• Announcements

    • LatoyaADMIN

      What to do if you get a "Wrong Password" message   01/21/16

      You must reset your password (even if you know it's the right one) before you can sign into the community. Thanks to the upgrade, there's an issue with passwords and signing in. The good news is that you can click here: http://community.grandparents.com/index.php?/lostpassword/ to change your password (it'll let you reuse your old one). If you can't reach the email address connected to your account then please contact the admin at latoya@grandparents.com and I'll help you sort it out. 
    • LatoyaADMIN

      Anonymous posting is back   01/21/16

      We've removed the extra step that required you to go to the full-page editor to access the anonymous post option. Now, you can reply to a post and toggle the button to post anonymous (see photo below).    Read more on anonymous posting here:    In short, the mods can see who posts as anonymous, we moderate anonymous posts the same as revealed posts, you can reply anonymously to your own topic, you may report anonymous posts.
Oranges

Should you have a voice?

32 posts in this topic

When there is a death in the family of your spouse, do you expect to add an opinion to the funeral plans and/or arrangements? I'm going through this now and with so many siblings and family already involved, I'm choosing to keep my mouth shut.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it affected DH and I, I would make my concerns known to DH. And if it involved our money, I would expect to have a say.

When GMIL died (MIL's mom), I was blindsided a couple of times.

For one thing, before the funeral service began, DH and I were sitting in the pew behind MIL, SILs and FIL. BILs were in back of the chapel, because both had parts to play. Then, SIL2 stood up, turned around to face us, and commanded DH sit in front with them, leaving my side. At that point in time, it was a continuation of them dividing and conquering us, I felt. I asked one of the grandkids (my niece) if she would trade me places. "So you can sit near your DH? Sure." At 16, she was pretty bright. DH said in hindsight, he wouldn't have moved up to scrunch into the pew with them all, but he was like a deer in a headlight.

Second thing, I would've asked how we were all getting to the cemetery. MIL had arranged for rides for all the adults (who were either her DDs, or pall bearing DS and BILs). I was the only adult who had to drive herself to the cemetery, and I didn't know until we were scrambling for the cars. It was a bit hurtful, because DH and I had taken a couple of days off to be there for MIL and support her, when SILs didn't arrive until the last minute. I guess I figured wrongly that would've earned me a couple of brownie points to be included in the family limo, which had more than enough room.

It was another nail in the coffin (dark pun intended) of my relationship with them all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it depends on how much it affects me personally - am I being asked to do specific things, pay for things, etc.

I think it also depends on how much support/help/opinions are coming from the people who were closest to the deceased. When my MIL's SO died, there was no one else really around to support MIL besides DH, and he had never planned a funeral before. Thankfully SO had preplanned a lot of stuff, but there was some stuff that came up, so I offered my opinions/experiences to DH but left it up to him what to do with that. I didn't push for anything. I mainly supported him supporting his mother.

I've also had the experience of planning a funeral within a large extended family. I know with my Mom's, her siblings were supportive but not opinionated about what we did. I learned afterwards my aunt and uncle (Mom's sister and BIL) had some concerns during the planning, but my aunt wisely told her DH it was not up to them and they were staying out of it. Instead, aunt mentioned to me afterwards that they were happy to see we had included something in particular, and that we had found a way to make it work with my mom's beliefs/opinions. It would've been stressful and a strain on our relationship with them had they pushed it on us, and probably led to DB and I resisting it. 

So I think if your DH's family has a lot of cooks in the kitchen with this, I'd stay out of it unless it directly affects you (or your bank account). 

