To be uspet at family's behaviour at FIL funeral

(70 Posts)
brummiegirl1 Sat 16-Mar-13 17:28:16

I went to my FIL funeral a couple of days ago as he sadly died of COPD. Prior to my FIL death i hadn't much contact with my IL's apart from speaking to my MIL who do get on with very well. My MIL and FIL were divorced but stayed friends. The reason i hadn't seen much of my IL's was because since i have had my children i don't want them around smoke and my IL's are heavy smokers and smoke in the house. I have never made an issue about their smoking as it is there house. My husband also does not want our children around smoke so it's not just me. My dad also died of COPD so smoking is a big deal to me. Just explaining a bit of background which i know is not relevant to the funeral but just to explain why their may be tension.

On the day of the funeral due to timings DH suggested i stay in the car while he went inside as they would be smoking while waiting for the funeral cars to arrive which i did. TBH i would haave probably have done this anyway regardless of the smoking as the service was my DS2 feed time so i decided to feed him in the car(breastfed and dinner) which took about 30 minutes).

When we arrived at the church i said to my husband to not worry about me to just concentrate on remembering his dad. He went on ahead to help carry his dad. I went to go in and other family members did not speak to me at all or invite me to sit with them. In fact all i saw was their backs. I understand they were grieving but they were talking and giggling to each other as they were going in and i was just right at the back. My DH didn't even get to sit on the front row as they didn't leave room for him. I ended up sitting at the back in the end anyway as baby started to get unsettled.

When we came out of church everyone gathered outside talking and no one spoke at all to me or my baby. I spoke to my MIL who is lovely.

At the wake my DH wasn't going to go as we live an hour away and he has a strained relationship with his family but i said to him that he may regret it if he didn't go in memory of his dad and DH agreed. We ended up going but only staying a short time. Again i wasn't spoke to and DH noticed(i didnt say anything to him but it was so obvious) My niece her boyfriend and her brothers girlfriend were giving me dirty looks. TBH honest i felt like i shouldn't have been there and that is what they were probably tthinking but my dh said he wanted me there. I should have expected them not to taalk to me but to ignore my DS was poor taste tbh.

Sorry i don't want to make it about me as i understand its a difficult time as its a funeral but i can't ignore what an uncomfortable feeling it was. We are also planning a christening soon and it will probably cause problems again as apart from MIL no one else bothered coming to our DS1 christening from husbands family as they think im over reacting about not wanting my children around smoke.

McBalls Sat 16-Mar-13 17:46:34

You have taken the decision to not have much of a relationship with them due to their smoking - I'm sure w could all argue the toss about the merits of that choice, but its yours to make - it can't really be much of a surprise that they're not that keen on you, shame they couldn't just have offered a few pleasantries but then you don't mention approaching them either.

I imagine they feel (possibly justifiably?) that you don't like the and want to keep your distance. What else do you expect in return?

purrpurr Sat 16-Mar-13 17:49:45

I'm sorry that this event was so difficult. However, you have decided to cut them off because they smoke. What were they to do?

cleofatra Sat 16-Mar-13 17:50:14

YABU. Let people mourn their dead in their own way.

WestieMamma Sat 16-Mar-13 17:53:40

I'm sorry, but it does sound like you're making it all about you. You say yourself that you hadn't had much contact with your FIL, therefore the right thing to do is let those who were close to him get on with it rather than moaning about them not thinking to include you in the way you'd like to be included.

I am very very sorry for your husband's loss and sorry that you feel so hurt. But. You cut them off. Because they smoke. Your DH did sit near the front - FWIW I wasn't in the front row of my Gran's funeral, but my brother was, just because of how we walked in. It doesn't mean jack shit - doesn't mean my Gran loved me any less or I'm less important than my brother.

What age is DS2? A lot of people don't like kids/babies at funerals.

Did you speak to any of them and ask could you sit with them? Or go up to the direct relatives (iyswim) and express your sorrow for their loss?

You can't have it both ways. You can't cut them off, and at the same time expect them to be friends with you. You want your cake and eat it a little bit.

Tee2072 Sat 16-Mar-13 17:54:40

They know you don't like them and so they don't like you.

I wouldn't even invite them to the christening.

pictish Sat 16-Mar-13 17:55:23

I think it's a shame no one spoke to you. I can sort of see how they feel snubbed by you, but manners cost nothing.

cleofatra Sat 16-Mar-13 17:55:50

did you.. go up to the direct relatives (iyswim) and express your sorrow for their loss?

very good question

PhyllisDoris Sat 16-Mar-13 17:55:53

Did you try speaking to them? It works both ways.
Perhaps they thought you were being rude for not offering your condolences.

