AIBU about Mil funeral?

(53 Posts)
Shellywelly1973 Thu 26-Sep-13 23:59:19

I don't know if this is a problem due to different views/ culture / individual choice.

Mil died last week. Im devastated. I was her Carer for 3 years. We had a quirky, caring & respectful relationship.

Dp & Sil really didn't give a shit. Mil wasn't a good mum but for last 10 years she'd really tried to make amends. She was an excellent grandmother.

Dp & Sil have scrimped on the funeral. There's only a hearse. I've offered to pay for a limo but Sil said no. Dp & Sil are both tight gits but this takes the piss. There's no wake organised- again i offered to organise & pay for it but Sil said she'd do it but hasn't. Theres no order of service. Cheap flowers off the internet... That sort of thing.

I see it as a lack of thought & respect for their mother. They are blaming each other & winding each other up. No one is actually doing anything. Dp i& Sil took what they wanted out of Mil house. I've cleared it. Even pulling up carpets etc- Im 23 weeks pregnant.

I must point out neither would have to pay for anything as once everything is sorted all costs will be covered.
So AIBU?? Im angry at both of them. I have distanced myself from all funeral arrangments as so embarressing. Do i need to step back as she wasn't my mum & accept my background means a funeral is considered as equal to a wedding. Dp i& Sil are entitled to organise or not organise their mothers funeral any way they like. Cultures have very different views on funerals but i feel they are just Lazy, disorganised & mean...!

buss Fri 27-Sep-13 00:01:17

YANBU at all sad

Shellywelly1973 Fri 27-Sep-13 00:01:53

Sorry my point about the house wasn't clear.

Dp & Sil took what they wanted out of Mil house.

They didn't help clear it or organise the removal of 42 years of clutter. I did!

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 27-Sep-13 00:08:56

I'm sorry to hear about your MIL sad

It's a shame that it wont be as you would have liked, however, I am guessing that there is a lot of hurt there (from DH & SIL re their Mum) and maybe letting them do this 'on the cheap' might help them to vent their anger a bit. I think that (for some people) seeing your parent be a great grandparent must be very hard - it must make you hurt MORE for what they should have been like with that person, but wasn't.

If I were you, I'd let them get on with it, but I would send some lovely flowers from YOU and take some comfort in the fact that YOU were able to be there for her when she needed help - that is what counts, not what happens once you have died (well, IMO anyway).

peppapigmustdie Fri 27-Sep-13 00:09:03

You do need to step back sorry, if you Mil doesn't get the send off you think she deserves then it is not up to you. The choice is with her Son and Daughter and if they feel she deserves the minimum then she does.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 27-Sep-13 00:10:05

I understood what you meant about the house.

This really isn't the thread for it - but does your DH treat you like this all the time?

This is really sad. So sorry about your DMIL, Shelly. When is the funeral? It must be very soon so there may not be much you can do.

You can get nicer flowers, you can organise something afterwards but it may cause more issues. Is there anything you could do to remember her in your own way afterwards?

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 27-Sep-13 00:13:28

It is one thing to say - 'it's up to them', it's quite another to say 'that's what she deserves' - for all we know she might have been a lovely Mum and they are just two penny pinching nasty people...

Shellywelly1973 Fri 27-Sep-13 00:14:51

Do you mean is he tight git chipping?

Sometimes but Im the exact opposite so normally it sort of even out!

CoffeeTea103 Fri 27-Sep-13 00:18:58

I would go ahead and organize something. It's really not about your DH and SIL as they can't be bothered. You sound lovely, And seemed to have a special relationship with your mil, so have something small in a way she deserved. I think if you do nothing, it will always be at the back of your mind.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Fri 27-Sep-13 00:23:40

Firstly, sorry for the loss of someone who obviously meant a lot to you. It must be very hard to see the funeral arrangements made/not made like this.

However, I'd second what PP have said. It must be very hard to have a bad parent who then becomes a great GP. Is there more backstory here? FWIW, my SIL is always trying to get my brother and I to spend more time with our dad. However, she wasn't on the scene when his chronic drinking destroyed our family (DPs divorced as a result). She's only known him as he's mellowed as he's got older, but DB and I have known another side to him. Could it be that something similar has happened here and hence they don't think she 'deserves' more?

Shellywelly1973 Fri 27-Sep-13 00:24:19

* Coffee * I offered to but Sil said she was organising something after the funeral.

I think i need to distance myself from this as much as possible.

I won't have to see Sil again.

