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Sister's housemate wants to bring her father's body to stay at their home for 5 days before funeral. Advice?

(491 Posts)
MumfordandDaughter Fri 03-May-13 12:58:41

Hello, sorry if this is in the wrong area.

My sister's just phoned me in bits. She works as a teacher further up North from me on one of the small islands. She shares a house with a fellow teacher/colleague.

The housemate is an only child. Her elderly father died last night and the mother has refused to have his body at their home because she wouldn't be able to cope. She also doesn't want the body to remain at the funeral parlour or go to chapel. So the mother has asked her daughter - my sister's housemate - to have him at her house instead, to which the housemate agreed.

My sister is really uncomfortable with this. Especially as it's going to be an open coffin until the day of the funeral (middle of next week). The housemate plans to hold 2-3 rosaries and the wake at their house, too.

My sister - who is really quiet and usually a 'yes' person - has told her housemate she's not happy with this arrangement, and it will make her really uncomfortable.

The housemate really didn't take this well and it ended with the mother phoning my sister and calling her selfish.

My sister doesn't know what to do. It's a really small town she lives in, with just one very expensive hotel. My parents have refused to loan her the money to stay at the hotel for the week as they feel the housemate should fork up at least half.

My sister also doesn't want to have to move, because it's so far from school/work, and there's no guarantee there'll be any rooms (it's only a 7-room place).

She doesn't know where she stands. It's not a religious difference, as they're both the same religion. it's just the thought of her father's open coffin being in their living room for all that time, and all the family visiting through the week.

My sister and housemate aren't particularly friends, but they've always been civil up until now.

Does anyone have any advice i could pass on?

(I told her to come on here herself but she refused to because she doesn't have children blush)

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 03-May-13 13:03:47

Why on earth can't she arrange for the deceased to stay at the funeral home until the actual funeral?
Surely this is normal these days, it was for both my mum and sister.

Without sounding unsympathetic, that is just not acceptable in a shared house. You can't expect a non-relative to have an open coffin in a shared living room for several days. That's just not on.

The bereaved housemate had no right agreeing to this without the other's approval. The bereaved housemate's mother has a damn nerve, grief or no grief, to refuse to have the body at her house and then ring up the other housemate and call her selfish.

Quite what you/your friend does about it, though, I really don't know.

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 13:05:06

i think the housemate should offer to pay for your sister to stay in the hotel if she want to bring her dad's body to her home. your sister doesn't have to agree to it but if she was willing to move out for teh week then the housemate should be grateful and pay for it. and it's not just teh body being there, there will be people in and out for the whole week, staying over to be with the body (some people dont leave teh body alone for the entire wake). your sister will feel obliged to make tea and possibly food for them. it's quite an intrusion.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 03-May-13 13:05:50

Tell your sister to stand firm. Presume they are both on the lease of the place rather than the other woman owning the property and your sister being some kind of lodger?

No fucking way would that be happening in my house, creepy as hell.

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 13:06:35

i agree with Voice. teh mother has a brass neck refusing to have him and then calling an unrelated (stranger to teh deceased?) person selfish for not wanting him there.

TeamEdward Fri 03-May-13 13:08:20

I presume the shared house is rented? Could the landlord intercede?
I don't think your sister is being unreasonable at all. 5 days is long time to have an open coffin in your living room. The housemate could just as easily arrange viewings and prayers etc to take place at the funeral parlour.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 03-May-13 13:08:33

Hello OP

If I am reading correctly the house is not owned by your sisters friend and they share it/rent it as part of their job.

Your sister is within her rights to refuse and her friend/mother are expecting too much. The mother doesn't want the body so why should your sister have it, she isn't even related.
Tell her to stick to her guns and refuse. Is there a landlord she could discuss this with? They might not be happy with it either.
If this is what they want to do they can't expect your sister to accommodate this. The mother should have the father at home.

I think the mother is a bit off saying she won't have the body at her own house, won't have him at the funeral parlour, but her daughters housemate is somehow being "selfish" by not wanting an open coffin in her living room for several days!

I know she is grieving and perhaps not seeing things very straight, but that is unfair.

The body should either stay at the parents house, or the funeral parlour. Nobody outside the immediate family should have to cope with having a deceased person in their house for that period.

If the daughter is really distraught at the idea of him being "with strangers" then she (or the mother) should pay for the hotel for your daughter.

tribpot Fri 03-May-13 13:12:03

Bloody hell - that is beyond taking the piss.

The housemate needs to move back to her mother's house and help her cope with the very sad business of being the surviving spouse. That's holding the wake, having the visits from family and all the rest. My MIL is going through this right now, and I get that it's tough, but the housemate CANNOT expect your sister to deal with an open coffin in her own house for 5 days.

MumfordandDaughter Fri 03-May-13 13:12:46

Thanks everyone.

Yes, it's a private rented house and they both share, although my sister moved in a few months before she did. But their names are both on the contract.

My sister's already said no. But she doesn't know what she can physically do. She said no. Housemate (and her mother) said 'tough luck' more or less. The housemate said because of ferry times, it's likely they'll just get a few visitors this weekend, and then the rest won't be visiting until the actual funeral. It'll mainly be neighbours popping in and attending the roasries. And that my sister has a tv in her bedroom, so there's no need to be in the living room anyway if she doesn't want to.

My sister's waiting on a the letting agency to get back to her with the landlord's decision. But she isn't hopeful. Landlord normally takes several days to reply to queries and the body is due to be at their home by the end of today/early tomorrow.

Weegiemum Fri 03-May-13 13:14:30

From your post I'm kind of assuming you are in the Hebrides somewhere?

We lived there for over 10 years (still go up 3x a year we still have a house there) and open coffins at home are pretty much the way it goes.

If you're not happy (and I wouldn't be!) then I think your sisters housemate needs to fork for the hotel if she insists.

But if she does just refuse, what are you going to do? It's a hard one.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 03-May-13 13:15:45

I am going against the grain and saying that since this woman's Father has died, it is churlish and rather silly to get all squealy about a dead body in the house.

he's dead...he won't harm anyone. She can avoid the room for the period. It's not a disaster if she has to do that surely? but the death of a parent IS a disaster.

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 13:15:59

so they are just going ahead without your sister's agreement! shock

i'm not sure what your sister can do but i really hope she can do something to prevent this! that is awful!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 03-May-13 13:17:08

Can I ask what people are so afraid of? Genuinely want to know.

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 13:17:29

neo if it's such little inconvenience then the mother can do it in the man's own home!

I'd be surprised if the landlord would be happy to have a dead body in their living room for 5 days and have assorted people tramping through, so I'd press the letting agent to get in urgent contact with the landlord.

I'd be calling Citizen's Advice Bureau on this or a friend who works in the legal profession if you have one. Personally, there is no way I would accept this fait accompli and I wonder if, legally, your sister has every right to deny access.

Even if she hasn't, if it were me, I'd be getting other friends round there and preventing the body from being taken into the house. Don't care how upset it makes the family, they are totally out of order and in the wrong.

no way would this happen in our house. family or no family... totally gives me the heebie jeebies confused

the mother is being hypocrytical (sp?). her home or funeral home are the only options. she cant just expect a total stranger to put up with a dead body in an open coffin... for a whole week too!

Neo - would you want people traipsing into your house for 5 days whom you don't know? It's not about being squeamish, it's simply unacceptable foisting this situation on someone who is not related and is simply sharing a house. Why should someone paying rent basically have her use of the house curtailed for a week? Hell no.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 03-May-13 13:21:44

BooyHoo the woman has lost her DH! She's probably're allowed to be unreasonable in that event!

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 13:22:58

again i'm with VOU. a death doesn't trump everyone else's right to a say in what happens in their own home. i'd have friends/family round too and refuse access.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 03-May-13 13:23:20

I still think it's unreasonable. A woman has lost her Husband...another has lost her Father. Sharing a house means more than sharing rent. It means being a small community. People are so selfish and silly it shocks me!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 03-May-13 13:24:05

I think it's disgusting. I wouldn;t care about people coming to pay their's 5 days not forever!

SnapesOnAPlane Fri 03-May-13 13:24:29

Does it matter what people are afraid of, Neo?
It's a dead body. I wouldn't want one in my house either, friend/housemates father or not.
It's not churlish or silly, it's a human reaction to a dead body.

PearlyWhites Fri 03-May-13 13:25:15

I think your sister should show some sensitivity and respect.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 03-May-13 13:25:32

Yes it matters Snapes. It matters because people think so little of a family in grief.

rubyflipper Fri 03-May-13 13:25:32

I would say OK. BUT on the proviso that the corpse says in flatmate's room.

MumfordandDaughter Fri 03-May-13 13:25:49

Thanks everyone. I'v just text her to get back on the phone to the letting agency to tell the Landlord this is urgent. My dad's telling her to tell the agency that she'll be witholding her rent until this is sorted and refusing to pay rent at all for this week if the coffin gets to stay. But there's no way my sister will say any of that.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 03-May-13 13:26:19

Ruby that would be a good compromise. That way, shared space is not being used. The flatmate could sleep in the sitting room.

Fine - send the body down to Neo. Problem solved.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 03-May-13 13:27:02

The agency won't take kindly to rent witholding.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 03-May-13 13:27:36

Well Voice, if it were my flatmate then no there wouldn't be a problem.

DistanceCall Fri 03-May-13 13:28:04

Neo, it makes no sense. She's so traumatised that she can't have the corpse in her own home but can't leave it in the funeral parlour because it's be among strangers? Fine. Then someone less traumatised in the family should cough up for the OP's sister's hotel. It's only decent.

And I would be very uncomfortable with a dead body in my living room and loads of people coming over for the rosary. I presume you have never listened to groups of people praying the rosary, or been in a wake. It's fairly sinister. And FOR FIVE DAYS. It's unacceptable.

Wylye Fri 03-May-13 13:28:47

Neo - apart from the fact that the OPs sister might be very uncomfortable with a dead body being in her house for nearly a week (which I think is plenty of reason to object), the housemate is enforcing a week of mourning onto the sister - she doesn't know the deceased, but will hardly be living life as normal unless she decides to be massively insensitive. No music playing, no hanging out in the kitchen/dining rm to eat meals, no having friends over, she'll be confined to her room.
It's not fair on a shared household, and the other tenant is being v odd to insist.

AmberLeaf Fri 03-May-13 13:28:51

The deceased Dad should be taken back to his own home, the flatmate should go and stay with her Mother to support her in coping with it all.

DistanceCall Fri 03-May-13 13:29:11

^ if it were my flatmate then no there wouldn't be a problem.^

"I don't have a problem with it, then it shouldn't be a problem for anyone". Nice reasoning, Neo. You do realise that the universe doesn't revolve around your navel, don't you?

Amber - absolutely. That's the normal and reasonable thing to do.

AmberLeaf Fri 03-May-13 13:31:33

Even if the Dad was going to stay at the funeral home, I think that the flatmate should be with her Mum anyway.

That is what I would do in that situation anyway.

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 03-May-13 13:32:41

I don't think its disgusting, as Neo, but I do believe its a cultural clash.

If it is the cultural norm for family to have an open coffin at home in the community in which your sis lives, then the cultural norm would take precident for me.

Your sis is dealing with people who are in a heightened emotional state and has the option to go elsewhere for what is an exceptional probably one off circumstance.

It is sad that the mum doesn't feel she can have the dad at home.

For some people, this is a very important part of the grieving and burial period. I don't think that morally your sis has the right to take this away from the family, even if legally she/ the landlord can.

Does she know other people she could ask to campout with for a week, considering the circumstances, or is the hotel really the only option?

FannyFifer Fri 03-May-13 13:34:09

This is just not acceptable at all in a shared house.
I am not squeamish at all about dead bodies, but you really can't inflict a dead dad lying in state in the sitting room of a shared rental house on someone.

whattodoo Fri 03-May-13 13:34:19

I presume your sis has pointed out the impracticalities - can't hang her knickers on the living room radiators. Won't be able to pop into the kitchen to make a snack while visitors are there. Won't be able to chat on the phone. Won't be able to play music or watch TV at a sensible volume.

I'm sure your sis is sympathetic and would happily keep the noise and fun levels to a minimum while her housemate is newly bereaved. But to expect her to accept this arrangement is beyond unreasonable.

I can only think she'll have to appeal to her house mate's better nature, however.

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 13:36:53

there are faciities available for bereaved families who dont feel able to have their deceased at home for the wake. they are called funeral homes. (although i suspect there might be a charge? i wonder if that is a factor in the woman's determination not to use one?)

tribpot Fri 03-May-13 13:36:55

I don't think withholding rent is going to help gee the landlord up, except to make it more likely he/she will vote in favour of the housemate out of pique. It's not his/her fault, after all.

Frankly this isn't much different to having an alive person stay in the living room for five days, hosting a party and guests at will.

travellingwilbury Fri 03-May-13 13:37:26

Would this even be allowed for so long ?