Goldmandra Sat 16-Mar-13 17:56:39

If any of my family thought I was unreasonable to want to keep my children out of smoke filled rooms wherever possible I wouldn't invite them to their christenings.

Perhaps you could forgive them on the day of the funeral for not feeling up to making a major effort to look after you but that doesn't excuse being quite so rude.

Maybe now is the time to accept that this part of the family and your DH are going to drift apart.

TBH, I'm not surprised given you ignored them for 30 minutes at the start by waiting in the car.

Just ignore it and get on with your life as you have been doing - you don't have a relationship with these family members so don't let it worry you.

I've read the post again.

Have you any idea how rude you will have looked to them? You brought a baby. That you don't want near smoke. And they smoke. So you sat in the car whilst your DH went in before they went to the church. You didn't go in and offer condolences, you sat in the car. You didn't ask could you sit in the kitchen/bedroom to feed your child, you SAT IN THE CAR.

Since you're so uptight about smoke and babies you really should have left the baby at home. Because to do that, at a funeral - where is your care and compassion and sympathy for the close family?

They will have taken that as a massive snub. And very hurtful. And snobby. And up yourself. Sorry. You may not have meant it. But they will have. And they're grieving and emotions tend to be all over the place. They will have noticed. And judged.

Then you want other family members to make sure they speak to you and are sitting with you and you have a grizzly baby in a church at a funeral? No personal issue with babies and funerals, but some people do, and if the baby was grizzling you should have taken them out.

And you are making it all about you. No one spoke to you - I've already asked, but did you speak to anyone else? Did you make an effort?

Really, you will have come across as cold and rude. I am sure that wasn't your intention. You should decide if you want to mend bridges or if you want to let it go. But really. You can't have it both ways. If you dish it out you have to be able to take it. You cut them off. They cut you out. Seems like 6 and half a dozen to me.

SarahBumBarer Sat 16-Mar-13 18:07:45

How could they speak to DS without being incredibly rude to you?

And you just sitting in the car the way you did undoubtedly looked incredibly pointed and rude to them whatever your reasons were (which in my view were not good enough anyway).

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 16-Mar-13 18:07:46

It seems to me that you have been very rigid in the past, and because of that they probably don't have that much time for you.

Could they have not visited you in your house

It's actually nothing to do with that and they were just pre-occupied

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 16-Mar-13 18:09:23

I agree with those who say, that on this day, of all days, you should have put aside the smoking issue and gone inside the house like a normal person

purrpurr Sat 16-Mar-13 18:09:50

Everything that Freddie said.

digerd Sat 16-Mar-13 18:10:43

YANBU to feel snubbed and it was unreasonable of those who gave you dirty looks - that was nasty and uncalled for. Also to not turn up for DC1's Christening because you and DH do not allow smoking in the house is OTT.

Everybody I know has banned smoking from their homes, and visitors go outside to smoke. If smokers don't like this they can decline the invite, but out of respect for the family member host, I know of no smoker who has done this.

brummiegirl1 Sat 16-Mar-13 18:11:10

I have tried to include them on various occasions where i have invited them to come and visit at our house and even to go up to where they live to go out somewhere neutral and smoke free but it has all been turned down or cancelled at the last minute. I did express condolences i sent a sympathy card and also spoke to my SIL the day before funeral when my DH went to see his dad at the chapel of rest.

My ds is 8 months and i only took him because of breast feeding my mom had my older toddler. I ran it by my MIL first and she was happy with that plus my DH wanted DS to go. It's not important where DH sat really but it was important for him.

Also when i was in the car feeding my son i put my hand up to aknowledge them but they didn't respond.

pictish Sat 16-Mar-13 18:11:59

Freddie might well be right of course.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 16-Mar-13 18:12:20

(and I really really hate smoking)

You really don't get it do you?

Coconutty Sat 16-Mar-13 18:16:35

I think they must have found you incredibly rude tbh, sitting in the car and not going in at all was very off.

I'm sorry your H didn't get to sit at the front but it sounds like there are huge issues here anyway.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 16-Mar-13 18:16:48

I was going to write a long post about how unreasonable you are but freddie got in before me.
I've had to arrange two funerals in the last three years, my sister and my mum.
Thank God I didn't have to factor in someone like you sad

Actually, the fact you think it was enough to put up your hand to acknowledge them like the fucking Queen means I'm done here. Before I say something I'll regret and that'll get me into trouble.