It has made me realise my Dp is a tight arse. I am struggling with how i feel about him as i find it very shocking that anyone could be so mean.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 27-Sep-13 00:28:01

Very similar situation Wibbly but i never tried to play happy families these last 10 years as i totally understand how they feel about their mum.

My mum is an alcoholic. She has been for 25 years & is drinking herself to death.

Mil did stop drinking. 10 years sober!

NoComet Fri 27-Sep-13 00:31:56

It's sad, especially if you liked your DMIL, I still miss mine 13 years after she died, but cultures on funerals vary.

I can't conceive DSIS and I will spend a penny more on my parents than we have to. A hearse to the crem, which has to break the national speed limit on the way, nothing more.

Neither believe in God or heaven, except for DDad's comment that fast damilers were wasted causing traffic jams, neither has any last wishes.

If there is any wasting money or fuss they will come back and haunt me, just as I've promised to haunt anyone who mentions God or life after death at my cremation.

I have a CofE God believing in DH, he has been warned.

MangoTiramisu Fri 27-Sep-13 00:33:44

She was their mother so you can't really interfere. However, she was a good friend of yours and your DC's granny. What is to stop you from getting her a really beautiful bunch of flowers and laying them on her grave and then popping by regularly to make sure her grave is tidy with some nice flowers. You can do your bit for your relationship and she'll look down and appreciate it. Just because they can't be bothered doesn't mean you have to step back.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 27-Sep-13 00:34:17

Shelly - that's not really what I meant, no. I meant he allowed you to be her carer (it doesn't sound like he did any of the caring, but I could be wrong), you had a close relationship with her and yet he's ignoring your feelings about her funeral, they took the things they wanted out of her home, but you did the donkey work of clearing it out etc it seems like he treats you pretty badly? Would that be right?

Shellywelly1973 Fri 27-Sep-13 00:40:52

Chipping- he thoughtless & self absorbed. If something isn't relevant to him he just doesn't think. This has made me question why Im with him he& if i want to be with someone who can see how upset i am but doesn't appear to have any comprehension of what i am talking about.

Mil is being cremated. There will be no final resting place as Sil is keeping the ashes. It goes without saying i will pay for the majority of the flowers...

MistyB Fri 27-Sep-13 00:42:04

Tricky situation. Siblings growing up in the same house can experience very different parents. Partners joining the family years later, can experience a whole different side to the parents in question. This is not the time to analyse the reactions of those around you. Grieve for the person you knew and loved but do not judge the grief of others. Also, make judgements about your DH and SIL in light of their other relationships with people, their relationships with their parents may be more complex than the surface displays.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 27-Sep-13 00:43:27

Sorry just to add. I feel i have to step back as the funeral is so embarressing i do not want anyone to think i had anything to do with it. Normally i dont give a hoot what anyone thinks but this is different!

Shellywelly1973 Fri 27-Sep-13 00:45:55

Exactly Misty! but even though my own mother is alcoholic i would make sure she had a decent funeral. The funeral is a reflection on me.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 27-Sep-13 00:50:22

Shelly sad people wont think your MIL's funeral is a reflection on you, but on your H and SIL.

He sounds thoughless and self absorbed 'at best' - I have a few other less generous adjectives I'd use. I can't fathom why you are with him either!

Did you get paid to be MIL's carer?

MariaLuna Fri 27-Sep-13 00:52:16

I'm sorry but I don't understand why at 23 weeks pregnancy you are pulling up carpets...
(what are you going to do with them exactly).

If they can't give a fuck, why should you?

Leave them to it and concentrate on your pregnancy. You owe it to yourself and to your LO.

She's gone now. (Sorry if that sounds mean).

Look to the future, not the past.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 27-Sep-13 00:53:58

No i was never paid to be Mil Carer but hospital & Dwp acknowledged i was her Carer. I earn too much to qualify.

As Dps very long term partner people/ family will presume i was involved in the arrangments & planning of the funeral. When people are phoning & texting requesting details of the funeral, i tell them to contact Dp or Sil.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 27-Sep-13 00:58:45

The reason i ended up clearing the house was that its a council house. The council told me if the house wasn't clear of all furniture & carpets, we would be sent a bill for clearing the house.

Dp has had 2 days compassionate leave. He has 1 left for the funeral. The keys need to be handed in on Monday so i didn't have much choice. Dp has no holidays left til next year & never takes unpaid leave-ever!

Sil lives 2 hours away.

MistyB Fri 27-Sep-13 01:00:07

Honestly, no! Her funeral is just that, it is not a reflection on you, on her, or on her children. Her life was a testament to her life, her funeral is just a reflection of that, if the light is shining badly on that day, it is just that, the light of the day, not the substance of her life. Allow your DH to let his Mum pass in the manner in which he wants. Allow yourself to remember her in whatever way you wish to remember by.