I really don't want to be grim but there is a very good reason that a body is kept in a fridge .

EffieTheDuck Fri 03-May-13 13:37:47

Could the body rest at the local church?

I would be concerned with health issues keeping a body in a presumably heated flat for 5 days.

embolina Fri 03-May-13 13:38:02

Oh my GOD. I can't believe your sister is being made to feel that SHE'S the unreasonable one in this. A father passing away is a horrible, terrible loss- but even so- this is ridiculous.

A dead body. In the house. In an open casket. For five DAYS.


Plan of action for your sister:

Other than that, there's not a lot you can do. Quite frankly, if she goes ahead with this, I would start looking for somewhere else to live. (That's what I would personally do anyway. I simply couldn't live with someone who forced something like that upon me.)

SirChenjin Fri 03-May-13 13:38:06

I lost my mum last year, and was absolutely and completely devastated. However, even in the midst of my grief I still managed to consider others. Had she died when I was at the house-sharing stage there is no way on earth I would have insisted on having her body in an open coffin in the living room whilst expecting my flatmates to put up and shut up for 5 days - utterly bonkers.

If you DS doesn't want the body in the house then her flatmate should do the decent thing and pay for her to stay elsewhere, or as others have said, move back with her mother where they can be together and say their last goodbyes.

CarpeVinum Fri 03-May-13 13:39:02

This is normal here, but they do funerals quick so it would be one or two nights at the most.

I washed and dressed FIL hours after his death. I would have done the same for MIL had she not died in hospital.

We were with FIL in the house from his desth to the funeral, he was laid put on the bed and many people came to say goodbye.

I would not want to be in your sister's postion. Being in constant contact with a relentless reminder of one's own mortality, a fairly normal Northern European discomfort of being around dead bodies and the lack of respite from being wittness to fresh grief...well it is a huge ask. And personally having been there, done that, bought the T shirt, I'd not be welcoming this with open arms. But I also wouldn't want to upset somebody in the midst of grief, so I would be looking to hole up elsewhere and damn the cost.

Have to say I find it odd the transporting of the gentlemen somewhere other than his own home. Maybe it's a cultural thing, but people here are either at home till the funeral, or in an offical place of rest in the interim. Here the point of a family based place of pre funeral rest is that the deceased gets to be at home, with their family, and their loved ones say goodbye to them in their own surroundings.

NatashaBee Fri 03-May-13 13:39:23

I'm not at all squeamish, but this wouldn't be acceptable to me either.

flowery Fri 03-May-13 13:39:24

"I don't think that morally your sis has the right to take this away from the family, even if legally she/ the landlord can."

How would she be taking it away from them? confused The body could go to the mother's home but she has decided she doesn't want that. That's not the OP's sister's fault!

No way would I stay in a house with a corpse in the living room for 5 days.

I agree with pp, the body and the flatmate should go to the mothers house.

BobblyGussets Fri 03-May-13 13:41:43

The body will start to smell after the first few days. Embalming doesn't do miracles.

Just no. It's all too intrusive. It the risk of sounding really lacking in compassion, I would be warning the housemate and the mother, that you will be locking the door, so it really is a "no".

Floggingmolly Fri 03-May-13 13:44:22

Well, I'm Irish, and that would be perfectly normal there; but not under any circumstances in someone else's house!
Hs wife "couldn't cope"; so that should have been the end of it. Funeral home it is.
Even asking the daughter to do it in her own home would be extremely strange.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 03-May-13 13:45:01

I wouldn't like it either. I am not spiritual, I don't think it's creepy I just wouldn't like it at all.

I would feel extremely strongly about this.

Perhaps you could suggest your flat mate moves in with her mother while her husbands body is there? Another, possibility would be for you flat antes mum to stay with you while your flat ate stays with the body in her parents house.

travellingwilbury Fri 03-May-13 13:45:52

And she won't be able to have any heating on for this days as well . Can he not be at the local church ? Or even just to come to the house the night before . That would be a lot more acceptable to me

zzzzz Fri 03-May-13 13:47:11

I would be able to deal with this and support the family by allowing the df to be laid out in the sitting room. I wouldn't enjoy it, an it would inconvenience me, but that wouldn't trump their needs.

Births and deaths are much more important than people think. I think this is a huge ask on the part of the flat mate, but should be accomodated.

Floggin - my grandfather on one side was Irish and I have lots of Irish relatives so I, too, know that sometimes bodies go "home". But they go "home" to their own house. If they don't go "home" then they go to a funeral home or chapel.

Floggingmolly Fri 03-May-13 13:48:29

Yes, that's the point I was making, Voice

LessMissAbs Fri 03-May-13 13:49:22

Totally unacceptable in a houseshare. Why the mother couldn't cope with the body of her dead husband in her own home but could with it being in a house shared with an unrelated family member, miles from her, I do not know. She is being ridiculous. Its her husband, and like it or not, she should be stepping up to the mark and not placing the full burden on her daughter (and her housemate).

Floggin meant to say "I'm with you" before I hit send.

If this person I shared the house with was my bestest friend in the whole world whom I'd known for years and years and she had no other family, I might just about find a way to think this was acceptable. But this housemate is a work colleague and the OP has made it clear they are "civil" and not really friends.

ChasedByBees Fri 03-May-13 13:51:20

I would develop an immediate fondness for thrash metal.

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 03-May-13 13:51:31

flowery obviously ideally the dad would go to the mums house but for what ever reason, the no doubt not rationally thinking mum feels that can't happen. If the Ops sis blocks it at her house, which i'd anticipate legally she could, then the body stays at the funeral parlour the mum and daughter may feel long term guilt/ complex emotions that the open coffin bit didn't happen.

I'm a bit of a pushover probably but considering a very close family member has died I'd move out for the five days.

As others have posted it would be better if daughter could stay with mum and have the dads open coffin at the mums house.

StoicButStressed Fri 03-May-13 13:52:12

Oh dear. Whole si'tn is nightmare of epic proportions.

I don't think your DS should take long-term umbrage at anything either housemate or her DM did/said last night. Know from own (recent, so recall it very well) experience that parent dying is an instantly tramatising event, so nothing will be rational, and anything/anyone who 'seems' - to them - to be 'making it harder' will, whether fair or beyond unfair (& calling your DS 'selfish' is pretty OOO) WILL right now/in midst of their loss and grief seem like THEY are the one being the selfish f*cker right now. Harsh and wrong, but true.sad

That said, no - I don't think it's REMOTELY ok to simply expect the deceased to be in your sisters home. I understand the cultural reasons (Irish hard core Catholic GPs and they did same), but it's beyond not ok. If the DM will struggle to have the DF at home but wants to avoid him being elsewhere (which again understand), then options are simply:

Either her DD goes back home to stay with her and help her cope; OR they faciliate - IE THEY pay for, as it is THEM wanting the 'resource/venue' of your DS's home - your DS being at the hotel (am assuming she would agree even if not v keen on idea/journey, given others HAVE just had hidious bereavment); OR if they can't cope with idea him at DM's house but aren't prepared to find a way round that, they will have no option but for him to be at funeral home etc.

And your DS, although I get that this will be VERY hard under these circumstances, will need to be much more assertive and clear whilst also obviously being clear she is "Sorry your troubles" as my Irish relees used to say as they drank copious whisky paid their respects. Ditto with Landlord, chase them wither directly or via agent and say will be moving out immed if he/she does not intervene NOW. My guess is finding instant tenants in Outer Hebs/ is not exactly as easy as it is in Clapham so force them into paying attention via threat to their pocket.

mrspaddy Fri 03-May-13 13:53:45

I don't think this is fair or reasonable at all. I am well used to open coffins and wakes but the amount of visitors, prayer and intrusion on an non relative is not acceptable. They are trying to make your sister feel bad even though it is the mother who is being so selfish. Has your sister any friends she could stay with.. she shouldn't have to though.

Who the hell does the mother think she is.. I think she sounds a bit bullyish and putting pressure on her daughter too. Met these types before.

HullMum Fri 03-May-13 13:53:46

her house mates mother is being selfish! angry flatmate should stay with mother with mother If she can't do it alone

Can you imagine the sort of responses this thread would be getting in AIBU???

BackforGood Fri 03-May-13 13:55:21

That is beyond unreasonable.
The widow either has her late husband's body in their home - if she is of the belief the body should be in a home. Or she should leave it in the funeral parlour / whatever the usual arrangements are on the island if they don't have a funeral parlour if she feels there is something unnerving in having the body in her front room.
It's just unbelievable that she thinks it's acceptable to not have an open coffin in her own (and the deceased's) home, but that some unrelated person should be expected to deal with it ! shock

Miggsie Fri 03-May-13 13:56:42

I've lived in a community where bodies were laid out in the front parlour and people visited but it was ALWAYS the house the person lived in - and he relatives were htere to recieve visitors.

I think everyone would have been stunned if it was suggested the deceased was displayed anywhere but theri own ome. Will the mohter move into the house whle everyone visits?
The pint of a laying out like this is for relatives to offer condolences to the family but the widow seems to be ducking out of it - that's the really strange bit - mother seems to be forcing hte daughter to be chief mourner and recipient of sympathy and visits - what will mum do during these 5day. If I visited the deceased to pay my respects I'd be a bit surprised if the widow (or widower) had absented themselves.

If the body was in a funeral home thn fine - you are just going to make your own peace.

No matter what grief you feel, you go through the socal niceties, I made tea for 200 people at my mother's funeral wake - and people offered sympathy to the bereaved. That's the way it is - sot of doing a lying in but not really is strange.

Oh and saying a stranger should accomodate a corpse in her living room is really rude.

HullMum Fri 03-May-13 13:58:53

she should call funeral home and insist they not bring him

ChasedByBees Fri 03-May-13 13:58:56

The problem is its nothing to do with the letting agency so the landlord will not be able to help and withholding rent wil be considered separately for this situation.

The only way to deal with this as far as I can see would be to persuade your sisters housemate this is not going to happen. That can either be done by appealing to her reasonable side (which has failed) or by your sister acting equally unreasonably so that the mourning wasn't feasible in that space (i.e loud music etc). I migh threaten to make the space unsuitable for mourning bit I probably wouldn't follow through.

So I don't see that there's much your sister can do. sad

ExcuseTypos Fri 03-May-13 14:00:36

I wouldn't mind this for a couple of days, if I was flat sharing. 5 days is ridiculous.

I agree with whoever said the body should go to his own home and his daughter should go and support her mum.

Te mum is saying she doesn't want the body of her husband in their house, but it's ok for a stranger to have to have the body in thier flat. Very unreasonable.

lisaro Fri 03-May-13 14:01:01

Get your Dad to ring the funeral directors and make it plain this is against the wishes of the person living there and paying half the rent. Tell them they WILL be denied access, as the private home is nothing to do with the deceased. I'm sure they will see reason.

Charlesroi Fri 03-May-13 14:03:22

she should call funeral home and insist they not bring him

This. I'm sure they could find a way around it.

BackforGood Fri 03-May-13 14:08:12

I think that's a good idea about calling the Funeral directors and saying that it has not been agreed that the body can lie in the home of your sister, and that they need to resolve it with the widow, as your sister will not be letting it into her home, and you thought they would rather know in advance than have a scene when they turned up.


flowery Fri 03-May-13 14:13:04

Yes call funeral directors to advise them that they do not have permission to bring body to that address and will be denied entry, and they should contact the widow to make arrangements to either take the body to her own address, to an alternative address or to keep it there.

ClaraOswald Fri 03-May-13 14:17:37

The whole point of having the body at home is that it is their own home.
The mother of the house mate has been really cheeky.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 03-May-13 14:17:43

Yes, Lisaro, spot on, do that.

Do not threaten to withhold rent, that is a breach of contract and will annoy the LL enormously.

This isn't my cultural norm but I understand it must be very important to people. But... His house is surely the norm, or the funeral home. The Mum can choose not to have him home but cannot just send him elsewhere - somewhere that neither she nor the daughter owns or has sole control over. Grief does not trump all consideration of others.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 03-May-13 14:25:22

Also, check through their letting contract and see what there is about having access to shared spaces, not restricting other tenants's use and behaving reasonably. Those would be the point of contacting the landlord.

NicknameTaken Fri 03-May-13 14:27:18

Could she swap, so flatmates's mother comes to stay with her daughter (and her H's body) and your sister goes to stay alone in their house? Might be able to present it to flatmate as win/win?

NicknameTaken Fri 03-May-13 14:28:10

"their house" means flatmate's mother's house, in case that's not clear.

TerrysAllGold Fri 03-May-13 14:30:24

I don't know how it works with joint tenants but, Mumford, your sister should almost certainly be able to use the civil law of trespass to prevent this from happening.