Filibear Sat 16-Mar-13 18:17:15

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Not sure why your brought your judgey pants and your babies to a funeral to meet people you disapprove of, and then make a POINT and hide in the car.

To "support" your husband?

You behaved ridiculously.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 16-Mar-13 18:18:05

It sounds like this is much bigger than you and your relationship with them. It sounds like it's about your DH as well

brummiegirl1 Sat 16-Mar-13 18:19:32

To add DH who was grieving also didn't want our son in a room full of smoke too. He also wanted the baby there and as it was his dad he has a say too, i did take baby to the back when he got grizzly and he then quietened down otherwise i would have taken him to the car.. Because of breastfeeding and DH family not being local ihad to take baby or not go and DH wanted me to go.
I'm sorry Sarahbumbarer you are entitled to your opinion but i have to disagree that my reasons are not strong enough. My dad died of COPD, DH dad died of COPD so i think it is a very good reason to not have my baby around smoke.

LandofTute Sat 16-Mar-13 18:19:52

Did you or your husband visit his dad and take your children to visit their grandad when he was dying in hospital?

I am an avid non-smoker, and that is my choice. My inlaws smoke a lot. My children will not shrink, or die, or get acute lung cancer or emphysema by sometimes being subjected to smoke. And neither will yours.

You really showed both rudeness, coupled with lack of tact manners and empathy, at a funeral where their close family had died. I am utterly shocked!

cleofatra Sat 16-Mar-13 18:22:57

Let me get this right?

Did you and your family arrive at the home of the grieving family and then , while your dh went inside, you stayed in the car and waited until he came out and then you drove to the church together?

cleofatra Sat 16-Mar-13 18:24:15

Getting this right sat outside the house, in the car, for a good 30 minutes?

QOD Sat 16-Mar-13 18:26:38

Once or twice wouldn't hurt. It really wouldn't. We let dd have a relationship with her grandparents, an hour a week in a room that's been smoked in with an open window ....

Figgygal Sat 16-Mar-13 18:28:19

I can't imagine it was nice to be you In that situation but I'm totally with Freddie on this one sorry

cleofatra Sat 16-Mar-13 18:29:24

I'm just imagining how it must have looked from inside the house.

You and dh arrive, he goes inside to grieving family who ask where you are. He replies you are in the car and won't be coming in. You sit in car for over half an hour while they get ready to accompany their dead family member to the church.

That must have looked REALLY bad.

stifnstav Sat 16-Mar-13 18:29:39

Let me get this straight... MIL lost her husband and you SENT A CARD?

Imagine if your son grows and marries someone who sends you a card when your DH dies. Then sits outside, deeming you worthy of only a wave.

I am surprised she even spoke to you.

And your anti-smoking stance, given the cause of death, could make your behaviour seem all "I told you so". You were shamefully rude.

TallGiraffe Sat 16-Mar-13 18:31:23

I'm sorry you've lost 2 people to COPD, but I am guessing they smoked a lot over a long period of time? Occasional second hand smoke (while not ideal) is really not going to have a similar effect. I would suggest it is more damaging to the children to see relatives not having a good relationship. Time to make some effort on your part I think.

stifnstav Sat 16-Mar-13 18:32:48

Sending a card but not speaking to your MIL who has lost her husband/friend until the day of the funeral. Can't get over it. Are you saying you didn't ring her, really?

Your MIL was divorced from your FIL. That means she wasn't close family any longer and it wasn't her you needed to be "running it by" to bring the baby. Did you send cards to the rest of the close family?

Baby is 8 months, not 8 weeks. You only live an hour away.

I am gobsmacked at your rudeness. And sense of entitlement. And I'm really stepping away now.

brummiegirl1 Sat 16-Mar-13 18:37:46

Of course i spoke to my MIL before the funeral frequently on the phone, i sent a card aswell! And i spoke to MIL on the day of the funeral

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 16-Mar-13 18:39:30

You should not have take the baby if you were not prepared to interact in the normal way.

I think that being in their company for an hour would have done no harm to the baby and you and your DH are being illogical about this.

drownangels Sat 16-Mar-13 18:39:31

I wouldn't have spoken to you either as you have made your disapproval quite clear.

brummiegirl1 Sat 16-Mar-13 18:39:35

DH wanted baby there and as it was his dad its up to him too

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 16-Mar-13 18:39:44

taken the baby

shockJesus Christ they live an hour away. Not a 12 hour flight and a trek up a mountain. Could you not have, you know, gone to SEE them?