Shellywelly1973 Fri 27-Sep-13 01:05:51

Maybe Im not making myself clear.

Dp isn't doing anything about his mums funeral...

I feel its inappropriate.

We are not going to agree on this. Im planning my own funeral!

Eastpoint Fri 27-Sep-13 03:07:23


If you have your own car I don't understand why you need to travel in an undertakers' car. We didn't bother with them when my mother died, it seemed a waste of money. Similarly we didn't really do flowers, they seemed inappropriate & just had the cheapest coffin as she was cremated. Cars & flowers & order of services did not seem at all important as we were all so shocked & just trying to get through the days leading up to her cremation (she died completely unexpectedly).

Chottie Fri 27-Sep-13 03:19:13

I would tread with care. You say your MiL was not a good mother, you do not know exactly what went on, you care for your MiL, but what happened during your DP and SiLs childhood must run deep. Perhaps they feel it would be hypocritical to have a big showy funeral and then having to stand around afterwards listening to everyone saying nice things about the deceased would just stick in their throats?

With all respect, you came in at the end of her life, the final 10 years, a lot of water went under the bridge before you came into her life. I just would send some nice flowers from you.

Congratulations on your baby by the way smile

crescentmoon Fri 27-Sep-13 04:05:05

Can the effort a parent makes to be a good grandparent not be seen as their making up for the past though? My father was a stern, distant, and authoritarian parent growing up, but as a grandfather he is now very indulgent, soft, and far more gentle with my children. It boggles my mind sometimes yet that's all my DH has seen of him. Its for that iv slowly slowly come to terms and forgiven my dad for how he was when i was a child as I see it as his atoning for the way he was in the past.

crescentmoon Fri 27-Sep-13 04:13:02

As for the funeral and your cultural differences on giving a good send off or not- just to say I understand. my family are only just beginning to understand the way my in laws deal with the subject of illness in the family. In mine if your sick people get told and go to visit - not to visit is very hurtful. They were wanting to almost break down the door when hearing one of my in laws was very unwell but in DHs family that is kept private and very hush hush. My 'side' couldn't understand why 'his' side were not letting them come to visit and 'commiserate' with the ill relative, whereas DH felt mine were being overly pushy and public. I had to toe the in laws line but felt very awkward explaining as in our culture it was very aberrant!

forumdonkey Fri 27-Sep-13 07:16:03

Obviously only my opinion on funerals - large floral gestures are a complete waste of money, over priced flowers left to rot and die in a cemetery. I think the time to make these gestures are to buy them when the person is alive and can enjoy them. I'm sure what you did for your MIL when she was alive and the love and respect you offered her was far more important to her than what happens when she is gone.

Hold onto the fact that all the years you were caring and making time for her is far more important than a few hours for her funeral.

My condolences OP

wigglesrock Fri 27-Sep-13 08:09:40

I'm sorry you're so upset about your mil. But no 10 years of sobriety and being a good granny doesn't wipe out whatever hurt went on in your sils and their siblings childhood. You need to step back, remember that you had a completely different relationship with her than her children, who were brought up by her. Do whatever you think appropriate from your kids re flowers.

The past couple of funerals I've been to haven't had a funeral car for family and I'm from a culture that quite likes a good funeral.

Good luck with the upcoming birth.

Whocansay Fri 27-Sep-13 08:22:49

You're clearly upset, but this really is not your fight and not really your business. You have no real idea of what happened to your DP and SIL when they were younger. Step back and leave everything to your DP and SIL. Thinking practically, your MIL is no longer here and will not care. I can't imagine why you think anyone would see the funeral as a reflection on you though.

Retroformica Fri 27-Sep-13 08:27:52

Can you organise something special from you only. Stunning flower display.

Is it too late to organise the wake?

fluffyraggies Fri 27-Sep-13 08:45:08

OP i think your DP is being massively unreasonable and unkind leaving the donkey work of clearing his mothers house to you. Preg or not. I think this is the bigger issue here tbh.

The issue of how much he cared for his mother and therefore how much effort he wants to put into the funeral is his own affair though.

His mother is dead and wont know anything about her funeral. His DP is still alive and being treated like shite though. Not on.

I think you need to take a HUGE step back actually. You are allowing yourself to be very burdened by all this. You should have let him get the bill from the council, and you must let go and leave him and his sister to sort the funeral. It wont be a reflection on you. Presumably anyone who's interested will know you were her carer, and did your bit. Just send a big bunch of flowers and then start work on getting a bit more respect from your DP please.