Anyone, from the postman or the paperboy to funeral director or family only have presumed right of access onto someone's property - and that includes their drive, garden or front path. The leaseholder or owner of the property can refuse them entry into or onto the grounds by merely telling them that they have withdrawn that presumed right of access. If the person who's been forbidden entry encroaches into the property or onto its grounds they're guilty of the civil offence of trespass and if they make a fuss about it which involves any unpleasantness could be guilty of criminal acts of disorder too.

So as far as logic suggests to me your sister is quite within her rights to contact the funeral home and state that as leaseholder to the property she is withdrawing any tacit or implied right they might have to bring the body onto the premises. She can add that any attempt to do so will be met with a writ and any resultant public disorder (from the flatmate) will cause her to call the police immediately.

How that squares with the other tenant's right to allow a particular visitor, complete with dead body, I don't know to be honest but I'd imagine that the funeral parlour will be too concerned with the prospect of a writ, a bad reputation and an almighty great undignified fuss to argue too much.

This is something you or your family could do on your sister's behalf if she's the shy, don't want to make a fuss type.

zipzap Fri 03-May-13 14:35:19

Was reading through this and definitely think that she should ring the funeral home immediately. Also - do you know where the funeral is to be held - she needs to talk to the vicar/rector/priest and get them to help too.

And absolutely - if she is not happy about it, then why should she let a dead body stay in the living room for 5 days, that's a long time. Would freak me out for 5 minutes, let alone 5 days!

If the mother is not prepared to have him there, as is a cultural tradition, then there is no way that she should expect anybody else to have him, particularly if it involves unrelated people. I know she is grieving and not thinking right, but she really doesn't have a right to insist this.

Is there anybody else that she could talk to about this - would a local community police officer be able to come and say no, body not coming in here? <clutching at straws>

Is your sis going to be able to be around when the body is delivered - because there's going to be a horrible chance that if she isn't, even if she has protested, if the housemate or mother ring the funeral home back and say that they have talked her around, then she might get home and discover the body there anyway.

Sounds like your sister is a nice respectful person and given the circumstances I hesitate to suggest this - but if they are still insisting the body is coming, could she threaten say that, whilst she respects that housemate is in mourning and that others will be coming to pay their respects, don't expect her to be - she will want to play music and have the tv on in the lounge, hang her washing up, carry on life as normal and if that upsets the mourners, then tough, as they could have had the body at his own home and they didn't care about her horror at the idea of having a body in the front room so why should she care about them. I agree that actually being able to go through with this when the time comes will be incredibly difficult, might work as a desperate threat beforehand. And doesn't make your sis look so great either so really is a last resort.

Plus I think that I would expect the housemate or housemate's mother to cough up for the full amount for staying in the hotel - it's not a normal request to make of a housemate, it's certainly something that most people are likely to have definite feelings about and those should be respected too.

Good luck to her...

EffieTheDuck Fri 03-May-13 14:40:24

I feel desperate for your sister OP. Would the hotel take the body especially if they were prepared to cater for the wake?

If it is the island I am thinking of, perhaps a word with the nuns?

StoicButStressed Fri 03-May-13 14:41:06

I do know that NONE of this truly awful & rock/hard place situation is funny. I PROMISE I know that - just as I promise I know the pain of losing a parent as my Mumma died only 10 weeks agosad

But - with genuine & HUGE apologies to anyone who may be offended by this - I want to kiss VoiceOfR right now as she just made me laugh out loud...blush < In my defence, it's been a very very VERY shit week here so frankly grateful to anything that lifts it a bitsmile >

Was THIS: grin

VoiceofUnreason Fri 03-May-13 13:54:44
Can you imagine the sort of responses this thread would be getting in AIBU???

Sweet Jesus, think THAT thread would have already hit the 1000 and probably instantly moved into Classics and there would be an entire posse of Scottish women offering to hijack Naval SWAT boats to get to Island to then ring-fence & blockade the house from baffled/terrifed funeral directors...

NoSquirrels Fri 03-May-13 14:45:32

Yes, cultural norms about laying out at home all OK. But as said by others, your sister's house was not the deceased's home.

Call funeral directors and advise of situation. Call rector/priest/minister and advise of situation.

Suggest flatmate goes to stay with mum to support the laying out at home.

Suggest flatmate goes to mother's house to support the laying out at home whilst her mother goes to stay with other relatives/friends who can support her if her mother will not be in the same house as the body.

Suggest that body remains with funeral directors.

Tell flatmate that if none of the above are suitable she/her family need to pay for or arrange alternative accommodation for your sister.

Don't let your sister think anyone is being reasonable to suggest she has somebody else's dead father in her living room for the best part of a week.

There are many ways for her to be supportive to her flatmate in her grief, but it's not reasonable for this to be asked of her.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 03-May-13 14:46:17

I have to admit I smiled in a wry but sympathetic way too when I read that. blush

TerrysAllGold Fri 03-May-13 14:46:33

StoicButStressed, if I were anywhere near Scotland I'd be one of those women. I feel very cross and upset for the OP's sister.

And moreover, I'm very sorry for your loss.

cozietoesie Fri 03-May-13 14:47:07


Get your sister to phone and talk to the priest. If anyone can intercede as a matter of urgency it will be him.

Startail Fri 03-May-13 14:51:07

Dead body I could, having seen FILs I could probably just about manage.

Visitors traipsing in and out would get on my nerves.

SacreBlue Fri 03-May-13 14:52:40

I think OOH it is perfectly normal for many people to have a body home - I personally can't imagine not, but OTOH it is usually home the ancestral or where the person was living before they died.

I feel very sorry for the family of the deceased but either the body should go home to the mum's or the family should pay for the OP's entire stay at a hotel (tho this would definitely be the less preferred option) after all most funeral parlour would charge for the body to be kept there so the family would be paying if the mum really couldn't cope and there wasn't a second option.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Fri 03-May-13 14:58:14

I'm no expert but I think it would be a very bad idea for your sister to withhold her rent over this

CrowsLanding Fri 03-May-13 14:58:23

I can't quite believe what I'm reading. Your poor sis!
I agree with others who have suggested calling the funeral home or the vicar/priest. This really needs sorting out ASAP.

onedev Fri 03-May-13 14:58:42

I'm from NI so it's perfectly normal to have the body at home but completely agree with Flogging & Voice - the body is back at their own home, not somewhere they never lived. This isn't on at all.

Plus, our funerals are always held within a day or 2, so it's ok to keep the heating off to keep the house cold for a couple of days but how would you manage that for 5 days?? That body will smell!

I also vote for phoning the funeral home & telling them that under no circumstances are they to bring the body to that address as permission is not given for the body to be there.
Hope your sister is ok as this is a horrible situation for her to have been put in. The flatmate really should have returned to her family home to stay with her mum & the body on rest there.

CrowsLanding Fri 03-May-13 14:59:04

Oh and tell your sis not to withhold rent, it is a very bad idea.

fuzzpig Fri 03-May-13 15:02:40

Omg. The idea of sharing a house with a corpse for 5 days. I just couldn't. Very unfair of them to foist this situation on your sister sad

cozietoesie Fri 03-May-13 15:04:11

She shouldn't of course - because it can't come to that if she's to continue living there in harmony. Priests in that neck of the woods are half religious and half politician/fixer - they have to be - so they would be the one to sort things out. The flatmate's mother would likely listen to a priest where they wouldn't listen to someone else and the undertaker who is bringing the body will also take directions from them where they probably wouldn't from a 'civilian'.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 03-May-13 15:06:46

Also, what is it the mother can't cope with? Body, or visitors? The latter makes sense. So, the flatmate should go home and help host. If your sister wants to offer an olive branch and some practical sympathy, she could offer a bit of help with domestic tasks, or some aspect of funeral preparations.

Hullygully Fri 03-May-13 15:08:51


cozietoesie Fri 03-May-13 15:10:41


Given the timing, the body will already be on its way - possibly (depending on which island it's to go to) already sitting waiting to be loaded on the ferry. It's the island situation which has to be sorted, I'm afraid. And quickly.

StoicButStressed Fri 03-May-13 15:12:35

Thank you Terrys, that's very kind of you x

lottiegarbanzo Fri 03-May-13 15:14:00

Don't understand how that relates to my post cozietoesie? Everyone else is suggesting ways of redirecting the body too. Is the mother not on the same island?

Stoic - kiss me all you want. I'm a man!!!

Fuckwittery Fri 03-May-13 15:19:45

Ring the funeral directors ASAP! They wIll no want to bring the body to a stand off at the front door, and can act as sensitive go betweens, hopefully gently persuade the mother and daughter out of it, who are probably not thinking straight.
Also the priest. Quick though, think you should ring funeral directors if your sister hasn't or won't.

StoicButStressed Fri 03-May-13 15:20:29

Back on topic...

OP - I'm as thick as shit today.... OF COURSE the single best thing to do is to immed (IMMED as time of essence here...) is someone - your Dad if your Sis can't do it? - contact the Priest &/or Nuns.

Kicks self for not instantly recalling that they really ARE the ones with the negotiating & 'persuading' power here as they were in my Grandmother's village and essentially they WERE the bloody Community Police and who WILL - ESP. if they know may be a 'refusal' scene at point of entry to home - be hopefully 'motivated' enough to intervene and gently point out to the DM that it's not fair or reasonable... AND that the WHOLE point of laying out at home is, err, laying out AT HOME?

cozietoesie Fri 03-May-13 15:20:30

I'm not at all clear about that, lottie - and I'll stand to be corrected on it. It seems there's a lot not clear though.

Contacting the priest is the way to go.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 03-May-13 15:21:28

Ring the priest and funeral home, hopefully both of those two should be able to reason with the wife and daughter.

It wouldn't bother me, I'd just stay in my room for 5 days but I can understand how it would upset others and its not on in a house share.

MrsBungle Fri 03-May-13 15:26:13

We brought my mum home - to her own home. She wasn't in the living room she was in a bedroom.

OP, I feel for your sister. It's not appropriate for her flat mate to bring her dad home to their shared house - even though they are grieving it's surprising the mum and daughter can't see this.

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Fri 03-May-13 15:30:29

OP, how awful for your sister. Definitely not acceptable. Agree with posters above - call the funeral home, call the letting agents, and do so repeatedly until you get some responses. If your sister wont do it, perhaps you can call and be more assertive on her behalf?

StoicButStressed Fri 03-May-13 15:48:03


.....sooooooo, whilst (think? hope? now praying actually...) offered supportive/informed/yada yada best things can think of for poor OP and OP's sister here, it WOULD now appear that not only have I laughed innappropriately c/o VoiceOfR's 'AIBU' post - along with others though - yeah, iiiiiiiiii, I AM looking at you and all the others who laughed too but weren't as honest in fessing it grin

Would ALSO now appear I just offered a bloke a snog?

And on a thread about someone in a shit situation as someone else has DIED?

Fuckety fuckety fuckblushblushblush

<slinks off whilst offering multiple apologies to OP, and telling VoiceOfReason that I am an UTTER munter; have VILE halitosis(?sp?); and I am NOT that blonde TV presenter but the 18stone lady cackling in the corner of my local Greggs>

cozietoesie Fri 03-May-13 16:00:20

It'd Friday evening, Stoic, and the sun will shortly be over the yard arm.

Go and have some wine


PeterParkerSays Fri 03-May-13 16:06:28

Should priestly intervention fail, your sister needs to lay claim to the living room, which is a shared space and which she remains entitled to use. Her flat mate, if she insists on bringing her father into the house, can then have him laid out in a bedroom, like MrsBungle's mother upthread, just her bedroom, rather than his.

The DD can't object to sleeping in the room with her dad surely?

IDoTakeTwo Fri 03-May-13 16:06:34

If the weather is pleasant, I know some funeral directors offer aircon for the duration. Just to add to the surreal proposal!

trixymalixy Fri 03-May-13 16:41:37

Definitely not acceptable in a shared house!

I agree with speaking to the priest and funeral director.

If the mother isn't comfortable with having a dead body in her house, it is really bloody cheeky to call someone else selfish fr not wanting the body in theirs.

I'm not afraid of dead bodies at all im a nurse so seen my fair share, and if it was my family member it would t bother me, but the fact is some random strangers dead body will be sitting in her living room with mourners traipsing through, enough to unsettle anyone.

cocolepew Fri 03-May-13 16:51:01

Totally unacceptable, your poor sister.

Cravingdairy Fri 03-May-13 17:03:29

OP a word of warning - your sis is going to be pretty identifiable from this thread. Not sure what to suggest but it's just to mention. I hope all is resolved with as little distress as possible.

Restorer Fri 03-May-13 17:12:24

I think the deceased's relatives are being very unreasonable, but it's only 5 days and someone has died, so whilst I fully understand your sister's concerns, I do think she should agree to their wishes.

What is it really about? If it's the inconvenience (as you state) then your sister IBU too IMO, as it's only 5 days out of a lifetime and the other parties are grieving. If she is squeamish about it, that's a bit different, but ultimately, she should got over it, in order to do the decent thing and accommodate the wishes of the bereaved.