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I planned DH's memorial with him before his death...The kids opinions were considered, but none had any concerns. When MIL passed, I was included in the planning, but sat silently wearing beige...When FIL passed, shortly before DH & I were married, DH insisted I be included, but I voiced my comments to DH only. His sisters are sort of off the hook....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hubby and his brother along with SIL and I went to the funeral home to preplan and prepay MILs funeral to prepare to put her in assisted living.  SIL was trying to run the show just as I knew she would and the two brothers where sitting there not saying a word like I knew they would.   I had sworn to myself to stay out of it, but it was close to closing time and they weren't getting anywhere.  I simply ask what vault MIL had picked for FIL and yes, it was still available.  Problem solved!  Someone needed to be the voice of reason.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my particular situation right now, there are 5 siblings who are the children of the deceased and 4 siblings of the deceased along with gaggles of grands, nieces and nephews, all adults and all with an opinion and no one getting anything done. It truly boggles my mind that mil has been dead for 2 days now and they still don't know the arrangements. I know it's a time that family gets together but in my opinion they need to make arrangements and write the obit. It's not party time, let's grieve for grandma and hand me a beer. The oldest 3 of the mil are not taking into account the youngest 2. My dh is the youngest. He's frustrated and all I can do is listen to him because no one else is. I hate to say it, but I knew this would happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When my Dad died about ten years ago, they had already prearranged the main things other than date, time and music.  My two youngest sisters and my youngest niece along with my Mom made the final arrangements which I thought was the right thing to do.  They had the closest relationships due to distance for one thing.  I have been gone from "home" and living long distance for nearly 50 years now.  Seating arrangements for the family was left up to me to handle and I did it so diplomatically nobody felt slighted, nor did anyone argue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Years ago my former BIL died unexpectedly, he wasn't married at that time, but left 5 children. Under CA law, the decision making fell to the oldest child, a DD who lives in another state. She did consult with her sibs as well as her dad girlfriend and my SisIL, who actually knew him best. It all went off well. 

I just had a flashback...when MIL passed, she had been living with her older daughter (a drama queen if there ever was one) who chose an outfit for MIL that would have caused MIL to start turning on the spot. MIL was very particular about how she dressed for events, this was barely a step up from yard clothes....I did speak up then...went to her closet, got her favorite dressy blouse & a pair of black slacks and said THIS is what she'll be buried in. No one said a word...other SIL told me later she was happy I'd done that...she's never ever been able to stand up to the older sister. 

My kids helped choose the music for DH's service. He was an old rock'n'roller, but enjoyed all music, so the soundtrack is very revealing. DD chose Brad Paisley's "He Didn't Have To Be" to honor her step-dad...Makes me a little misty just typing that out...

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In this situation, I would wear beige and say nothing and just let the funeral be planned in a way that may not be what you would do but will get done.  I assume there is a funeral director on the other end if this funeral is happening at a church or another venue, so I would trust that this person will guide the process.  (My parents are funeral directors for their church, so I am familiar with the role they play for a funeral to happen on such short notice when people are grieving and naturally not as focused as they ordinarily would be).  Also, grieving takes so many different forms.  Some people seek solitude.  Some people want to be with others.  Some people cry.  Some people laugh about the good times.  In this case, your extended IL's are celebrating your MIL and not as focused on the funeral planning which I think is just part of how they are grieving.   I know when my ODB died suddenly and traumatically last summer, I just wanted to curl up in a ball in my bed and be alone and had zero involvement in the funeral planning.  I just wanted to be told the time and date of the funeral.  (I was very involved in feeding all the attendees after the funeral, however).  I also acknowledge that as a sibling, I felt there was a hierarchy concerning who had a say with my ODB's funeral with his wife being at the top, then my parents, and then I fell somewhere after that.  With a MIL, I would fall even further down  IMO, and incidentally this is how the law view it too.  IL's are not considered "family" by law unless you have been appointed to a role specifically by your MIL. 

I also want to say what happened to Oscars at her GMIL's funeral has nothing to do with wearing beige, rather it was more crappy behavior towards her that I think should be called out.  It was classless and disrespectful as Oscar's place was next to her DH during the funeral and ride to the cemetery.  I know going forward if she attends future funerals she and her DH would handle this much differently.  

 

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's tough Oranges. Unfortunately with big families there's too many opinions and not enough common sense to go around.