Pigsmummy Fri 27-Sep-13 08:52:42

Do you know her friends? If so can you arrange a coffee morning or something for them to get together and celebrate her life. I am sorry for your loss.

Preciousbane Fri 27-Sep-13 08:55:42

You should not have been doing heavy work at 23 weeks pg and shame on them for letting you. I don't like the way you have been treated at all.

I'm glad you had a good relationship with your MIL. Don't worry about cars, we didn't have them for my Dads funeral and I actually loved him.

My Mother is evil, that is a strong word but she abandoned four of her dc for a year and allowed abusive men in to our lives at various times. She doesn't deserve anything at all but for show my siblings will want a decent funeral and to be honest my Mother has money so it will be paid from her estate. So to the outside world it will look good but I can honestly say she is not loved in a way a Mother should be at all.

Carry your MIL memory around in your heart and think of her, that is what rememberance is about and love not how fab a gravestone someone has or if there was a wake.

captainmummy Fri 27-Sep-13 08:56:42

I agree with most posters - this is their mother, and funeral arrangements (or not) will not reflect on you at all. Why on earth would it? I have never been to a funeral and assumed the DIL to have had much or any input.
I haven't seen my father for 30 years (except once in that time) and I have to say I would be seriously pissed off if my SIL/BIL tried to get me to make amends, be considerate or caring about his funeral, or to coerce me out of a way of feeling which I feel quite justified in having for him. (and it is justified, just as your dps or SILs may be).
Back off, let them do the funeral in the way they feel fit for their mother, and do a floral arrangement or newspaper announcement in your way.
Leaving the clearing of the hosue to a pregnant woman though is not on. You should not be doing that, regardless of your feelings for MIL - solely becasue of your pregnancy.

geekgal Fri 27-Sep-13 09:11:48

Agree with most of the other posters, you shouldn't have had to clear the house, but the funeral arrangements are for the kids to do, not you. I wouldn't normally comment on anything like this but it struck a chord with me as I don't speak to my mother (abuse) but have to put up with my sister's comments about how wonderful she is and all her friends saying she's so lucky to have such a great mum/grandmum. They don't know her like I do, I'm going to guess that you don't know MIL like your DP & SIL do. You should take a step back and consider that there are things that happened that they haven't told you, or haven't described to you how much it affected them.

ivykaty44 Fri 27-Sep-13 09:17:33

are you expecting a lot of people to turn up for the funeral?

I agree you know your MIL in a totally different way from your dp and SIL, is it about not respecting her or is it about the money?

whatever5 Fri 27-Sep-13 09:37:45

If she was a bad mother, I can see why they don't want to spend too much money on her funeral and I don't think that you should interfere too much just because you got on with her in the last few years of her life. I understand that it's upsetting for you though.

Unless your MIL's funeral is today, I don't think you can assume that your SIL won't arrange anything for afterwards just because she hasn't done anything yet (I arranged something for my own MIL at the last minute). I don't think that a hearse is necessary. You can buy expensive flowers for her.

sparechange Fri 27-Sep-13 09:39:56

My grandfather died last month. He was adored by everyone, including the 8 grandchildren who organised his funeral.
But we also got 'cheap' flowers from the internet, used our own cars instead of hiring a limo and didn't have a wake.
It wasn't a sign of not loving him, it was a sign of the extortionate mark-ups the undertakers were trying to put on everything.
Funerals seem to be only second to weddings to make the pound signs flash in peoples' eyes. Probably worse, in fact, because the quote we got for the limo to follow the car from the house to the church is about what you would pay for a days hire for a flash car and driver for a wedding.

In the end, the day was lovely. I very much doubt anyone noticed the flowers were ordered online, and in any case, they were only on show for an hour, and people were FAR more focused on their own personal reflection than totting up how much the day must have cost.

DeWe Fri 27-Sep-13 10:06:19

When I die. I don't want a big event. I don't want extra cars and things like that which aren't important. A small service, donations to a charity in lue of flowers, and a small gathering afterwards of close family so they can comfort each other or celebrate depending on how mean I've been to them...

Putting on a big show can be as much about the people doing it as the person who died.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 27-Sep-13 10:27:38

How are you doing today?

Your SIL only lives 2 hours away - some people commute that to work! She should have come up to do the house clearance. You should have told your DP to take unpaid leave to do it (though why he couldn't do it on his regular days off I'm not sure?!) leaving you to do it is shitty behaviour - leaving you to do it all at 23 weeks pregnant is totally disgraceful behavior.