I wouldn't like it at all if it was my house, but I wouldn't be creating all this fuss when my housemate's father had just died. I'd be offering to do all/anything I can to help.

SilverOldie Fri 03-May-13 17:51:39

It's outrageous, if the father's body should go anywhere, it should go to the mother's home and your sister's flatmate should move there for the week.

No way should your sister have to live with this and I hope she finds a new flatmate.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 03-May-13 17:58:57

Inconvenience, Restorer?
What, having a dead stranger in your lounge, with mourners popping in for 5 days? To me that is slightly more than inconvenient, it's way above and beyond what any flatmate should have to put up with and abnormal.
It's simple, the deceased goes to his own home or the funeral parlour.

alienbanana Fri 03-May-13 17:59:36

Where has the OP gorn?

GotMyGoat Fri 03-May-13 18:19:24

Op has possibly gone to help her sister barricade the front door?

MumfordandDaughter Fri 03-May-13 18:24:59

Hello again.

Thanks to everyone for your advice. I've been texting my sister all afternoon with it.

Okay, so she's too shy cowardly to take my dad's advice and withhold rent, to deny everyone access, to call the funeral home/priest. So her head of department at school has offered my sister her couch for the week! (The housemate works in a different department of the school from my sister).

The HOD's husband has agreed to go round to my sister's house later on with her to pack a small bag of things for the week.

What a joke! So my sister's opting to squeeze onto a couch of a house full of people (the HOD, husband and 3 kids) instead of standing up for herself.

Oh, and the Landlord still hasn't got back to her.

MumfordandDaughter Fri 03-May-13 18:26:05

Oh, but the housemate did get back to her when my sister text her an hour ago to tell her what's happening. She's asked if her mother can have my sister's bed for the week then since my sis won't be using it!

expatinscotland Fri 03-May-13 18:26:48

Your sister is much nicer than I am. Because my response would have been that there is NO fucking way that is happening and I would ring the landlord immediately.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 03-May-13 18:27:28

Well that is a shame but at least it's been sorted. That was nice of the HOD to help out.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 03-May-13 18:28:27

It would be a 'no' from me for using the bed......

expatinscotland Fri 03-May-13 18:28:31

Your sister is a mug. Show her this thread before she spends the rest of her life being taken advantage of by freaks like this housemate.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 03-May-13 18:32:47

So the mother will still be with her late husband, just not in her own home.
What's the point of that.
If I was your sister, I'd be looking for new accommodation.

ParsingFancy Fri 03-May-13 18:36:27

shock The mother who couldn't be with her late husband in their own home?

You know they'll use your DSis's room anyway, don't you? Even if she says no?

Can she lock it? Claim she wants to avoid any misunderstandings if items are "borrowed" while all those people are in and out of the house?

IsItMeOr Fri 03-May-13 18:39:13

OP, that latest text from the housemate really takes the cake. What is the difficulty with the mother having the father's body in their own home if she's happy to be with him in another house?

It makes no sense to me on what you've shared here. If the idea of the 5 days is for friends to visit, then surely more of them will be near where father actually lived?

Your poor sister.

Your sister is a pushover. She needs a new house.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 03-May-13 18:41:10

Oh and exactly what expat said. Your sister really needs to stand up for herself.

DontmindifIdo Fri 03-May-13 18:42:06

Get your sister to text back "if your mum can cope being in the same house as the body, why can't that be her house and you go there? No, she can't have my bed for the week, is it not enough you've driven me out of my own home?" or "If your mum's not going to use her house, can I go stay there rather than having to sleep on someone's sofa for a week? Otherwise, no - noone is to go into my room."

I second the suggestion you get her to talk to the priest. get her to do that ASAP.

Oh dear, your poor sister.
How good of the HOD to help, grief can make people do strange things.

ShowMeTheYoni Fri 03-May-13 18:42:55

I hope your sister said no to the bed!! I thought the mother couldn't handle the body??? Simplest solution would be for housemate, the deceased to stay at mothers house. I am sorry your sister is going through this, but she is far to polite. Though I do understand it is a delicate time for the housemate and her mother. But they sound very entitled.

MinnieBar Fri 03-May-13 18:43:35

Tell your sister to take all the spare bedding. Or can she lock her door?

Also, she needs to find somewhere else to live asap (obviously).

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Fri 03-May-13 18:44:00

This is utter madness!
The whole proposition from the outset, and now the solution. If the mother and daughter of the dead bloke are going to end up in a flat with him, how is that different/worse than being in his house with him.
OP, glad your sister has a solution that she's happy with even if lots of us here think it's nuts. And well done you for trying to help wine and thanks to you.

And, Stoic I think I love you a little bit, although I'm not offering snogs as I am not a man.
Your posts always make me smile... you're just so... energetic, and you manage to convey that in print wine for you too.
xxx (oops that looks like a snog)

ClaraOswald Fri 03-May-13 18:45:06

Your sister needs to lock her bedroom with all of her possessions in it.

SofaKing Fri 03-May-13 18:45:13

Your dsis should definitely move out.

I would also be asking house mate's dmum to pay my rent for a week as well.

Your dsis also needs to text the landlord to make sure any damage caused to the house is not lost from her deposit - it is possible damage will be caused by getting an object as big as a coffin in and out, and sorry to be grim but I have heard fluid can often leak from the deceased and this could damage the floor in the sitting room.

All of this is something you might overlook in your own home for a beloved family member, but to put up with this for a stranger is an unacceptable compromise.

I hope once her housemate has recovered from her grief she has the grace to apologise for being so selfish.

expatinscotland Fri 03-May-13 18:46:24

Tell her to stop being such a fecking sap.

Wylye Fri 03-May-13 18:46:49

That is absolutely ridiculous. If the mother couldn't cope at home, why the hell can she suddenly cope in someone else's house? Taking. The. Piss.

I'm glad your sis has somewhere to go, at least she won't have to stay there.

I hope once the raw stage passes her housemate apologises for all this.

translatorinscotland Fri 03-May-13 18:48:02

Can someone else in the family phone the landlord on your sister's behalf? Just say she is too upset to discuss the situation properly but that she is incredibly unhappy and won't be paying rent if she is forced out of the house?

BOF Fri 03-May-13 18:50:05


The mother who was too freaked out to have him at home is now going to sleep at your sister's house? What the fucking jeff?

tribpot Fri 03-May-13 18:50:18

Insanity piled on insanity. The mother is able to do all the 'social' aspects (wrong word but you know what I mean) but doesn't care to do them in her own house? Her daughter doesn't have her own place but she insists on doing it there? Why?

Witholding the rent would still be wrong, this has nothing to do with the landlord.

Definitely lock the room, and start looking for a new house.

She should phone the priest and ask him to intervene - there's still the issue of the corpse lying in a heated house for five days <queasy>

SignoraStronza Fri 03-May-13 18:51:19

That is totally grim (and I don't apologise if I've offended anyone's cultural norms). I certainly wouldn't want to spend five days with a dead body in the living room - let alone with all the visitors and the accompanying wailing and knashing of teeth praying. Your poor sister! Her housemate/her mother should be paying for accommodation for your sister at the vey least - or having this rigmarole in their own house.

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 18:51:37

they will wake him in your sister's bed!

dhousmate and her mum will sleep together in house mate's room and they will put the coffin on your sister's bed!! tehy are piss takers absoloutely!

can our sister lock her bedroom door?

and yes, i agree with expat. she really needs to stand up for herself. thsi whole situation is ridiculous.

i'm wondering the mother's house is filthy or something and they wont get it cleaned on time to have him back there? there is something else going on here. for a woman who couldn't cope with waking her husband in her own home who is now suddenly moving into the house where he will be waked. what is the point? there is something behind all this.

expatinscotland Fri 03-May-13 18:53:15

And she wants to use her bed? Why is she standing for this? I'd drive up there and kick her up the jacksie if she were my sister.

The remains stay in a funeral director's for a reason - even after they are treated, they are kept cold. For a very good reaso.

cozietoesie Fri 03-May-13 18:54:33

Yes indeed. Very good reasons.

IsItMeOr Fri 03-May-13 18:55:05

Booyhoo I think you're right about something else going on.

And yes, yes, yes to locking her door.

ParsingFancy Fri 03-May-13 18:55:34

Booyhoo I'm thinking the other way: the mother is houseproud and fussy, and doesn't want the visitors or bother and possible ick.

MumfordandDaughter Fri 03-May-13 19:02:12

i agree. I'm so angry for and with her. She's always been a bit of a doormat and socially awkward. It was a huge leap just to get her to share a house with someone (she couldn't afford the rent alone).

She can't move out until her contract ends, otherwise she'll still be liable for rent until August. If, however, she manages to find another tenant, she can transfer her name on the contract over to the new tenant.

Nope, i've asked the same thing. No outside lock on the door. Just a small snib on the inside. And she can't get one fitted as it's not her home.

She's feeling really queasy about having to stay with her HOD. She thinks it'll be weird (social awkwardness again). She's worrying about not getting any private space to do marking etc. But it'll be better than staying at her own home with all the funeral/rosary stuff going on.

She's not text the housemate back yet. But she plans on going round in an hour with HOD's husband to get some of her belongings, and will try and have a word with her then. She says she feels she has the right to request the housemate's mother's home for the week, since the mother will be using hers, but now feels it would offend the HOD. angry

Bit worried about her being identified from this thread now (as someone pointed out). I've not been very good at being vague, have i?

shock wtf? tell your dsis to grow a back bone and say fuck off NO!

so the widow cant have the body at hers because she cant be around it... yet now your dsis has rolled over agreed to move out, widow is now asking to stay in the same house as the body... ffs! that is just absolutely barmey

i really really hope your dsis gets a weeks rent off them... they are kicking her out of her own home the selfish fuckers


MumfordandDaughter Fri 03-May-13 19:05:09

My sis is also a bit of a 'clean freak' and is slightly unnerved about coming home at the end of next week to a stinky house with potentially ruined carpets.

Her housemate never cleans up at the best of times, never mind after a housefull of people from a wake.

I feel so bad for her. She needs to stop being so nice and reserved.

FairPhyllis Fri 03-May-13 19:05:57

Your sister seriously needs some backbone.

They will put the coffin on her bed!

pigsDOfly Fri 03-May-13 19:06:58

Exactly my thought Booyhoo, they're going to put him in OP's sister's bedroom.

This just gets grimmer and grimmer. Your DS has got to stand up for herself OP or a member of your family has to intervene. They must not be allowed to bully her like this.

It's making me angry just reading it. Can't imagine how your DS is feeling. I don't care if they are grieving. Grief doesn't turn you into an entitled bully.

cozietoesie Fri 03-May-13 19:09:31


You can ask MNHQ to remove the thread if you feel that it may have given away more than your sis would be comfortable with. (By using the report link on your opening post.) They may or may not agree to do it but there's no harm in you asking.

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 19:09:41

ooh houseproud! i hadn't thought of that (was thinking of my own tip of a house blush)

OP i really think your sister should stand firm on this. she cant even lock her bedroom door- what if something gets stolen or damaged? this family sound like they will stick the arm right in given half a chance and i'd bet anything they wont be stumping up the cash if something gets damaged/stolen by a visitor.

if it was me the. last thing i would be doing would be giving them free run of the house. she really should think about this.

cozietoesie Fri 03-May-13 19:10:29

PS - but save or print out the thread first.

magentastardust Fri 03-May-13 19:12:00

I think your poor sister is completely being taken advantage of here and shudder at the thought that they may use her bedroom for the body. However I do understand her just keeping her head down and getting on with it-it is a small island,wakes are normal, the landlord, priest etc etc will probably all be in agreement with your sisters house mates family and in a time of such grief your poor sister will be made to look the bad guy for causing trouble and being awkward.

At least she has another accommodation option -which is far from ideal but I would just think about getting a new housing arrangement as soon as possible.

I know I would also be uncomfortable with going back to the house afterwards knowing that the body had been there. I would have nightmares for weeks but that's just me.

cozietoesie Fri 03-May-13 19:12:01


Whatever else, no-one on an island would steal from or damage anything in a wake house. They'd have to leave the community if found out.

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 03-May-13 19:13:51

I'm glad for your sis that she has found some where to go and that her HOD's husband is able to support her in picking her stuff up.

Regarding the lack of response by the landlord and letting agents, the bullying of the other tenant and moving in another person, albeit a dead one and possibly the mother, I wonder whether there is grounds for terminating the letting agreement early and not having to pay till August if she wishes to find other accomodation now - assuming its available.

ParsingFancy Fri 03-May-13 19:14:30

I bet they'd borrow or accidentally damage, though. Given this family's behaviour so far, I don't see them holding back if there's something from the DSis's drawers room that they want.

