To think that this is the right 'funeral etiquette'

(185 Posts)
BoxofSnails Wed 15-Jun-16 11:21:04

If a parent dies, is it traditional and usual for your PILs, if in good health and able (ie. not overseas, too frail, still working and unable to get leave etc) to attend the funeral?

I think this is normal etiquette and was actually quite hurt by my sister's PILs, who knew my mum pretty well, not coming to her funeral - they were then late 50s, retired and well (my mum died at 60) so maybe I am putting an emotional slant on this - for that reason please be gentle (if that exists in AIBU!).

My DH's BIL (his sister's husband) died recently, and I am surprised that his mum isn't going down for the funeral, mainly as support for his sister, because she 'doesn't like to travel'. I've said maybe DH should take her - he's self employed and therefore flexible - as it's just what families do - he, gently, disagrees.

Maybe I'm just being old fashioned? Or am I completely wrong?!

EatShitDerek Wed 15-Jun-16 11:22:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HuckfromScandal Wed 15-Jun-16 11:22:30

You're entirely right
Funerals are not for the dead, but for the left behind, and being supportive is the right thing to do.

Odd odd odd!!

icanteven Wed 15-Jun-16 11:22:48

I think it's very strange, but then I'm Irish, and we're quite pro-funeral, so it would be unthinkable not to attend the funeral of somebody so closely connected to the family.

Balletgirlmum Wed 15-Jun-16 11:23:22

I would say only if they all live locally.

Oldraver Wed 15-Jun-16 11:23:57

My parents attended my FIL's funeral as they felt it wa the right thing to do (and quite liked the man).. It just what different folks do

Floggingmolly Wed 15-Jun-16 11:24:06

I'd have thought it was usual, yes. But you can't police other people, unfortunately.

firesidechat Wed 15-Jun-16 11:25:39

I would go to my daughter's pil's funerals because I have spent some time with them and it would seem the right thing to do. I wouldn't expect my parents or my mil to go to each others funerals because they have never met. Basically it depends on the circumstances.

LemonBreeland Wed 15-Jun-16 11:26:40

Attending PIL funerals probably depends on how well you know them. Although you should probably go to support your D/SIL. Your MIL not attending her own daughters husbands funeral is absolutely appalling. Why would you not support your own child?

ApostrophesMatter Wed 15-Jun-16 11:26:41

I wouldn't say it was usual unless they were also friends. My dad went to MiL's funeral and people commented on how nice it was of him, so it can't be the norm around here.

ludog Wed 15-Jun-16 11:27:31

I'm like icanteven. I'm irish and anyone with any sort of connection either to the deceased or the bereaved will go to the funeral. My SIL (brother's wife) died recently and all my ILs were at her funeral even though some of them hadn't really known her. I would find it odd that someone so closely connected as in your op wouldn't go.

grannytomine Wed 15-Jun-16 11:27:54

Is your husband going to the funeral? I'm not absolutely sure from your post but it sounds like he isn't. Don't you think you and your husband should be supporting his sister?

Personally I would think your MIL would go to support her daughter, don't know why his parents would go to your parents funeral as that wouldn't be normal in my family in fact I wondered why my MIL attended my mother's funeral as they weren't friends.

londonrach Wed 15-Jun-16 11:28:22

Depends on alot of factors...how well they knew the person, distance to the funeral etc. Sorry for your loss x

grannytomine Wed 15-Jun-16 11:29:40

Obviously you don't have to go to the funeral but just seemed odd if you aren't when you were upset at PILs not going to your mothers.

AlmaMartyr Wed 15-Jun-16 11:29:48

Everyone is different. I can't imagine anything worse than my PILs coming to my parents funerals. Obviously there is a bit of a bad history there! I've attended funerals to support those who have been bereaved though, and would think that if you had a close relationship then it would be normal.

Mookbark Wed 15-Jun-16 11:30:39

My PIL didn't go to my DM's funeral and my DF didn't go to my FIL funeral. They had met but didn't know each other well and lived over two hours away from each other.
I didn't find it strange at all and, in fact, I'm not sure I would have wanted them there. The only people they would have known at my DM's funeral would have been DH and me, oh, and baby DS1. My DH was there to support me. I would have been worried that if they were there that he would be obliged to look after them, too. Selfishly, I wouldn't have wanted that. And vice versa with FIL funeral.

RobinsAreTerritorialFuckers Wed 15-Jun-16 11:32:24

I agree with eat, there's no right or wrong to it.

Some families would find too many people there intrusive - perhaps that's the situation with your DH's family? After all, it does put pressure on people who are grieving, to have to think about being sociable towards other guests, especially if they have to think about organising a larger gathering after the funeral. I remember doing that when my gran died, and I was glad people came, but also pretty exhausted from having to spend the whole day making polite conversation when I'd been sitting up with her through the past few nights as she died.

I'm very sorry for the loss of your mum, and completely see why you were upset - but I think you should talk to your DH about it and sort it out between you, rather than searching for a 'right' answer: there won't be one.

Pinkheart5915 Wed 15-Jun-16 11:33:18

IMO there is no right or wrong with funerals. Everybody thinks about them differently

liquidrevolution Wed 15-Jun-16 11:33:57

If my PILs try to come to my parent funeral I would be really annoyed. I expect they would though as they are a bit in your face. My family definitely wouldn't go to PILs funeral as we are more reserved.

I think it just depends on the circumstances. Having your kid marry their kid is not a massive connection unless those kids host a lot of joint parties for both families.

BoxofSnails Wed 15-Jun-16 11:34:48

I'm reassured it's not just me. I do think DH should go, and take his mum, we're not local at all (a 4 hour drive) but that's just the effort that you should make.
I can't cancel my clinical commitments unfortunately (NHS doctor) - urgent leave like this is for 1st degree relatives only.

I really think if varies. I don't think any of my siblings IL came to my parents' funerals. My IL were abroad so definately no traveling to funerals as parents and IL never met.

I wonder if this is becoming a focus for your grief over the loss of your Mum? Everything feels much more painful and its sometimes easier to focus on those things that are a bit more removed like IL's not attending the funeral.

If they are usually nice and reasonable people then I would put it down to them not having the same views about funerals as you (some people actively avoid them - one of my siblings understandably couldn't face attending our Father's funeral because of MH issues). On the other hand if they are usually difficult then it's not a surprise they didn't come.

Fabellini Wed 15-Jun-16 11:36:41

Can I just check I've got this right? Your husband has a sister, and her husband has died, and you and your husband are not planning on going to the funeral?
I would be hurt if I was the sister. Very hurt. My husband died last month, and my brother travelled from overseas for the funeral...and my sisters, who are both in the UK (but hundreds of miles away) did too. I appreciate that all families are different, but I would have been so upset if they hadn't been there. My ds's and I needed their support, and they were there to give it.

Sorry should add
In the case of your DH's Mum is "don't like to travel" the reason or is there something else. Maybe she doesn't want to go or maybe she is angling for a lift.

RobinsAreTerritorialFuckers Wed 15-Jun-16 11:37:18

Yeah, but it's also imposing an effort onto someone who has just lost their husband, isn't it?

Are you absolutely sure your SIL would want her mother and brother there?

QOD Wed 15-Jun-16 11:37:30

None of my parents came to my in laws funerals. Dh was quite taken aback when mum offered. It's not their family

The son in law funeral bit is weird if I read that right?

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