Have either of them shown you any compassion for the loss you are feeling? Have either of them shown you any gratitude for caring for their mother? Have either of them shown you any gratitude for dealing with the house?

I just love how caring for her was left to you, how cleaning up afterwards was left to you... but now they want to organise the funeral in their way/it's none of your business. Hypocritical.

harticus Fri 27-Sep-13 10:35:43

Whatever the feelings of her children you were her carer and you are feeling your bereavement very deeply. My mum nursed my dad's mum till her death when all of her kids couldn't be arsed and after her death she was just shunted to the background.
I really do understand your problem. My family are of solid working class stock where "a good send off" is non-negotiable - my poncey twat ex found the whole thing "tawdry".
For the sake of your own sanity and your baby you probably need to step back and let them do it their way. It really is no reflection on your respect or affection for her.

bicyclefish Fri 27-Sep-13 10:38:11

Firstly, sorry for your loss and i wish you the very best. YANBU but i don't think you have much of a choice in this instance which is a real shame as the funeral is such a big part of many people healing process and the last time many people feel that they connect with the lost one.
you need to make your peace with your feelings and her memory as ultimately that is all you are left with when its all done and dusted.
Karma will take care of the rest... good luck x

Shellywelly1973 Fri 27-Sep-13 13:21:26

I just need to point out that i in no way presume i feel the loss of my Mil greater then Dp or Sil.

Dp & Sil are damaged due to Mil behaviour whilst they were children. Her death has opened a really massive can of worms. I had a very similar childhood to them. My mother still drinks a bottle of vodka a day. Has done for 25 years. She will never stop at least Mil did.

I also need to printout the funeral wont cost Dp or Sil a penny. If they do spend anything they will claim it back from Mil estate.

I have offered to organise & pay for a gathering after the crematorium but Sil turned me down.

I have stepped back but Im still upset. Mil expected nothing in her life & got nothing...her funeral is actually just like her life...She deserved better. She knew i loved her.

She didn't have any close friends. When she stopped drinking she kept herself to herself. She only dealt with family. She has 2 sisters who were her companions.

Its all a shame really, shows me life is too short!

Inertia Fri 27-Sep-13 14:02:23

Perhaps you can try to take some comfort from the fact that your Mil knew you cared for her while she was still alive, and she appreciated everything you did to help her.

It's difficult to tell how much of dp and SiL 's behaviour is due to deep rifts and unforgivable hurt, and how much is just them being tight.

Looking longer term, your Dp' s attitude is worrying given that you are pregnant.

friday16 Fri 27-Sep-13 14:50:23

The council told me if the house wasn't clear of all furniture & carpets, we would be sent a bill for clearing the house.

Which you would, of course, refuse to pay. It's not your debt. The money would come from your mother-in-law's estate, if any, and therefore (indirectly) from your husband and sister-in-law who are presumably the residual beneficiaries. If there wasn't enough money in the estate to pay (after funeral costs, there's a strict hierarchy of who gets paid) then the council would go spin. There is no situation in which you would be liable.

friday16 Fri 27-Sep-13 14:53:16

She should have come up to do the house clearance.

Why? The council would have done it. The council would either have been paid from the estate or had to swallow the cost themselves. No-one had to do it, and no-one has to pay.

Beastofburden Fri 27-Sep-13 16:46:05

I think it is true that funerals mean more to you than to many people, so you are especially upset. You are not going to win on the funeral, as it is shared with others who have had a very different experience of your MIL and quite possibly a different style of marking such things anyway.

Why not find your own way to make a memorial to her? You can have a tree planted, perhaps in a green burial site, and use that as a place to remember her. Or make a book of photos and her favourite sayings, recipes, whatever. You can show it to your baby when s/he is older.

Find another way to honour the memory of the woman you loved, just for you.

You have a baby coming, it is not a good time for a festering row with DP or for you to get exhausted.

justmyview Fri 27-Sep-13 17:53:06

I think they probably have strong memories of unhappy childhood and may feel you only saw MIL after she'd mellowed.

Also, you say that they're not big spenders generally. Maybe they don't like to spend money on flowers, limos etc because they regard it as an unnecessary expense, not just a reflection on their relationship with their mother.

Shellywelly1973 Sat 28-Sep-13 01:00:23

They just don't spend money if at all possible...

As I've pointed out the funeral isn't costing either of them a penny.

I met mil 14 years ago but had nothing to do with her as she was an alcoholic-just like my own mother. I know what she was like.

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