CatelynStark Fri 03-May-13 19:14:43

Fucking Hell! I must live in a parallel universe! [shocked]

WafflyVersatile Fri 03-May-13 19:15:24

Dad can stay at mums . Flatmate can stay at mums. Mum can stay at your sisters .

edlyu Fri 03-May-13 19:15:34

Of course she should withhold however many days rent she has been forced to live elsewhere. But she probably wont.

I have no problem with dead bodies at all and would not object to having people traispsing in and out of the house if it were large enough so that I could go off to my own space .But I would really object to having to do any of this without any consultation. I feel for her. What a horrible situation she has been put into by the other family.

I wonder how they are going to manage to live together after this though?

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 19:16:15

cosietoesie unless you know all the people attending, you cant say that with any certainty. also. the housemate said people wil be coming on teh ferry to visit, i'm guessing from the mainland- therefore dont need to worry about leaving the community of found out. and some people will just brazen things out and blame someone else till the fuss blows over. people can be sleekid.

magentastardust Fri 03-May-13 19:17:29

Waffly -that is a good suggestion.

AngiBolen Fri 03-May-13 19:17:47

Wel, the wife of the deceased is being bang out of order, not wanting him in her home, or him going to the chapel, but giving someone else a hard time!

Your poor sister!

When our priest arrived he told mourners bodies couldn't be left in the church over night for insurance reasons. Could your sister try that with the land lord?

I think she might have an OK time with the won't be all that bad. In fact, it might to her some good socially.

But I do think she needs to find somewhere else to live after this has all blown over.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 03-May-13 19:17:52

If it was my sister I'd be on the first bus up there and be having words.
Fortunately my sister isn't so wet.

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 19:17:53

also, i didn't say intentional damage. stuff can be damaged accidentally. and people can either not realise they've done it or just pretend they didn't notice.

cozietoesie Fri 03-May-13 19:21:26

You make valid points, Booyhoo - but this will likely not be a wild wake. Island wakes are exceeding drawn out and (often) tedious affairs with lots of silences. You're generally talking tea and sandwiches with the Great Aunties.

Lweji Fri 03-May-13 19:25:55


God, no!

Leave the body at home and get the mother to your sister's instead.

Plus, it would be in a common area, so your sister has every right to oppose.

If they still go ahead with it, I'd move out asap.

DontmindifIdo Fri 03-May-13 19:26:28

Get your Sister to ask about staying at the housemate's mother's house if the housemate's mother will be staying with them. Also make sure she specifies the coffin must not go in her bedroom.

DontmindifIdo Fri 03-May-13 19:27:26

oh and other options if the mother can't stay alone at her house with the body, then either her housemate goes to stay with her mum, or housemate goes there and the mum stays with your sister at her house.

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 19:29:26

you could be right cozie. i just dont get the impression this family would care either way of OP's sister came back to find damaged or missing stuff. they dont seem at all considerate.

and yes, fab idea about OP's sister moving into the mother's house saying as she will be moving into Dsis' bed!

she should ask OP. see what their reaction is. i think it will be very telling!

TwinkleSparkleBling Fri 03-May-13 19:29:35

I really don't mean to offend OP but I'm afraid your sister deserves everything she gets in this situation.

Phone the funeral director and tell them they will be refused access. Simple.

How on earth does she manage a classroom?!

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 19:30:31

in fact it's the perfect response to "can mum sleep in your room" because if they have a problem with it then their reasons can be the exact reasons why OP's sis has a problem with the mother sleepo9ng in her bed.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 03-May-13 19:31:58

Surely the house is gong to smell after a week? I've been in a room where a lady had been for six days and the smell was awful. It was bad after three days, but nearly retched by day six.

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 19:32:29

and yes, how does your dsis manage a classroom and irate parents etc?

letseatgrandma Fri 03-May-13 19:35:20

in fact it's the perfect response to "can mum sleep in your room" because if they have a problem with it then their reasons can be the exact reasons why OP's sis has a problem with the mother sleepo9ng in her bed.


expatinscotland Fri 03-May-13 19:36:37

'I feel so bad for her. She needs to stop being so nice and reserved.'

You need to give her a virtual slap.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 03-May-13 19:42:50

Sweet Jesus NO NO NO!
I saw my DGF in the chapel of rest. He had been embalmed and kept in a fridge. Much as I loved him and wanted to see him, I will NEVER get over the smell. I couldnt eat for days! It is really warm ATM and he is going to be in an open casket for FIVE days!
NO. Just NO!
Ring the chapel of rest and say NO!
Ring the landlord and say NO!
Ring the cheeky arsed mother and say NO NO NO NO NO!
Tell the flat mate NO!

CominThroughTheWry Fri 03-May-13 19:44:09

I would demand the landlord/letting agent fit a lock to the bedroom door immediately, her contents insurance may not cover her if there are strangers in the house while she isn't there. I would also insist the landlord did a quick inspection of the public areas before the body arrives. There may be spillages during the wake and it would be your sister's responsibility to pay half the cost of a new carpet or flooring.

I understand people are grieving, but this is a shared house, and so should have the full agreement of both parties. I think the mother has a cheek to think she can poach her bedroom after she called your sister selfish. If your sister moves out for the week she needs to be assured this won't happen. I would have to do a spot check or two, just in case the room was occupied by the mother or the coffin. Both unacceptable.

Surely the landlord must be contactable for emergencies?

AndTheBandPlayedOn Fri 03-May-13 19:46:24

Wow. Ok, presume the worse, regarding the use of your dsis' room. Some brainstorming in the name of mitigating property damage, consider putting plastic on the floor to anticipate any stains, perhaps in living room too if she will be held liable for damages from that <eewww>. Perhaps do a quick goth decorating scheme in her room to discourage use? <<ok, sorry in advance>>

And certainly, if it is her bed, and not one that came furnished with the property, I'd find a way to make the bed/mattress unusable...dismantle the bed, stack it all against the wall if she couldn't cart it to a storage facility for the week. At the very least, encase the mattress in plastic as well. Basically move everything out, including any living room furniture, and kitchen equipment. They want her to disappear for the duration, so I'd run with it. Or use the bedroom as the storage facility. She'll be moving in Aug so buying the moving boxes now really Isn't too soon.

Do this for her, if she won't do it herself. And yes, even if she said yes to the use of her room.

<<whispers to Stoic>> I was fantasizing about some YouTube action on the doorstep lockout.

cozietoesie Fri 03-May-13 19:47:06

The sister is (from what the OP says) disinclined to make a stand so I think there's nothing to be done about the situation. (If she'd been made of sterner stuff this would likely never have arisen in the first place.)

ajandjjmum Fri 03-May-13 19:47:12

I would be organising a loud party every night for the next five days.

Respect for the dead is one thing, the living deserve respect too, and your Dsis is getting none.

If she does leave, she should get a lock fixed on her door - I'd rather pay damages to the landlord that have my room misused.

Struggle to understand how anyone can tolerate being treated so badly.

Crikeyblimey Fri 03-May-13 19:50:08

I can hardly believe what I'm reading. These women have just lost a husband and father and everyone is ranting about how selfish there are being. Outrageous.

Ok it's not ideal and the newly widowed woman should probably have the body of her husband at his own house but she has her reasons for not wanting that.

This man is dead - he won't smell (crass fucking comment). He won't get up in the night and mess with people's stuff. He is dead and they are grieving.

Whatever gets them through the next few days should just be bloody well ok with everyone.

I agree I'd probably not want to be there if it wasn't a relative but I'd also respect the need to take over one room in the house for 5 days (not a fucking lifetime is it).

I'm actually pleased they want to keep him with them - after all, they'll never get to see him again will they.

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 19:53:55

yes- if DSIS insists on letting this happen and leaving then she should definitely lock her room. would the LL really object? surely it would make it more appealing as a shared house to have a lock?

TerrysAllGold Fri 03-May-13 19:54:44

Mumford I wouldn't normally suggest that anyone goes over another adult's head but this time I'm going to make an exception. If your sister is too reserved to call the funeral directors and tell them that this isn't going to happen, warning them of the consequences of a writ for trespass if they try it, what's stopping you from doing it?

This whole plan is so repugnant, so utterly awful that I'd have no compunction about issuing threats (and carrying them out) on my sister's behalf. Yours might thank you for it in the long run.

ShowMeTheYoni Fri 03-May-13 19:54:56

Is it actually legal? To keep a body at home for 5 days? I mean.....they are kept cold for a reason

pooka Fri 03-May-13 19:55:34

They want to be with him. Fine. Understandable.

So why don't they do exactly that at his own home, rather than his wife upping sticks to move in with her daughter, displacing ops sister, having the body in a house that the father never lived in?

It's crazy - why n earth can't the flatmate stay at her mum's with her dead father, to support and do greet mourners?

ShowMeTheYoni Fri 03-May-13 19:56:11

Crikey the sister should be able to say no still surely.

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 19:57:21

the body will smell crikey

"Whatever gets them through the next few days should just be bloody well ok with everyone."

and no, not everyone should have to rollover to unreasonable demands just because someone is grieving. there is no reason at all this cant be done in teh man's own home unless the floor has fallen into teh centre of the earth or something.

i honestly dont know anyone who would think it appropriate to have the wake of their DH or DF in the house of a complete stranger!

Lweji Fri 03-May-13 19:57:30

It's not even an overnight thing.
It's several days.

The body won't smell (supposedly) or start walking at the mum's house.
And, yes, she could swap houses with her daughter.

filthypig Fri 03-May-13 19:59:01

My suspicion is that the bereaved wife/mother of flatmate's house is not in a 'people can come round' state.

If I was the OP I would be trying to persuade my sister to gently ask if that was the case and see if a clean up could be organised by friends/relatives.

I can sort of imagine that with the shock and grief they are being stubborn, or perhaps they've always been selfish and inconsiderate.

TunipTheVegedude Fri 03-May-13 19:59:26

I'm with CrikeyBlimey here (and hardly anyone else on the thread, it seems).

Of course it is a huge ask. Of course it would be an unreasonable thing in almost any other situation. But the flatmate's father has died.
We're talking about 5 days of inconvenience, not about her being expected to immolate herself on the funeral pyre.

The solution that has been arrived at seems like a good one.

nenevomito Fri 03-May-13 20:00:17

I'm astounded. Why can't the mother and daughter have their husband / father in their own home? I'm just shock.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 03-May-13 20:00:26

Yes CrikeyBLimey he will smell. He is dead and the weather is warm, and the smell will linger.
And yes these people have just lost their father, but if they feel that strongly about waking him at home, them TAKE HIM HOME!
This poor girl isnt related to him. She has to use this house. She pays for half of it. They arent keeping him with them. They are moving him into a house that he had nothing to do with. And its not taking over just one room is it. Its relatives trailing in and out. Going for a look and then crying in the next room. Its 30 cups of tea being made in the kitchen. Its all and sundry using the bathroom. The flatmates mother wants to take over the friends room. They are going to take over the whole house. There will be no escape for the OPs sister. Stuff will be damaged. Carpets will get dirty. Drinks will be spilled. All things which affect the return of a deposit.
The deceased family are being unreasonable.

It's just not ok to not want a dead body in your own home but insist on using somebody else's house when they don't want you to. That's not about 'getting through' grief. That's about being grossly insensitive and rude.

Crikeyblimey Fri 03-May-13 20:02:00

Yes, she should be able to say no but I don't think she should, personally. If the body has been imbalmed then there will be no smell. Ok, the ideal situation is for him to be in his own home but these people are grieving. Leave th be.

My dad stayed at home from the day he died (Thursday) to the funeral on the Monday. The undertaker came to us and he stayed in their room (mum slept in with me). He wasn't decomposing in that time. It was natural. It was respectful. It was just the right thing to do.

When and why did we get so squeamish about death?

EffieTheDuck Fri 03-May-13 20:02:20

Sorry but a corpse of a non relative possibly in your ds's bedroom would freak the fuck out of me for months after.
Ask the HOD to fit a hasp and padlock on your sister's room.

This has to be one of the weirdest and frustrating threads I have ever seen on MN yet completely credible given the cultural sending off of a loved one in the Islands.

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 20:03:52


"Of course it is a huge ask. Of course it would be an unreasonable thing in almost any other situation. But the flatmate's father has died.
We're talking about 5 days of inconvenience, not about her being expected to immolate herself on the funeral pyre. "

but why can it all not happen at the man's own home? why, if it's ok for teh OP's sister to have to tolerate all this for 5 days because of a death is it not ok for the mans wife to tolerate it? why is she exempt at the expense of someone not even known to the man?

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 03-May-13 20:05:26

Fit a padlock to her door. When she returns home, remove it, fill the holes, sand them and paint.

TunipTheVegedude Fri 03-May-13 20:06:42

I think FilthyPig might well be right. But I think you just have to assume there is a reason and the grieving wife and daughter are not doing this deliberately just to be annoying.

I feel sorry for the poor dead man.

