totally irrational decision.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    I think I see where you are coming from, but it still feels like "my grief, trumps your grief" (that probably sounds harsh, not meant to be but hard to put in writing what I mean)
    • Andypandyboy
    • By Andypandyboy 3rd Jan 15, 4:43 PM
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    Andypandyboy
    I would write FIL a letter or an email and gently put your side. If he does not respond I would go and leave the children at home and stay as long as my DH wanted/needed to stay. This is his mother and if he does not do what he thinks is right he may regret it/resent you.

    Then,
    given that FIL is step father, I would cut all contact until he contacted us.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 3rd Jan 15, 4:45 PM
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    Mojisola
    I think I see where you are coming from, but it still feels like "my grief, trumps your grief" (that probably sounds harsh, not meant to be but hard to put in writing what I mean)
    Originally posted by ALI1973
    It is his wife's funeral - his feelings are more important than anyone else's!
    • Vikipollard
    • By Vikipollard 3rd Jan 15, 4:48 PM
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    Vikipollard
    Are your OH's sisters "full" sisters or "step"?


    Just wondering if this is in any way a factor.


    I accept people grieve in different ways - many selfishly, without thought for how this will impact on others. It's not okay.


    If it was me, I would attend to say my goodbyes to the MIL you were close to, and to support DH. I wouldn't go to the wake though (either of you). You have been given a perfect reason not to - you need to get back to your children as the wishes of FIL prevented them from being there.


    Then as the lovely post earlier suggested, have your own private celebration of her life with your family.


    Very sorry for your loss.
    LBM July 2006. Debt free 01 Sept 12 ..
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    • cte1111
    • By cte1111 3rd Jan 15, 4:49 PM
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    cte1111
    I can understand why you are upset, families in general and in law in particular can be very hard work. However I don't think your children are being "denied the chance to mourn". They've probably already mourned the loss of their Gran in their own way, as they effectively lost her 4 years ago, since they've not seen her.

    It sounds like a good idea to have your own time of remembrance for your MIL with your children and then you can all choose to remember her at her best in your own time.

    We've had a number of family funerals in the last few years sadly, my children chose not to attend any of them, which on the whole I thought was OK. The first funeral was for my Aunt, who died early and was very close to me. I would have found that funeral even more difficult if my children had been there, as I would have not felt able to cope with the extra pressure of them possibly seeing me upset as well as coping with their feelings. Without children there, I was able to allow myself to feel sad about my loss, with the support of family and friends, without having to concentrate on my children, who would otherwise have to be my main focus.
    • DUTR
    • By DUTR 3rd Jan 15, 4:49 PM
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    DUTR
    Could the kids be shipped off to their other grandparents for a visit, including overnight? Leaving you and your OH to attend without pressures of returning - and without leaving first/early from the wake?

    You're turning into a bit of an "all about me" person otherwise. Funeralzilla style.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Which was the impression I was picking up.
    • ALI1973
    • By ALI1973 3rd Jan 15, 4:50 PM
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    ALI1973
    Could the kids be shipped off to their other grandparents for a visit, including overnight? Leaving you and your OH to attend without pressures of returning - and without leaving first/early from the wake?

    You're turning into a bit of an "all about me" person otherwise. Funeralzilla style.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I'm afraid my dad died ten years ago, and my mother is unable to look after them, so it's friends we will have to rely on and could not expect them to stay overnight.

    You're right I am very conscious I am sounding as though its about me, it's really not, and I am trying to be rational. My child has just asked who they go to at school on the day of the funeral if they are upset, and it breaks my heart that I cannot support my own kids and my hubby together.
    Last edited by ALI1973; 07-01-2015 at 6:37 PM.
    • Brighton belle
    • By Brighton belle 3rd Jan 15, 4:51 PM
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    Brighton belle
    Your youngest who is now 9 hasn't seen their grandmother since they were 5, so where is their deep need to say goodbye coming from?
    Me and my siblings were not allowed at our grandmothers funeral, age 18,16 and 12 at our grandfathers insistence. No one acted insulted and my parents both went without us.
    I think there would be greater value in you holding your own little ceremony at home for the children and sharing stories about grandma. I've learnt far more about mine in the many years since.
    I think you should go to the wake (and funeral) and support your husband - make it about him not you.
    That isn't meant to not acknowledge this feels difficult for you and that 4 years ago effectively, you lost someone you were close to.
    Last edited by Brighton belle; 03-01-2015 at 4:53 PM.
    I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once
    • ALI1973
    • By ALI1973 3rd Jan 15, 4:53 PM
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    ALI1973
    I really don't think you should take the children. Now you know the FIL's wishes, what could that seem like - spite? I don't think you want that kind of misinterpretation at such a time.

    FIL is probably saying no to all children. If he lets yours in, he'll have to let in others and they may not be so well behaved or need specific arrangements made for them that he just isn't up to at the moment. Just like weddings.
    Originally posted by Quizzical Squirrel
    I am going to respect his wish and not take the children, although I totally disagree with this.

    It is only my children who have been told they can't go as the obituary is an open invite, so in theory, other peoples children COULD turn up.
    • Torry Quine
    • By Torry Quine 3rd Jan 15, 4:53 PM
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    Torry Quine
    *This is a nice idea, think we will do that.

    I know I should just suck it up, but I am finding it really hard not to feel resentful, and this worries me, in so much, that if asked why the children aren't there I am likely to launch into a tirade, which would be inappropriate.

    I guess I just don't understand why anyone would actively deny another persons right to mourn?
    Originally posted by ALI1973
    It does seem strange to deny grandchildren to go to the funeral of a grandparent but we can act illogically when grieving.

