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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 3
    • Torry Quine
    • By Torry Quine 3rd Jan 15, 5:12 PM
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    Torry Quine
    He just gets angry and says he can't cope.
    Originally posted by ALI1973
    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?
    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
    • ALI1973
    • By ALI1973 3rd Jan 15, 5:13 PM
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    ALI1973
    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.
    Originally posted by Quizzical Squirrel
    I had thought of it that way. Thank you, that gives another perspective.
    • duchy
    • By duchy 3rd Jan 15, 5:14 PM
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    duchy
    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.
    Originally posted by Savvy_Sue

    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.
    Last edited by duchy; 03-01-2015 at 5:24 PM.
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    • ALI1973
    • By ALI1973 3rd Jan 15, 5:19 PM
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    ALI1973
    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.
    • ALI1973
    • By ALI1973 3rd Jan 15, 5:21 PM
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    ALI1973
    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?
    Originally posted by Torry Quine
    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?
    • gwynlas
    • By gwynlas 3rd Jan 15, 5:24 PM
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    gwynlas
    MIL funeral, but FIL won't allow my children to attend
    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???
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 3rd Jan 15, 5:24 PM
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    Mojisola
    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.
    Originally posted by ALI1973
    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.
    • ALI1973
    • By ALI1973 3rd Jan 15, 5:25 PM
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    ALI1973
    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.
    Originally posted by duchy
    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?)
    • BobQ
    • By BobQ 3rd Jan 15, 5:27 PM
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    BobQ
    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.
    Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are incapable of forming such opinions.
    • ALI1973
    • By ALI1973 3rd Jan 15, 5:31 PM
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    ALI1973
    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???
    Originally posted by gwynlas
    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.
    • Andypandyboy
    • By Andypandyboy 3rd Jan 15, 5:32 PM
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    Andypandyboy
    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.
    Originally posted by BobQ
    I don't think that is the way to go at all.
    • ALI1973
    • By ALI1973 3rd Jan 15, 5:34 PM
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    ALI1973
    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.
    Originally posted by BobQ
    In a way I do agree with you, but as you say it would have to be DH's decision to go against the families wishes, and he won't do that.

    I feel the siblings could have helped convince FIL that not permitting our children to attend is wrong.
    Last edited by ALI1973; 07-01-2015 at 6:42 PM.
    • Torry Quine
    • By Torry Quine 3rd Jan 15, 5:35 PM
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    Torry Quine
    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?
    Originally posted by ALI1973
    It does seem strange that he wouldn't want all the family around him.

    I went to my grandparent's funeral when I was 9 and my sibling was 7 so not allowing children is a new one on me.

    Recently I was at the funeral of a friend who died young and there were young children there and it helped to ease the tension at times.
    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
    • Armorica
    • By Armorica 3rd Jan 15, 5:36 PM
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    Armorica
    Take the kids up with you and drop them at the cinema with some money to watch a film or two while you do the funeral stuff with DH. Then, with kids, have your own mini-memorial up there in a park or something (or visit the crematorium with them after the rest of the family have left...)
    • ALI1973
    • By ALI1973 3rd Jan 15, 5:38 PM
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    ALI1973
    It does seem strange that he wouldn't want all the family around him.

    I went to my grandparent's funeral when I was 9 and my sibling was 7 so not allowing children is a new one on me.

    Recently I was at the funeral of a friend who died young and there were young children there and it helped to ease the tension at times.
    Originally posted by Torry Quine
    This is my experience also, and my children are aware how to behave at a funeral (sadly).

    I do accept that we have to adhere to his wishes, I really hoped there was a compromise that I hadn't thought of that would allow everyone's wishes to be respected. Sadly not.
    • ALI1973
    • By ALI1973 3rd Jan 15, 5:40 PM
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    ALI1973
    Take the kids up with you and drop them at the cinema with some money to watch a film or two while you do the funeral stuff with DH. Then, with kids, have your own mini-memorial up there in a park or something (or visit the crematorium with them after the rest of the family have left...)
    Originally posted by Armorica
    Thank you for the suggestion, where they live is large enough for a cinema or such, and tbh I wouldn't be comfortable leaving them unsupervised. I do appreciate the suggestion though.
    • Vikipollard
    • By Vikipollard 3rd Jan 15, 5:43 PM
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    Vikipollard
    I think her DH needs to go to the wake as part of his grieving process.
    Originally posted by Brighton belle


    I'm not sure I agree - it seems more that he feels it would be disrespectful if he(they) didn't attend the wake.


    Unless I am reading it totally wrong, FIL has stipulated the terms of everything for the funeral (not allowed own flowers, not allowed to mention memories that don't include everyone, not allowed to take the children, must attend the wake). Whose grieving process is this addressing? Would not appear to be the son's - who let's not forget has lost his Mum.


    To me, attending the wake would be about duty, not the son's grieving process.
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    • Brighton belle
    • By Brighton belle 3rd Jan 15, 5:44 PM
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    Brighton belle
    It does seem strange that he wouldn't want all the family around him.
    Originally posted by Torry Quine
    Sadly, I don't think he regards them as family - remember he hasn't seen them for 4 years and didn't feel able to speak to them on the phone during that time. Therefore it is a logical extension that he doesn't want these 'strangers' around him at this time.
    I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once
  • archived user
    When my Stepfather died my Mother totally refused to tell my Stepfathers daughter because she really didn't want her to come. The daughter lived in a care home as she was mentally retarded and she said she wouldn't have understood anyway. To this day I don't know if she knows what happened to her Dad or in fact, if she remembers him.

    I felt at the time my Mother was making the wrong selfish decision but she was his wife and I accepted her decision (even if I thought it was the wrong one).

    Personally I was about 9 when my Granddad died. I didn't go to the funeral. It was the right decision. Too many grown up emotions for a young child to deal with.

    To be honest I think your blowing this all up out of proportion. Unless there is good reason for him spiting your family, I'd let it go. Actually, if there was good reason, I'd still let it go.
    • theEnd
    • By theEnd 3rd Jan 15, 5:51 PM
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    theEnd
    tbh I wouldn't be comfortable leaving them unsupervised
    Originally posted by ALI1973
    At 9, 13 & 14?

    That seemed the best suggestion to me.
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