His wife does not want him home. sad

Crikeyblimey Fri 03-May-13 20:07:54

I must admit that whilst I stand by my comments on treating dead people without all the suggestions of "creepy" and "smelly", if I was the daughter, I wouldn't want a non-relative in the house with my dead father and I would have made arrangements for her to stay elsewhere (I'd pay for the hotel).

Op's sis needs to lock her stuff up, stay somewhere else and have respect and feelings for the bereaved. They most probably are till inking of many other things. She will be quite low on their list of priorities.

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 20:10:11

well whatever their reason is still doesn't give them the right to bully someone else out of their home so they can move another person, a corpse and a hosuefull of friends and family in.

if their own house is unfit to have him there then like it or not, the funeral home is their only available option. they are being very entitled to feel they have any claim on OP's dsis' house and bedroom!

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 20:11:49

"if I was the daughter, I wouldn't want a non-relative in the house with my dead father "

so you wouldn't move your dead father into a non-relatives home then? common sense. he has a home. they shoud use that. then they get a say in whether a non-relative was there or not!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 03-May-13 20:12:14

Quint that's ridiculous. You don't know him and besides that she might have loved him SO much that she can't bear to see him dead. That's common.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 03-May-13 20:15:12

If this was a thread about anything else, one partner wanting a baby and the other not, "Dp doesnt want a dog but I do" ANY other reason, there would be a total opposite reaction. So, they are grieving, that doesnt give them the right to ride roughshod over everyone else!

Neo, but she can see him dead at somebody elses home?

Wylye Fri 03-May-13 20:16:20

Neo that's patently not the case as the mother wishes to move into the sister's house for the duration of the wake. Therefore she will see him.

BathTangle Fri 03-May-13 20:16:45

But Neo, if she can't bear to see him dead, why does she want to come and stay in the OP's sister's room??

I have had both my grandmother's body and my father's in the house with me, and that was fine (and customary for us), but I would not have asked someone else to "host" them!!

And on the purely practical, my GM was in a chilled room, but even then, after 2 days, she was distinctly "past her best" and we definitely would have struggled with 5 days.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 03-May-13 20:17:00

Quint that's ridiculous. You don't know him and besides that she might have loved him SO much that she can't bear to see him dead. That's common. That argument would work, IF the wife didnt want a 5 day open casket job, with herself living on the premises!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 03-May-13 20:17:50

The mother doesnt want her dead husband smelling up her own house!

embolina Fri 03-May-13 20:19:49

I do think your sister needs to stand up for herself a bit more.

She needs to put a lock on her bedroom door ASAP. Tough titties if the landlord doesn't like that or whatever- he's not exactly gone out of his way to help with the situation, has he.

Quite frankly I would be FUMING at the fact the mother now wants to stay in her BEDROOM.

Your sister should insist on going and staying in the MOTHER'S house for a week. See how THAT goes down!

What a truly bizarre situation....

AngiBolen Fri 03-May-13 20:20:47

I'm with Quint.

Why on earth would he want to spend 5 days in his daughter's shared house, rather than his own home?

Give the poor man some dignity.

AngiBolen Fri 03-May-13 20:32:35

Surely he will be embalmed or whatever so he doesn't smell.

He will smell, somewhat though ...even the recently deceased have a special smell IME. Not something I would want to experience for five days if I was continuing my normal life, and not mourning.

The family, although grieving aren't excused from being selfish.

It is completely unreasonable to ask this of your sister. Grief does not give a licence to behave like this, nor should respecting and supporting bereaved people extend to this.

Agree call priest and funeral director. Body goes to chapel of rest or place where deceased lived. The end. Anything else is weird and disrespectful.

tribpot Fri 03-May-13 20:35:57

Given this is all very traditional, won't the community find it deeply odd the man isn't going back to his own home? I'm surprised the equivalent of Mrs Doyle in Father Ted hasn't stepped in.

EffieTheDuck Fri 03-May-13 20:39:01

Maybe the widow had builders in/ place is a shithole/ might be other relatives there...lots of different reasons for not using her own home.

Booyhoo Fri 03-May-13 20:41:44

well then they use the funeral home effie. you dont just pitch up at someone else's house and turf them out for the week.

LividDil Fri 03-May-13 20:43:16

It may be too late and this may have already been mentioned but the OP's sister needs to talk direct tO the Funeral Director and tell them that she does not consent to the body being delivered to her home (and perhaps mention that it will be against the terms of her tenancy)

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 03-May-13 20:50:09

I'm getting so annoyed with your sister Op, I'm going to have to leave this thread.

oh i am reading this like this likeshock , they are going to took him up cosy in your sisters bed shock shock shock shock angry

tribpot Fri 03-May-13 20:52:05

LividDil - it has been mentioned and the sister won't do it. I can't imagine the landlord is going to be very thrilled about it either but may feel there is nothing he can do, particularly if the body is in situ by then.

tuck even but either way they are taking the piss.

Floggingmolly Fri 03-May-13 21:04:54

Has your sister actually asked her housemate why her father's body and her mother must come to her house? There must be some logic, surely, however twisted?
Her mother being unable to cope is utter nonsense.

EffieTheDuck Fri 03-May-13 21:10:26

Absolutely BooYoo. A church/ chapel/ rest home or nunnery even the hotel. Are there health and safety issues concerning a corpse laying for five days in a house? I am sure there would have to be a minimum temp

I am infuriated with your sister OP but perhaps she is being forced out on a longer term? If sis and her flat mate also work together yet are only civil to one another, I wonder if there is a bigger problem?

ArtVandelay Fri 03-May-13 21:14:16

Aw this is terrible, your sister must be in shreds. She sounds like the sort of person who could barely negotiate a loo roll dispute let alone a dead body invasion. No point saying what I would do cos I'm an uppity bitch so I'm just offering hugs and suggesting that you intervene on her behalf.

BabyHMummy Fri 03-May-13 21:15:37

OMG are these ppl for real?????? I understand the issue and feel for he family but for the mother to not want the body in her house and then want to move into the gp's sister house with the body is just plain hypocrisy.

mumford your sister is really stuck in an awkward position but i think he hypocrisy needs pointing out in a nice way if possible.

Hope your sister works it out!

What a mess!

I feel sorry for the deceased man. I hope no one takes me visiting random houses when I'm dead. It's just not right!

In my line of work I've met many dead people but wouldn't want a body in my house for a week unless it was a very close relative. It's not tradition in my family to have bodies at home in any case.

It's all been handled very badly by the deceased relatives.

VitoCorleone Fri 03-May-13 21:18:38

What a horrible awkward situation.

It is a bloody cheek though that the mother cant cope with him being in her home but is wanting to stay at the daughters where the body will be. Whats that all about?

I wouldnt want a dead body in my house for 5 days, not because id be freaked out id just find it uncomfortable, especially if it was a strangers body

expatinscotland Fri 03-May-13 21:19:03

'if I was the daughter, I wouldn't want a non-relative in the house with my dead father and I would have made arrangements for her to stay elsewhere (I'd pay for the hotel).

Op's sis needs to lock her stuff up, stay somewhere else and have respect and feelings for the bereaved. They most probably are till inking of many other things. She will be quite low on their list of priorities.'

I lost my daughter last year. I know all about bereavement now. It is not a license to behave the way this housemate and her family have. It is not a license to be disrespectful to the living in their own homes.

The OP needs to tell the housemate she will not have this in her home, it's her home, too, and they need to use a funeral director.

EffieTheDuck Fri 03-May-13 21:23:45

What worries me is that the deceased father is on his way by ferry boat by now and soon he is going to arrive at the house where everyone will be upset.
Surely a funeral director could intervene with tact and dignity?

expatinscotland Fri 03-May-13 21:24:21

Where he's gone, none of this can hurt him anymore.

AngiBolen Fri 03-May-13 21:27:18

Then OP's sister either needs to find her voice, or pay for a hotel.

BabyHMummy Fri 03-May-13 21:32:26

Why should she have to pay for he hotel? The family of the dead man should be paying

ArtVandelay Fri 03-May-13 21:32:47

Exactly Effie, when my GF passed we sat with him all afternoon, hugging him and crying. The funeral guys just hung around until we were ready to let him go with them. They are trained to negotiate this stuff and not get stressed. They will not want a scene. Expat also very true, I felt like once a few hours had gone by after the 'dead' verdict and he'd definatly passed then he didn't need us and we needed to get used to him being gone. He was my pretty much my favourite person in the world, if that makes a difference sad

Alconleigh Fri 03-May-13 21:45:26

I Can't believe more than one person has defended the freak show housemate and mother. Hell's teeth some of you are barking.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 03-May-13 21:49:59

Short, succinct and to the point Alconleigh.
I totally agree.

olivertheoctopus Fri 03-May-13 21:51:03

Oh my word. No way I could stay in the house but I'd find it quite hard to row with a bereaved housemate about it. Does your sister have a friend or colleague she could stay with during the period?

What an excellent example of how fucking primitive and barbaric small communities can be - not just for the intention of having a decaying corpse sat in the house for five hot days (it will stink. It will leak. There will be flies everywhere by about day four) but for the way they have identified this poor girl as vulnerable to bullying and therefore someone whose wellbeing can be completely disregarded. I bet these people still point at the sky and ullulate when an aeroplane appears. Your sister would do best to consider relocating altogether if she wants to have a comfortable life; living on Summerisle with freaks like this family will mean she spends the rest of her days being bullied and never managing to develop any confidence. That's if they don't decide to get the wicker man out the next time someone pops off.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 03-May-13 22:03:45

I think you'll find that half the population of the islands these days are retired or woo people that have craft shops, mostly from England, Solid.

MrsOakenshield Fri 03-May-13 22:04:48

I'm afraid your sister is being feeble beyond belief. Yes, the family are being unreasonable, but they are grieving, so not unexpected. Your sister, on the other hand, despite having been presented with a number of perfectly resonable options (ringing priest best of which), is doing nothing. So, from this point on, she's only got herself to blame. Sorry, but that's a fact.

It's a very long time to have the body in the house (any house!), Catholic funerals are normally very speedy, so having an open casket in the home isn't a problem (we had this for my great-aunt). North of Scotland (if that's where they are) prob won't be that hot, but it is a bit odd. Which is why a chat with the priest would be the way forward - I doubt he'd be happy with your sister being treated like this and could speak to the mother and encourage other arrangements to be made. I don't think you should have to speak for your sister, but can you ring the priest?

expatinscotland Fri 03-May-13 22:05:38

Too right, Alcon.

Even more likely to build wicker men and pick on the vulnerable, then, LBE.

expatinscotland Fri 03-May-13 22:09:22

'Yes, the family are being unreasonable, but they are grieving, so not unexpected.'

They're bullying arses. Grief has nothing to do with it.

cloutiedumpling Fri 03-May-13 22:14:14

Nice bit of generalisation there SGB. The islands are the same as anywhere else - you get a mixture of people. Most are lovely, some less so.

My DH has had a good suggestion. Could the sister move out for a week on the understanding that at some point in the summer the flatmate will move out for a week so she can have a guest? Sounds like a gracious and pragmatic way of dealing with a difficult social problem.

LemonBreeland Fri 03-May-13 22:15:03

OP I agree you or you Mother or Father should call anyone eho can help and get this stopped. Yoir sister is being pathetic so someone needs to step in and do it for her. They are taking complete advantage of her weakness.

StoicButStressed Fri 03-May-13 22:16:47

Crikeyblimey Fri 03-May-13 19:50:08 Woah Crikey, EVERYONE is of course entitled to there own individual view - and, it must be acknowledged, yours is vereeee, erm, 'individual' - and to offer OP advice/reply to her plea for help in this (frankly surreal) situation.. However, I have to be honest here and say the entirity of your post has left me (suspect poss NOT 'just' me if honest?) reeling with shockshockshock - as bluntly, it's def a tad, err, 'loo-lah'? And doesn't seem to have REMOTELY grasped the issues here either...confused

And before I have to don Kevlar vest here and duck any napalm, I genuinely DO have the UTMOST sympathy for the bereaved DM; and the same but with huge extra empathy bells on for the DD having only just watched my Mum die, so I do know that excoriating pain and shock - I really really do, and it IS just horrific.

But - and it's quite a big (fecking the size of Mount Everest type TBH) BUT - grief/shock/pain ALL included, the whole proposal (which wasn't EVEN a 'proposal' but a "Here's what me and my Mum are doing with our dead dad for the next 5 days" ) is frickin NUTS. And beyond out of order - genuinely, I truly cannot think of any other kind of impostion on others that even touches the SIDES of this one. I don't think OP's sis fancied a uninvited lodger in her home for the bulk of a week, let alone a dead one?

And the entourage and then all - ALLLLLL, as is sooooo much that goes with it? The mourners; the rosaries; the awkwardness of trying to make her dinner with perfect (alive) strangers mourning around her and another perfect (but dead) stranger parked in front of Corrie there too?