DowntonTrout Sat 16-Mar-13 18:41:29

I think you are getting a hard time here- butim afraid I completely agree.

This is your DH father- who DIED. Everyone is grieving. Breast feeding or anything else doesn't mean a jot in this instance. What comes first, if only for a few hours is the family and respect for the emotions that exist that day.

It is not a time for making a point about smoking or anything else really.

DowntonTrout Sat 16-Mar-13 18:48:30

And actually - when I burried my father- I appreciated the people who came up to me with stories about my dad but I didn't make the effort to go around everyone and be inclusive.
Maybe they were just grieving .

It is not really a social occasion or close family. Perhaps you did not make enough effort.

Jayne266 Sat 16-Mar-13 18:53:36

Am sorry you had a bad experience I hope your feeling upset because you were worried for your DH and his loss.

Unfortunately taking you lil one and needing a feed straight away had put you in a awkward situation as you couldn't offer your condolences. I had to attend a funeral (3 days after i gave birth) of a friend who was like a second mum to me and the family requested I bring the baby. I didn't bring him as I don't feel I could have grieved properly with him there and also didn't want him to get upset and disturb the ceremony.

This was their request to bring him I felt it wasn't appropriate.

I think you DH wanted him there but considering your issues with other family members it's a sore topic.

I don't know much about the past but I think the best thing now is to not focus on it help your DH and MIL grieve and don't worry about it.

Sorry for your DH loss by the way.

shesariver Sat 16-Mar-13 18:58:06

Regardless of you thinking you had very valid reasons sitting in the car and not going inside is extremely rude and will have been taken like this, you would come across badly by not going into the house - and then you wonder why people didnt speak to you? Dont you get it?

Pagwatch Sat 16-Mar-13 18:58:47

It wasn't really up to DH if your concerns about the baby were going o create such an incredibly awkward situation.

I think you should contemplate the likelihood that you have not handled this very well.

DizzyHoneyBee Sat 16-Mar-13 19:02:35

If you were not prepared to go in their house then you should not have gone.


You have barely seen the family since you had children and your distaste comes across very clearly so you can hardly expect them to kiss your arse for deigning to turn up to a funeral and wave regally from the car.

Perhaps when they left the house they were too busy focussing on their dad/husband/granddads coffin and grieving, rather than worrying about acknowledging that you had graced them with your presence.

Did I mention that YABU?


Is this a reverse AIBU? Are you really a SIL or a cousin or something?

mrsbunnylove Sat 16-Mar-13 19:16:49

if you avoid smokers with your baby, that's fine. but don't blame people for having a laugh at a funeral. it might not be your way, but it is a way, and its ok.

Wow, just wow. Glad no one expected me to play polite hostess and go make conversation at my mum's funeral. As for if someone had refused to come in and instead just waved from the damn car? Christ...

HollyBerryBush Sat 16-Mar-13 19:27:37

Really it was for DH to breeze in and say the OP was feeding in the car - polite excuses made all round.

I'm afraid OP - it was your place at the funeral to pass on your condolences to the bereaved family, not sit in state and expect them to come to you.

That would probably account for the perceived dirty looks - they think you are a bit above yourself.

JenaiMorris Sat 16-Mar-13 19:32:07

My close friend laughed a couple of times at her husband's funeral. As did their teenage children.

OP, I'm sorry you had such a horrible time but please take on board what people have said here about how you looked to your in laws.

JenaiMorris Sat 16-Mar-13 19:33:42

I laughed at my mother's funeral, thinking about it.

Shakirasma Sat 16-Mar-13 19:37:14

Why was your DH so insistent you take DS2 to his fathers funeral, knowing you wouldn't set foot in his family's house with him? You have 2 children but were happy to leave the older one at home? Seems odd to me.

Rowlers Sat 16-Mar-13 19:37:34

If My dad had died, and we were a family of smokers, and my DB's wife had an 8 month old baby she was breastfeeding stayed in the car to feed, particularly to avoid baby being in smoke filled-room, I think I'd have found that fine.
To be honest, not sure I'd have noticed.
I'd have had my dad on my mind.
Actually I hated having pointless "condolences" at the end of my DM's funeral. Kind thoughts, but they all went home and carried on with their lives. It all felt meaningless.
I would not have made an effort to come over and talk to DB's wife though. Too much to cope with just getting through.
If she'd taken offence at that, tough.
But I would not have taken offence at her not coming in to pretend she was bothered about someone she barely knew.