When my GF died, my mom and her siblings did work together to sort through things, although the bulk of it was left to my mom and aunt. They were 2/3 of the local siblings, and the other local sibling was disabled with some cognitive issues. They did try to take into account everyone's thoughts, but where they were executers, they were prepared to flex that legal muscle as a last resort if things weren't getting done or no consensus could be reached. They have one out of town sibling who was well known for blowing in to town once a year or two and trying to tell everyone what to do (it went over as well you can imagine). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When my dad passed a year ago, my DB and I went with my DM to make the arrangements.  DSIS was not able to face it so the three of us proceeded.   Both DM and I deferred to DB about something, we both wish we hadn't.  Nothing major, but something that can't be "undone".  I wish I had spoken up at the time, but didn't want to ruffle DB feathers.  

However, when DM time comes. I won't allow this to occur again.  I have spoken to DSIS and she agrees.   He will be out voted. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to hijack but along this line, if you lost a sibling, did you have a voice? Were your parents in the picture?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I think you only have a voice with what effects you, if it doesn't effect you specifically your relationship with the deceased dictates how much of a voice you have.  In cupcakes example- a sibling.  I think the spouse of the sibling has THE voice, the parents the next voice (if the spouse reqests it) , the siblings the last voice (only if the other two request it) .  I don't think one sibling has more of a voice than another.  I got really upset with my sister for a while when my dad died because I felt she was calling all the shots, but she did this because she had more of an influence on my mother than I do. Mom would agree with me then do the opposite-  what my sister said.     It took a while but I decided that if my mother let my sister call the shots it wasn't totally my sisters fault.  I live far away, my sister is involved with the day to day, maybe she deserves to call more of the shots.

Edited by skipped
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless it effects you directly, i.e. They want your family to pay, or they ask I would say nothing, wear beige, and try to be supportive, 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree w/ the advice given so far. Just want to add that, sometimes, someone seeks your (general) input. especially, it they having a difficult time dealing w/ the issue emotionally. But even then, I would tread carefully... say as little as possible, except, as PPs have mentioned, if a decision affected DH and me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would not want a say, in any way.  when my parents died I didn't ask what my DH's  opinion was on what we should do....Its hard enough trying to do exactly what both my parents wanted with my 2 brothers involved. when the ILs pass I won't be a part of that except to support my DH and comfort my kids . Right now I know when ILs pass it will be SIL making the decisions...and DH will let her and I am totally fine with that. not my circus except paying half of whatever is not covered.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/28/2017 at 9:35 AM, SueSTx said:

When my Dad died about ten years ago, they had already prearranged the main things other than date, time and music. 

DH and I plan to prearrange our funerals soon to make it easier for all when that sad time comes. We don't think people should have to be making choices about coffin type or prices just when they are grieving. Also, this will help to ensure that we each get the funeral that reflects us as individuals, if that makes any sense.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/28/2017 at 6:12 PM, Cupcake55 said:

Not to hijack but along this line, if you lost a sibling, did you have a voice? Were your parents in the picture?

Both my DBs wanted to be cremated. I knew this, but so did their DWs, and I left the arrangements up to them. My parents were wise enough, IMO, to do the same where ODB was concerned, even though they didn't really care for the idea of cremation. I'm sure they would have done the same regarding my other DB, as well, but, fortunately for them, I suppose, they both died before he did. (I say "fortunately" b/c I don't think any parent wants to see their DC go before they do.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't feel as I really have a right to a say in what my dh's brothers and sister do it's between them and their parents. If he where to ask I may or may not give it depending on what it's about.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JustaGrandma said:

I don't feel as I really have a right to a say in what my dh's brothers and sister do it's between them and their parents. If he where to ask I may or may not give it depending on what it's about.

I totally agree...when DH's dad died just before we were married, MIL didn't realize he was eligible for veteran's honors. We were almost done at the mortuary when I brought it up. The director apologized for not asking then made the appropriate arrangements for the flag drape and presentation. One of the few times MIL thanked me for something....