Crikey: "I can hardly believe what I'm reading...." Nods Crikey, truly am nodding. Lots. As I can hardly believe what I'm reading either in your post don't recall being this baffled in a verreeee long time as it is just, well, a tad 'out there'?

'I agree I'd probably not want to be there if it wasn't a relative but I'd also respect the need to take over one room in the house for 5 days' - Eh??? As it is soooo NOT 'taking over one room' is it? By it's very nature, it's taking over the whole HOUSE and, again by it's very nauture, having a swift make-over into a 24/7 funeral parlour to boot?

'This man is dead - he won't smell (crass fucking comment).'

Technically, you are of course right. HE won't smell anything - as he is, as you correctly point out, dead.

Sadly though, you are utterly wrong in telling others that their referencing the 'odour' of natural decay is i) not true; ii) that their mentioning that l'il fact is in any way a 'crass fucking comment'.

It's not. It's a fact. 5 days in May (with the hottest day of the year forecast for Monday....) will result in vast decay; enormous odour; and - blunt but true - seeping fluids. In OP's sister's - who doesn't even KNOW this family - sitting room????

[I genuinely didn't think this thread could GET any more surreal or jaw-dropping, but that THUD you just heard was mine hitting the floor as read your post.]

pigsDOfly Fri 03-May-13 22:49:14

Please intervene on your DS's behalf OP and stop this fiasco. She may be annoyingly feeble but she really needs someone to speak up for her.

Just a thought, does the landlord actually know why your DS want to contact him/her so urgently. Speaking as a LL there's no way I'd allow this in my house. I'd be putting barricades on the windows and doors. It's a disgusting idea, it's your DS's home fgs.

I agree with Saggy, I think the widow doesn't want the smell in her own home. 5 days is a very long time to have a dead body lying around even if it has been embalmed. There will be an odour and it will linger.

StoicButStressed Fri 03-May-13 22:54:41

Sorry, was so 'EH???' by that one post that my manners vis thanks took second seat.

Cozie - Thank you for the wine - much appreciated, gratefully accepted, and now drunk (as in, the wine has been drunk, NOT I am although frankly it is looking like a pretty tempting proposition drunk);

VoiceOf - Thank you for not ripping the p*ss out of meblush

And BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Aside from TOTALLY agreeing with your succinct but deft description of this frankly unreal situation - 'This is utter madness!' - thank you for your proclamations of a l'il love (as Lord knows need all the love I can get right nowthanks ) but also thinking I'll probably need a good wingman shortly as suspect Crikey may be utterly crikified by my last post, no matter how honest and factual it was!

Glad make you smile, that is genuinely a really lovely thing for you to write (& it really has been a truly brutal week, so appreciate the fact you bothered enough to write it) - have also had THE nicest ever PM this evening from another MN'er who was a bit stuck a few weeks back and I was able to help out, so between both of you, my even laughing at myself re the VoiceOf mortification, you have made me smile for first time all week (think the reality that my Mum really has 'gone', IYKWIM?, has only hit me properly this week so it has been a pretty low few days).

Will stop StoicWritesForEngland now and just repeat, thank you xxx

zipzap Fri 03-May-13 23:27:15

Definitely think you need to ring up the priest and the funeral home on behalf of your sis OP - I know it's a pain but they are the people that are best placed to stop all this before the body arrives - or get it moved if it has.

Or maybe suggest that it stays in the school hall or chapel if they all work at a school - that would go down like a ton of bricks i'm sure but if they don't think it's appropriate to be at the school then why on earth is it appropriate to be anywhere other than the man's home or the funeral parlour?

It's a bank holiday weekend - it's really not a weekend you want to be kipping down on your head of department's sofa, it's a weekend you want to enjoy and chill out - not freeze because you need to keep the house cold because of the corpse in the living room...

Maybe somebody ought to organise a zombie flash mob to come and sort things out <ducks, I know, I know, very bad taste, but given the way the op's sis has been bullied, I bet there aren't some of you thinking that it sounds like a good idea to at least daydream about>

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 03-May-13 23:32:55

This thread is so utterly surreal anyway zipzap, that a zombie flash mob would not be out of place.wink
And I think the bereaved mother and daughter are behaving in bad taste anyway.
As for the utterly pathetic sister, I have no words.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 03-May-13 23:54:30

I know its a cultural/belief thing, but I cannot begin to imagine staring at the mortal remains of a loved one for FIVE days!

saffronwblue Fri 03-May-13 23:54:32

Madness. Complete utter madness. I know all about the single mindedness of bereavement, that you have no proportion because you are consumed by a terrible loss. But this is quite insane. Your poor sister, OP. It is hard to stand up for yourself in a situation like this because you want to help and respect the grief and loss.

I don't know what to suggest. This is one of those threads that is going to haunt me and makes my life seem quite sane and dull.

Poor man getting dragged around to random houses its like flipping weekend at Bernies

chubbychipmonk Sat 04-May-13 00:06:51

That just made me actually LOL 50!!grin

FannyFifer Sat 04-May-13 00:07:20

"Weekend at Bernies" grin

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 04-May-13 00:12:42

Both my sister and my mum lay at the funeral parlour after their deaths and I went to say goodbye there.
It's a peaceful respectful place with equally respectful staff.
I have no idea why this can't be the case for the people in question.
The poor bloke will never be at rest while being passed from pillar to post.
I hope you let your sister read this thread Op, maybe the vipers could knock some sense into her.

chubbychipmonk Sat 04-May-13 00:14:30

I deal with dead bodies a lot in my job & I can honestly tell you that even after being embalmed the smell of a dead body will linger for such a long time. It's such a distinct smell, it will linger in your sisters house ( and in her nostrils) long after the 5 days. Surely no LL in his right mind would want that in their house!

CornflowerB Sat 04-May-13 00:25:50

It is very unlikely that there is a funeral parlour on a remote island so I doubt this is an option. There can't be a funeral until Tue because of the bank holiday weekend. The flatmate's mother is faced with having her dead husband in her house until the day of the funeral and probably is struggling with this. I would urge you OP, as others have done, to get your sister to speak to the priest and see if the funeral can be brought forward. These are exceptional circumstances and I'm sure if the priest knew what was going on he would be accommodating. The mother might be ok if the wake was only a day or two in the house. Wakes are not unusual in many parts of Ireland and Britain but 5 days is very unusual and seriously undesirable because of the inevitable decay. Pleade everyone stop with the name calling of both the bereaved mother and the OP's sister. This is a small remote community not the leafy suburbs. I hope you find a reasonable solution and that the poor man rests in peace.

FairPhyllis Sat 04-May-13 00:26:43

I am absolutely sure the priest would want to know that this situation was going down. No clergy would want to be inadvertently engaging in something that's causing so much distress to your sister.

Your sister either needs to toughen up (and I do understand the whole social anxiety thing) or get better at choosing housemates).

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sat 04-May-13 00:33:55

The flatmate's mother is faced with having her dead husband in her house until the day of the funeral and probably is struggling with this. But not struggling enough to have him in her daughters house for the full 5 days, and to move in there with him!

CornflowerB Sat 04-May-13 00:46:47

I'm not saying this is reasonable, just trying to understand her thinking.

This is why all this guff about 'respecting' people's demented primitive bullshit 'cultural traditions' is such a bad thing. It's a license to bully. It is totally unreasonable to expect the OP's sister to smile sweetly and accept being driven out of her own home for five days due to someone else wanting to perform some freaky, invasive rituals in it. I rather expect that the corpse's family are the sort of people who have been entitled, self-obsessed bullies all their lives, and are now using 'tradition' and 'Waa we're bereaved' as a justification for walking all over someone they have identified as vulnerable and passive.

SacreBlue Sat 04-May-13 01:52:15

Wow! Don't be visiting Ireland then SGB! It's not freaky or weird in itself to want to say goodbye in your own way to a loved one.

It is too much to ask a housemate you aren't that close to though.

And I don't get the 'no funeral parlour' bit - he is in one now!

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sat 04-May-13 02:02:34

Stoic, sorry for the loss of your Mom. flowers And thanks for posting as it sounds like your bereavement is recent and this topic must trigger more grief. (And I'm in complete agreement with your posts, and enjoyed a giggle too...but always envisioned the "x" as the froo-froo air kisses, just trying to help...crawling back under my rock.)

Mumford, good luck. Are you a resident local to these events? I know this doesn't help a bit, but this story will have a lot of legs through generations of your family, I imagine. And everyone one reading this thread will undoubtedly amend any future rental agreements to cover this scenario.

Your dear sister must expect gift certificates to assertiveness training courses for the next several dozen gift giving occasions. However, I do appreciate the sensitive circumstances that someone's Dad has died, and your dsis has responded with kindness. I do hope she will be able to live with someone else at the end of her lease.

Actually, the wierd corpse-fetishism is not the main problem even though there are health and safety issues with having it there for five days in the summer. It's the selfishness and bullying behaviour of the bereaved flatmate and her mother that's the really unacceaptable thing. It would be just as unreasonable if the flatmate wanted to host a weekend-long poker tournament or invite her entire hockey team to sleep over for several days whether the OP's sister liked it or not. It's basically about a woman being told she has to either leave her own home for several days, or put up with strangers making a noise and doing stuff all over the place, not being able to get into the sitting room because they have left bulky objects all over it, having to be quiet when they want quiet yet not complain if they want to yowl and yodel all night long. The OP's sister and her feelings matter just as much as the housemate, therefore the housemate is a selfish, entitled, bully.

SacreBlue Sat 04-May-13 02:37:33

Again SGB we agree on the unacceptable behaviour but disagree on the bringing a body home (to their own home not someone else's)

It's not weird or a fetish. It is a way to come to terms with a death and say goodbye. You may not agree with it and it's perfectly acceptable not to want it in your home if that's the case but that doesn't make it a 'fetish'

Primprin Sat 04-May-13 04:20:55

i don't think anyone would care where the body was if everyone who LIVED and paid to live (!!!) in the property was ok with it.

How anyone, however insane with grief and whatever the mitigating factors, could think that going to their daughter's rented property when the housemate has said no and is miserable, is ok....

something is wrong beyond grief

Longdistance Sat 04-May-13 04:26:42

I hate the idea of having an open coffin.

My grandma's coffin was open. She looked nothing like herself at all. My mum was mortified, as my aunt wanted an open coffin. My mum was cross as she already said good bye when she passed away in the hospital.

We're Catholic, but we don't like this open coffin thing. I for one do not want to see adead relative/friend.

Your sister needs to say no, and inform ll ASAP as I'm sure theyll have something to say about it.

Shinigami Sat 04-May-13 05:51:21

Weekend at Bernie's grin

Selba Sat 04-May-13 06:55:18

I agree with neo and crikey

StealthOfficialCrispTester Sat 04-May-13 07:37:51

OP are you/your sister just going to accept this?
Is there any chance she can hand her notice in and find somewhere else to live?
(would be interesting viewings for potential new tenants)

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 04-May-13 07:50:58

Saggy it's cultural....for many the thought of their loved ones with strangers after death is abhorrent. She can't cope's a very human response...but neither can she take the idea of him alone...she wants him with family.

TweedWasSoLastYear Sat 04-May-13 08:00:14

So how about a compromise?

6 hours before the funeral , Between 9am and 3pm the body will be be in closed casket in the front room .

Anyone coming from afar who feels the need to talk to the coffin , pay their respects or whatever can do it the day before. They can then stay overnight and go to the funeral before.

The body can be cold stored till then , in the morgue.( where it should be )

This way relatives or acquaintances can do what they feel the need to, OP sis doent even have to be there , no H and S risk , no flies, no smell , no dribble of random visitors knocking on the door.

The wife/mum will not have the body in her house, but its OK for the relatives/ frineds to be met at the door maybe by a random ( Op sis) ,, chances are the mum would be there all the time anyway.

so many levels of wrong imo.

pooka Sat 04-May-13 08:04:42

Neo - so the housemate can stay at her mum's with her father. No one would be alone, and no one else would be inconvenienced or distressed.

corblimeymadam Sat 04-May-13 08:08:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jaynebxl Sat 04-May-13 08:34:43

Sorry if this has been posted already ... Can't read all 12 pages.

Why can't the body go to the mother's house and your sister's housemate go stay with her mum for 5 days? That way the mum doesn't have to cope on her own, they get to have the body somewhere people can visit, and the mum gets the support of her daughter.

Jaynebxl Sat 04-May-13 08:35:14

Oo Belgian, great minds think alike!

CheerfulYank Sat 04-May-13 08:52:43


Your sister definitely needs a lock.

