Taking young children to ex’s funeral
HF - Jan 23 2022 at 09:58
Me and my ex broke up 8 yrs ago, it was a messy break up but for the last 4 years it’s been amicable. We’ve both re married and all get along, yes we argue sometimes but who doesn’t.
Sadly he passed away a few weeks ago. Leaving our 7 and 11 year old utterly heartbroken.
It’s his funeral on Thursday. Since he passed I’ve had his wife round for dinner, she’s seen the kids and we text every. We do not have a problem with each other at all.
I have got on with his family for the last 8 years, really well. His sister and his mum.
His sister even came to my wedding in July.
We had a falling out in October and she hasn’t really spoken to me since.
Myself and his mum are still in contact.
Yesterday I received a text from his sisters husband saying I was not welcome at the funeral. I was in shock.
I don’t want to message his mum and upset her. His wife is happy for me to go, as are all his friends and our 2 little girls dont want to go with anyone but me.
Do I go? Everything in me creams yet but his sister is now making up stories about me and saying I’m not respecting the familles wishes.
No one will stand up to her as she is pretty fierce.
I am so heartbroken.
To me, my place is with my children, to support them.
I thought your question might be, "Are the children too young to go to a funeral?" Sadly, no it isn't.
I would not communicate with her about it (or anyone else, either) maintain **absolute** 'radio silence,' and take the children to the funeral. Of course the children should be at their FATHER'S funeral, and of course the person who should accompany them is THEIR MOTHER.
A short story:
My mother-in-law was an awesome woman. The divorce between her son (my husband) and his first wife was just dreadful. "Alexis" did everything she could to keep "Joe" estranged from his daughter, pretty well succeeded, too. Anyway, Alexis and child were in the state visiting her parents, and had told Joe that it wasn't possible to see his daughter, not even for a few hours on ONE day. My mother-in-law put on her coat and got her car keys, and said, "I'm going to pick up my granddaughter." Joe told her Alexis had said no to a visit. She said, "Alexis is staying with her mother. I know Mary, and she may not be happy about it, but she'll be too polite to turn me away." So she went and picked the kid up.
Unless the "falling out" is that you told your ex-sister-in-law's husband she was cheating on him or something that outrageous, I don't get this at all. Maybe not make a big deal about it, but tell the children before you go, that Auntie Faye is upset with you and may be angry with *you* for attending, but it's got nothing to do with them. "Dad and I didn't get along, but people don't turn feelings off and on like a faucet, and we still care about Dad's family."
You know these folks better than I do. I can imagine Ex-SIL being angry, but not making a scene - at least there.
BTW, my late husband attended the funerals of both his ex parents-in-law. No scenes, nothing. In fact, when his father-in-law was dying, he specifically asked for my husband to visit- which we did. I know his ex-wife wasn't happy about it. She respected her father's wishes enough to be civil.
Funerals are our way to say goodbye and show our respect for our deceased. We take our kids to teach them to respect the ritual and to help them to understand and deal with the grief.
Apart from the fact that the actions of your in laws tell you what sort of people they are, you need to step up, grab your kids and attend that funeral. That very action will solve a few issues straight up but it'll also teach your SIL that she can't dictate to you no matter how fierce she is supposed to be.
As for respecting the family's wishes, a funeral is about a gathering of people who share a common loss and nobody has the right to say as to who gets to go or who doesn't.