    Is it possible to ask him the reason and see if you can allay any fears he has?
    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
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 3rd Jan 15, 4:54 PM
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    KxMx
    I think he is the chief mourner and you should respect his wishes.

    I went to a funeral aged 20 of a friend who died far too young.

    Frankly I was horrified with the service as were many others my age. We didn't feel it was "him" at all nor what he would have wanted. But that was what his Mum wanted so you know our feelings didn't really matter. We are pretty upset years on there is no memorial stone and she keeps his ashes at home- but that it totally her choice and we respect that.

    Also when Granddad died 2 years ago we were all happy to abide by Nan's wishes, she was the one suffering the most, if we were asked our input we gave our honest thoughts but if not we let her organise things as she wanted.
    • ALI1973
    • By ALI1973 3rd Jan 15, 4:55 PM
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    ALI1973
    Are your OH's sisters "full" sisters or "step"?


    Just wondering if this is in any way a factor.


    I accept people grieve in different ways - many selfishly, without thought for how this will impact on others. It's not okay.


    If it was me, I would attend to say my goodbyes to the MIL you were close to, and to support DH. I wouldn't go to the wake though (either of you). You have been given a perfect reason not to - you need to get back to your children as the wishes of FIL prevented them from being there.


    Then as the lovely post earlier suggested, have your own private celebration of her life with your family.


    Very sorry for your loss.
    Originally posted by Vikipollard
    Thank you, they are all full siblings. FIL (step) has not spoken with his own children for many years.
    • DUTR
    • By DUTR 3rd Jan 15, 4:57 PM
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    DUTR
    I'm afraid my dad died ten years ago, and my mother is unable to look after them, so it's friends we will have to rely on and could not expect them to stay overnight.

    You're right I am very conscious I am sounding as though its about me, it's really not, and I am trying to be rational. My DD has just asked who she goes to at school on the day of the funeral if she is upset, and it breaks my heart that I cannot support my own kids and my hubby together.
    Originally posted by ALI1973
    I don't see why there needs to be such a drama, the hubby goes to his Mother's funeral service, you stay at home with the children and they continue thier day as normal. There will be (sadly) more funeral's in future that can be attended.
    TBH it is annoying when a service is in flow and children are causing distraction, I have been to services where the parents will take the crying baby outside, or some just do not enter the church etc in the 1st place.
    • Brighton belle
    • By Brighton belle 3rd Jan 15, 4:59 PM
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    Brighton belle

    I wouldn't go to the wake though (either of you). You have been given a perfect reason not to - you need to get back to your children as the wishes of FIL prevented them from being there.

    Originally posted by Vikipollard
    I think her DH needs to go to the wake as part of his grieving process.
    I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once
    • ALI1973
    • By ALI1973 3rd Jan 15, 5:01 PM
    • 280 Posts
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    ALI1973
    Your youngest who is now 9 hasn't seen their grandmother since they were 5, so where is their deep need to say goodbye coming from?
    Me and my siblings were not allowed at our grandmothers funeral, age 18,16 and 12 at our grandfathers insistence. No one acted insulted and my parents both went without us.
    I think there would be greater value in you holding your own little ceremony at home for the children and sharing stories about grandma. I've learnt far more about mine in the many years since.
    I think you should go to the wake (and funeral) and support your husband - make it about him not you.
    That isn't meant to not acknowledge this feels difficult for you and that 4 years ago effectively, you lost someone you were close to.
    Originally posted by Brighton belle
    Yes we have been semi-grieving for years, and I don't think myself or DH realised how hard it would hit the children or us. My youngest is reacting to ours and her sisters grief, I know that, but she has asked to attend and had this not happened, I would have happily taken her.

    I think you are all very right, I have taken it all personally, and I really want to support my kids and my DH - I am just finding it hard to strike the balance, as DH doesn't (and possibly shouldn't) want to compromise on what I am comfortable with, as I want to leave straight after the funeral and come home to my kids.
    • ALI1973
    • By ALI1973 3rd Jan 15, 5:02 PM
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    ALI1973
    Is it possible to ask him the reason and see if you can allay any fears he has?
    Originally posted by Torry Quine
    He just gets angry and says he can't cope.
    • ALI1973
    • By ALI1973 3rd Jan 15, 5:04 PM
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    ALI1973
    I don't see why there needs to be such a drama, the hubby goes to his Mother's funeral service, you stay at home with the children and they continue thier day as normal. There will be (sadly) more funeral's in future that can be attended.
    TBH it is annoying when a service is in flow and children are causing distraction, I have been to services where the parents will take the crying baby outside, or some just do not enter the church etc in the 1st place.
    Originally posted by DUTR
    I have offered to stay home with the children, but DH says he needs me with him. Please be assured my children know exactly how to behave at a funeral and would not be any more of a distraction than any other mourner.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 3rd Jan 15, 5:06 PM
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    Mojisola
    He just gets angry and says he can't cope.
    Originally posted by ALI1973
    That's a good enough reason! I think you're taking this all too personally as if he has set out to individually annoy you.
    • Andypandyboy
    • By Andypandyboy 3rd Jan 15, 5:09 PM
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    Andypandyboy
    I think you are going to have to respect his decision then. If it is about his grief and how he can best get throught the day then I think it should be his way.
    You are taking it too personally- it is not about a slight to your children, it is about him managing his emotion and also seeing youngish children upset, it may be too much for him to contemplate.

    My own mother felt that way and our eldest child did not attend my father's funeral for that reason and because she believed that children should not be exposed to the depths of adult grief until absolutely necessary. Rightly or wrongly, but we respected her wishes and our son went to school as normal.
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