JenaiMorris Sat 16-Mar-13 19:44:13

I fucked up massively by holding the funeral tea at mine, which is completely inaccessible for wheelchairs, so my mother's aunt, uncle and cousin who'd travelled several hours had to leave after the funeral.

A horrible oversight on my part. But they were upset that I was upset that they couldn't come.

I can imagine the AIBU they could have posted, had they less empathy.

aldiwhore Sat 16-Mar-13 19:45:58

In some ways YABU, you avoided them by staying in the car, you've cut them off, and in doing so the whispers that you think you're better than them have probably taken root and everytime you keep your distance it only proves further to them that the whispers are fact. Whether that is true or not is a moot point. Once you make the decision to limit contact AND give a reason, that is something you have to expect, right or wrong.

In some ways YANBU. On behalf of your DH I will say that HIS family treated HIM very badly by ignoring HIS wife. (But this isn't about you and your feelings at all really, not at the funeral of your FIL... funerals are a no go zone for wanting attention of any kind because people are crazy). Your child is neither here nor there in all honesty, so don't get embroiled in anger that your baby was ignored, your baby won't give a shiny shit!

What you have heere is a situation that will probably never be reconciled, because of distance, lies have become truths, assumptions become fact (from both sides) where a quick glance becomes a 'dirty look', a smile is seen as a grimace and there is absolutely sweet feck all you can do about EXCEPT take the high ground, always smile and say hello like there's no issue at all, always send greeting cards (or actually get DH to do it) always be the one that can never be actually criticised on actual actions... at some point, over the years, they will look foolish.

I speak from experience. You're going to waste energy either way, either by being angry at the injustice of it all, by their behaviour, by the assumptions OR by retaining the moral highround. Trust me, the latter is FAR more fun. Get practice in now, because your children will notice at some point, and isn't it better to see mummy doing nothing wrong EVER in their company than for them to see Mummy assume position at the back, meek and quiet, accepting your exile? Sometimes, denial is good, denial that they're treating you badly... act like it's all normal.

Iamsparklyknickers Sat 16-Mar-13 19:46:34

Aside from how you must have come across on the day, was there any particular hurt on your FIL's part about the lack of relationship with his grandchildren?

If emotions were running high and your presence highlighted a situation that caused him angst, then I very much doubt there would be any kind of behaviour that wouldn't have earnt you the same treatment...

It's sad and I'm sorry that it impacted your DH's experience, but those are the choices we make and the consequences that arise. People will have their opinions and proportion blame/judgeyness where ever they see fit.

That's not taking any side, it's just how things are when people have extreme differences of opinion.

TheSecondComing Sat 16-Mar-13 19:58:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MidniteScribbler Sat 16-Mar-13 21:34:14

Wow, you've practically forced your husband to cut off his family, had nothing to do with them, sat in a car because you dislike them so much, and you wonder why they didn't roll out the red carpet for you? I can't possibly imagine why they don't like you.

OTTMummA Sat 16-Mar-13 22:09:14

She hadn't forced her DH to cut off his family, he apparently feels the same about the smoking issue so don't put it all on the op.

Yanbu about the car, but I would of been better to just pop in quickly first to say your condolences and then excused yourself, that you could of done tbh, but also DH could of explained as well.
However yabu about expecting people who you choose not to interact with to suddenly be interested in communicating with you.

I think yabu overall but you don't deserve this roasting IMO.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 17-Mar-13 11:08:29

We can guess that this particular family think the OP is unreasonable for caring about their smoking. If they thought she was being reasonable they would not smoke around the baby in the first place.


My point is that, given the Op and her DH know what his family are like, they should either have put their paranoia abot the smoking aside for one, important, day, OR not taken the baby.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 17-Mar-13 11:11:37


I completely appreciate there are good reasons not to expose certain babies to smoke for even a short time.

TraceyTrickster Mon 18-Mar-13 02:09:04

My family are all smokers and I am asthmatic.
I went to stay with these heavy smokers (I live overseas) when my daughter was 4 months. When 10 people lit up in the garden I just had to go inside and make my excuses.

But to avoid going in to see them- however briefly, on the day of a funeral- is very poor manners and comes across as very uncaring.
However during funerals, those grieving are often rather overwhelmed with things other than poor behaviour of relatives/attendees.

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