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oranges I'm sorry this is happening. As others have said I would just keep doing what you are doing, support your DH. any updates?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for your thoughts.  I have stayed totally mum.  The services are in a couple of days. I have kept my mouth shut and will continue to do so, whether or not I agree with the plans. And I will keep my head ducked when it's time for insurance money to be doled out. I have nothing to do with anything. 

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎7‎/‎29‎/‎2017 at 5:08 PM, skipped said:

I think you only have a voice with what effects you, if it doesn't effect you specifically your relationship with the deceased dictates how much of a voice you have.  In cupcakes example- a sibling.  I think the spouse of the sibling has THE voice, the parents the next voice (if the spouse reqests it) , the siblings the last voice (only if the other two request it) . 

I agree with you here, and this is how it played out when my brother died.  My sister in law was the voice when it came to his funeral and cremation ceremony but she involved my parents in the funeral planning/orchestration especially since they are funeral directors and the service took place at their church.  My brother and his wife had no children.  If they did, I think they would have also had a significant voice. 

A side topic, but I do want to mention that although a sibling would fall last in line in this example, the loss of a sibling is a very difficult loss and often times over looked (the term for it is called "grief unrecognized"), because people tend to focus on the spouse, children or parents of the deceased.  The question I got after my ODB died was "How are your parents?" or "How is his wife?"  I could count on one hand the people who asked "How are you?"  In fact, my IL's were the worst in this regard as my FIL didn't even know if this brother was my older brother or younger brother when he was told his name.  25 years of knowing this man, 21 years of being a DIL to him, numerous gatherings he attended over the years with my entire FOO, and he had no clue.  To date, I have not received even a condolence card from my IL's about my ODB's death.  It didn't even register on FIL or BIL's radar (MIL was winding down from her ragefest when my ODB died so she was in no mental condition to go, and I didn't want her there after the nasty words she said) to try to attend his funeral.   If there ever was an example of how little I mattered to this family, this was it.  I've seen them once in the year since my ODB died (at Christmas, only because my kids wanted to say hello and I didn't want to stay home alone that morning), and it took a lot of willpower for me to sit in the room for the 90 minutes I was there especially when my FIL said "Nice of you to finally come around".  I pity people like them with such low awareness and social IQ.  No wonder why they never had any friends.

So, the point in this is that death is hard on a lot of people including siblings as often times other than the parents these have been the longest relationships.  I was one year younger than my ODB and literally knew him my whole life.  Further, it matters how one behaves following a death and similar to weddings or other major life events, relationships can be damaged sometimes beyond repair during this time if behavior is not good.  That is why in Orange's case, I would just focus on supporting DH, wearing beige and attending the funeral to show support.  You can't go wrong with that!

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, BSW said:

A side topic, but I do want to mention that although a sibling would fall last in line in this example, the loss of a sibling is a very difficult loss and often times over looked (the term for it is called "grief unrecognized"), because people tend to focus on the spouse, children or parents of the deceased.  The question I got after my ODB died was "How are your parents?" or "How is his wife?"  I could count on one hand the people who asked "How are you?" 

I noticed this among my mom's siblings after her death, followed up by her brother's death about 6 months later. People often asked after DB or myself, and I know my mom's siblings often tried to keep their feelings in check around us or my aunt/cousins. Being supportive of others and dealing with your own grief is a hard balance to maintain. I know they didn't want to lean on us because we obviously had our own stuff we were dealing with, but boy it was tough on them. I worry about my aunt (Mom's sister) the most, because they were best friends and my mom's illness/death just came out of nowhere. And the shortly after she had to go through the death of her brother without the support of my mom. She often will not let me see how she is really feeling (unless things are bad) so I try to sneaky check in on her through her husband or my cousins. 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update:  Funeral was beautiful.  The aftermath is coming along as predicted. Fighting over money. But check this out:

BIL1 asked DH if BIL2 could come and stay with us. As SIL1 has taken over MIL's house and her DD and grands are there. As well as BIL2 and his fam, which consists of BIL1, his wife, their 3 minors and 1 AC complete with 5 small kids and another one on the way.  I didn't need a voice for this one...DH said no way in ####...LOL...and told me about the conversation the next day.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now