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My cousin has died and his wife has forbidden our family to attend funeral

(158 Posts)
Wildwillow Wed 05-Oct-16 16:46:12

Unbelievable though this sounds the wife of my first cousin has expressly stated that none of his blood family will be welcome at his funeral. He died earlier this week after a three year short battle with cancer, he was 57.

We have not been close in recent years, and I guess she somehow feels resentful that we did not move to Norfolk to support them, but being divorced with 3 kids put rather a claim on my time. She has never enjoyed a close relationship with my aunt (her MIL) for which I would put blame on both parties. However to now try and forbid my aunt to attend the funeral of her own son seems pretty diabolical. My parents and my brother have all said that we would like to attend, this is for one of the closest relations that we grew up with. But neither do I want to create a scene like something from a soap opera. What on earth do we do? I can live without going for my own part (although I would like to) but it seems quite inhuman to try to refuse a mother a place at her childs funeral. What do we do??

WatchingFromTheWings Wed 05-Oct-16 16:48:17

Sorry for your loss. flowers

If it was my child being buried, to hell with anyone telling me to stay away! I'd be going.

Shannaratiger Wed 05-Oct-16 16:48:19

I'd just go, especially if he was my son, brother etc.

Stardustlady Wed 05-Oct-16 16:49:18

I would go.

Cherylene Wed 05-Oct-16 16:51:48

Maybe attend the funeral and then leave?

If that doesn't work out, then have a quiet family memorial service for the DM.

Cleo22 Wed 05-Oct-16 16:52:35

Go - but do not attend any event after the funeral

Wildwillow Wed 05-Oct-16 16:54:40

Yes right now my gut feeling is that we will go to support each other, and have our own family wake at wherever is most convenient. She has even said that his own brother, wife and grown up children are not welcome!! And I feel that if my 85 year old aunt went without our (calm and understated) support it would be seriously damaging to her health. I am really blown away by how bonkers some people can be.

MaMaof04 Wed 05-Oct-16 16:56:05

As Cleo said

RiverTam Wed 05-Oct-16 16:57:14

I would go. In fact, if it's a church service, she can't stop anyone from going.

Dozer Wed 05-Oct-16 16:57:33

What's the back story here?!

bert3400 Wed 05-Oct-16 17:00:40

She can not stop you from going. I would call the crematorium & find out the details.. . undertakers name and let them know you will be attending and what the situation is . she has no league right to prevent you from going .

Cherylene Wed 05-Oct-16 17:03:05

It might be worth contacting the funeral directors and seeing if she can go and visit and pay her respects, on her own (with support of course) before the funeral too.

I have a friend whose husband is a funeral director and they would try and find a quiet way round things.

WindPowerRanger Wed 05-Oct-16 17:05:50

Have you spoken to the wife? I'd be tempted to ring her and try to smooth things over, at least until the funeral.

HateSummer Wed 05-Oct-16 17:07:24

Was the mum and blood relations mean to the son and dil? Cut them out? Not Support them when he was ill? If so, she must be angry.

KateLivesInEngland Wed 05-Oct-16 17:09:44

Even kind and lovely people can go a bit bonkers in grief, most people realise their actions at some point but if she is a grudge-holding bitter person under normal circumstances then I'm thinking she could be quite volatile at the funeral.
I wouldn't let that stop me from attending my own sons funeral though and I agree your family should be there to support your aunt, though I agree with PP about avoiding the wake. Be prepared for hostility and try not to inflame the situation would be my advice.
I'm very sorry for your families loss. flowers

SandyDenny Wed 05-Oct-16 17:11:13

Where is the funeral being held, it may be that she can't actually stop anyone entering the building but without hearing both sides it's impossible to pass any further comment

BackforGood Wed 05-Oct-16 17:12:32

I agree with everyone else. Whatever the back story, you can't stop someone attending their own child's funeral.
I guess the thing to do is all go to the crem / chapel and then for you all to go for a meal together somewhere if you are not welcome back wherever she is holding the wake. His Mum has to go, and she will need support from the rest of the family.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Wed 05-Oct-16 17:16:24

Please can we have more backstory? Your cousin's widow could be the most horrible person ever, but had your cousin had some sort of major falling-out with his mother/extended family? Would he have wanted her and you all there? I'm sorry if those seem like unkind questions, but that's the only reason I can think of for such an embargo.

RaptorInaPorkPieHat Wed 05-Oct-16 17:17:12

I'm not saying this to stir the pot, but I remember my DGM banning family to my DGDs funeral (only my mum and dad attended). The reason being, she really just couldn't face dealing with us it at all. The service itself was apparently very brief and there was no wake whatsoever. Of course, it doesn't make it right at all, but people react very differently to grief.

I agree with Cherylene contact the funeral directors and see if things can be smoothed over before the service. It might be a plan to go to the service and then go for a family meal separately afterwards.

I'm sorry for your loss flowers

e1y1 Wed 05-Oct-16 17:22:06

So sorry for your loss flowers.

What you do is, you go! No way on Earth should your Aunt not be allowed to attend her son's funeral.

If there is a scene, it will be from her, not you.

Ausernotanumber Wed 05-Oct-16 17:23:14

Talk to the funeral director they will have seen this before and have ways of dealing with it

diddl Wed 05-Oct-16 17:28:34

Do you think that there has been a falling out with her & her MIL/BIL?

I'm sure that she wouldn't have expected you as a cousin to move to help her, or even her MIL or BIL.

Pinkballoongirl Wed 05-Oct-16 17:30:36

So sorry for your loss

Grief is so destructive, who knows why she is saying this. But your aunt must go, not going will only serve to compound her grief further. flowers

LadyConstanceDeCoverlet Wed 05-Oct-16 17:30:38

I don't think any of us can say that your aunt must absolutely be allowed to attend the funeral - it really depends on the back story which even you might not know in full. I'm obviously not saying that this is the case, but if there had been some big family blow-up when your aunt had been foul to her DIL or even her son, or indeed if she had behaved even worse than that in some way, it might be the case that her DIL has every right to say her MIL shouldn't be there.

Ceic Wed 05-Oct-16 17:31:06

Unfortunately, AFAIK, funerals are private events, not public ones. If the chief mourners want to exclude people, they can. We did this for a family member's funeral - a funeral/memorial service was advertised to be at a particular church. There were no public details about the actual funeral at the cremetorium, which was before the advertised service - you had to be invited.

Another relative wanted two funerals - one in the area where they grew up and the other in the area where they died. And that is what we did - both were well-attended, despite being several hundred miles apart. They were buried after the second funeral.

I think that contacting the funeral director is a good idea - they will have encountered this before and may have other suggestions that work better.

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