PunkHedgehog Sat 04-May-13 08:54:44

The dead man's family are being utterly unreasonable. If the body's arrived by now it's probably to late to do anything about it but it should be made clear to them that your sister will ask them to pay a
all the rent for the week they are taking over the house, plus the cost of cleaning the house after all the visitors have left. (I see a lot of people have mentioned floor damage from corpse leakage - if keeping the coffin at home is a local tradition the undertakers will be prepared for it and should take any necessary steps to prevent that sort of damage. If they don't, they will be liable for the cost of putting that right. However, lots of people trooping through to see the body and visit the family will inevitably make the house dirty, so a house clean and professional carpet clean will be needed because of that. If there's a lingering smell then thy will probably also need to pay for curtains and other upholstery to be cleaned. Your sister has a right to 'quiet enjoyment' of her home - if the other family won't pay to put things right once the week is over it may be possible to use the small claims court to recover the costs. I'm not familiar with the Scottish system - you'll need to investigate local rules.

The people saying stop the rent or walk out of the lease are also being unreasonable. It is not the landlord's job to mediate disputes between housemates, and unless the tenancy agreement already contains a clause banning dead bodies or limiting numbers of visitors there's probably nothing he can do about it. Withholding rent or breaking the tenancy simply leave your sister with legal and credit rating problems in addition to everything else.

From the way you've described her, it sounds as if your sister's problems with social interactions are causing her significant problems beyond the immediate one - and if not addressed she's likely to continue to run into problems like this in future. (OK, probably not exactly like this, but people will walk over her and make her life difficult if she can't stand up to them). If she talks to her GP she may well find it's possible to be referred for behavioural therapy that will help.

BabyHMummy Sat 04-May-13 08:58:26

neo have you bothered to actually read any of the posts????? The mother is on about moving in with her daughter and dead husband at her daughters house ao if the is happy to live here for 5 day with a dead body then frankly she has no bloody excuse jot to have him in her own home.

Try actually reading what's put before posting antagonistic and pointless remarks

KatyTheCleaningLady Sat 04-May-13 09:21:56

I suspect the widow's house is in a bad state and they can't have people in.

I wish the op's sister had stood her ground.

At the very least, I hope she padlocks the bedroom door.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sat 04-May-13 09:23:28

Also, I had the same reaction as chasedbybees and thought "she should blast metal music all week." Carcass would be an appropriate band.

anonacfr Sat 04-May-13 09:31:49

The whole thing is crazy. Right or wrong a lot of people are uncomfortable with dead bodies, regardless of the cultural norm.
I come from a Mediterranean family where keeping the body at home is a norm. My grandparents both died at home and were kept at home until their funerals.

It was only two days as the embalmers told us that after that the body becomes too damaged. They lived in a big house so there was effectively a 'death room'. Even then some of my cousins didn't feel comfortable looking at the bodies.
There are people who would rather remember the person alive than see bodies that sometimes don't even look like their loved one anymore.

The situation should not be inflicted on a random housemate. It's awful for her.

EffieTheDuck Sat 04-May-13 09:33:50

OP, would you please give us an update?

mikkii Sat 04-May-13 09:54:10

I was very close to my FIL who died in hospital 2 years ago following an accident. DH's family are Mediterranean and I was expected to go to the hospital following his death. (I had been there a lot while he was in ICU). I agreed to go, hoping I could avoid seeing him, but this was not to be. At the age of 42 I saw my first corpse, TBH I'm happy to leave it another 42 before I see another. He didn't look like FIL, but after 3 days of life support it was nice to see him peaceful. As for having him at home, thank god this was not discussed as we are the ones with a big enough house, but I have 3 DC's, one of whom was only 6 mo.

Update from OP please

Read all of this gobsmacked.

Clearly the bereaved mother & daughter are in the wrong but....

Your sis really does need to learn to stand up for herself - if she can't negotiate something like this where the other side are being so utterly unreasonable she is going to be walked over for the rest of her life. Undertaker or priests would have been the obvious non-confrontational way of keeping to body out.

Portofino Sat 04-May-13 10:34:03


tasmaniandevilchaser Sat 04-May-13 10:46:22

tbf to the sis, it's very hard to be assertive with grieving people, you'd feel like a bitch. I had a situation where an impromptu wake started at my shared house and went on til gone 2am, with LOTS of noise, children running around playing games slamming doors. I had to go out and very gently say something about the doors, but to see the relatives it's very hard not to have some empathy and be prepared to give a little. My flat mate was a little lacking in the boundaries department shall we say (it wasn't her relative, she just brought everyone back). She actually couldn't see what was wrong with it. As far as she was concerned the grieving trumped any feelings I might have about having people keep me and the neighbours awake, when we all had work the next day (though she didn't have work....)

But this situation is totally, utterly, completely out of that league. I would be SO SO pissed off, I would have to move. I feel for your sis, I really really do, but I don't understand why she couldn't call the priest.

I come on MN thinking I've read it all, I can't be shocked anymore, but then......I won't forget this one in a hurry....

docket Sat 04-May-13 11:38:55

This situation is truly bizarre and quite shocking. I can't believe any family (even one overwhelmed with grief) would think this was acceptable. Is there an update OP?

BalloonSlayer Sat 04-May-13 11:51:21

If I was your DSis I would now be worrying that they actually wanted my bedroom to put the Deceased in for the duration. confused

NatashaBee Sat 04-May-13 12:00:04

Any update OP? Could you call the priest on your sisters behalf?

zipzap Sat 04-May-13 12:10:54

Whilst it is highly understandable the your sis wouldn't want the mum sleeping in her bedroom, it is probably preferable to having the dad in there instead, especially given how many posters have said that there is a distinct and lingering unpleasant smell - double especially after a long warm time of lying out in an open casket.

zipzap Sat 04-May-13 12:14:44


Meant to add that I am sure that most landlords would understand if the did put a lock on the door in the circumstances - and whether she either offers to remove and repair afterwards or leave for the next tenants, they shouldn't object. And the housemate should cover all the costs although I'm not sure that she would agree on current form!

Think your sister needs to stay home and guard her bedroom....

Geezer Sat 04-May-13 13:14:31

Jesus and Mary on a speedboat, you don't really think that they'd put the coffin on OP's sister's bed, do you? Tell me you're exaggerating and you don't think they'd go that far, please. <shudders>

expatinscotland Sat 04-May-13 13:16:32

And you don't think they won't put the poor man in the sister's bedroom? Why not? They're not above bullying a person out of her own home?

I agree with SGB, the big issue is the bullying.

Lweji Sat 04-May-13 13:17:32

I suspect this thread will still be going on even after the poor man is buried. grin

docket Sat 04-May-13 13:23:32

Actually, I really think you need to step in on your sister's behalf here. This can't be allowed to happen.

Geezer Sat 04-May-13 13:23:53

It's not that I don't think so, expatinscotland, it's that I don't know what to think. I'm hoping the family will have a little more decency than that and tbh it didn't even occur to me that they might do it until someone said it as I read on, then someone else mentioned it. I'm sitting here thinking, oh my word, tell me they're exaggerating, please tell me they are.

I know how I'd handle it because, rightly or wrongly I couldn't bear to be in the same house as a wake. It wouldn't get to the stage where the coffin even came to the door if I was the sister so I hadn't quite got my head around the sequence of events beyond telling the undertakers that it wasn't happening.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 04-May-13 13:31:10

If i hadn't advance searched the Op, I'd have thought this has to be a troll thread.
Except she is an eminently sensible poster who's been around for a while.
I agree someone has to step in on the sister's behalf here.
I'm so with Expat on this, ok some people are not confrontational, I'm not, but in a situation like this she so needs a kick up the arse. And I'd be the one to do it if my dsis wouldn't, I'd be too angry to do otherwise.

Geezer Sat 04-May-13 13:35:39

I agree, LadyBeagleEyes. Revolving around my mind at the moment are the thoughts, "Why hasn't someone in the family called the undertaker, priest and housemate and sorted this out if the sister won't do it herself?" and, "PM me the bloody phone number and I'll do it myself"!

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Sat 04-May-13 13:42:40

I think story is newsworthy. The Daily Fail would love it.

Dying to hear from OP how things are going! Come back OP!

Oh CRAP! I just realised what I wrote - so sorry - didn't mean to cause any offence.

I'll just sit in the corner and flagellate myself.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sat 04-May-13 14:02:26

Geezer, last night, I thought about asking for the number and calling myself, too. But having someone from across the pond jump into the circumstances would take it all to a new level, not that stranger things haven't happened.

SolidGoldBrass and Expatinscotland have, imho, distilled the circumstances to the foundational truth of the matter in their usual intelligent style. The OP's sister did say she was not comfortable with this but then had it forced on her with the statement that she simply had to 'get over it' (my quotes and paraphrasing) thus a complete disregard for her feelings/thoughts on the matter. That is bullying, and just plain mean.

Lweji Sat 04-May-13 14:08:20

That the story would have come from MN would add an interesting twist too. grin

Neither of you have a right to who he about the situation if you are just going to roll over and let it happen.

If your sister can't stand up for herself what the feck are her family doing to stop this happening.

I'd be in the phone to every bloody agency, police, social services, priest, environmental health, funeral director, council, feck me, the local MP would be getting a call too.

Bloody do something about it.

Lweji Sat 04-May-13 14:13:27

Would an open horizontal freezer work, btw?
One wonders...

This is how I love my country's tradition of having the funeral the very next day.
Which also results in sometimes missing friends/acquaintances funerals because it's arranged overnight.

OP, if you are still around, or reading this, your sister should really host a poker tournament next week. Or a swingers party. Or a goth's party (which would also be nice this weekend, preferably with open invitations over fb).

Viviennemary Sat 04-May-13 14:20:17

I haven't read the whole thread. But absolutely no no no and a million times no. If everyone who lives in the house is not entirely comfortable with this then it is an absolute no.

EffieTheDuck Sat 04-May-13 14:26:05

The wake will have begun by now and will go on until Tuesday. sad

fuzzywuzzy Sat 04-May-13 14:28:55

I don't know much about these things as we bury our dead as quickly as possible.

But is this not unhygienic, won't the body smell pretty off by Tuesday?

Poor sister of OP.

Viviennemary Sat 04-May-13 14:30:32

If I lived in that house, I would call every agency going to get this stopped. Environmental Health, Landlord, police and so on. It's wrong unless everyone in the house agrees.

EffieTheDuck Sat 04-May-13 14:33:07

I'm thinking if OP said the funeral was midweek then it might be on Wednesday.
The sister on HOD's couch for at least that time plus a couple of extra days for the bereaved to clean the house and gather their thoughts.

hermioneweasley Sat 04-May-13 14:55:06

Keen for an update on this one!

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sat 04-May-13 15:03:22

Lweji I just had a vision of a deli case in the living room. shock grin<<bleaches imagination>>

Mumford, I hope that the week turns into a positive for you sister. Please let us know.

EduCated Sat 04-May-13 15:42:02

shock just shock

embolina Sat 04-May-13 16:13:40

Mumford- Give us a freakin' update!!!!!!!

doubleshotespresso Sat 04-May-13 16:16:40

This sounds a nightmare scenario, but I agree with many other posters, your sister needs to seriously put her foot down. This is not about bring shy, she LIVES at this property and should be considered.

I would not leave the property and would refuse the body even entering the house. There is a family home where this poor man should be allowed some dignity in death.

Your sister also needs to make clear to her flatmate how deeply offensive her behaviour is regardless of her loss.... Surely your sister will move out asap?

Lweji Sat 04-May-13 16:20:21

I wonder if recent pps realise this was yesterday...

What we want is a blooming update.

Pretty please. smile

sweetiepie1979 Sat 04-May-13 16:29:31

Well in Ireland that's the custom, I don't see the problem. I think the mother is been difficult but I would let it go as she's just lost her husband. Id do it and put it down to experience. Wakes are great Craic! X

sweetiepie1979 Sat 04-May-13 16:37:20

Oh and wylye what kind of wakes have you been to?

" but will hardly be living life as normal unless she decides to be massively insensitive. No music playing, no hanging out in the kitchen/dining rm to eat meals, no having friends over, she'll be confined to her room.
These are all the things that happen at wakes! That's what it's all about. Having friends over, eating and drinking and giving someone a good send off!

Floggingmolly Sat 04-May-13 16:42:34

It's the custom in Ireland to have the wake in the deceased's own home, Sweetiepie. Attempting to have it in someone else's home is unheard of.

sleeton Sat 04-May-13 17:30:17

These are all the things that happen at wakes! That's what it's all about. Having friends over, eating and drinking and giving someone a good send off! Really?

You really think she should carry on living in her home as usual? Inviting her friends round for a bite to eat and something to drink?

What on earth would she say to them?

I can just visualise the conversation! Ah you have seen the dead man in my sitting room. No, no, you don't know him. In fact, no, no, I don't know him either. My housemate is keeping him here, but you and I can just carry on regardless. Now, would you like milk in your coffeee?

Really sweetiepie?

Still no update? hmm

AlistairSim Sat 04-May-13 17:39:56


Does she live on Craggy Isle?

Wylye Sat 04-May-13 17:40:19

sweetie "These are all the things that happen at wakes! That's what it's all about. Having friends over, eating and drinking and giving someone a good send off!"

Well it may be for the family of the deceased! The sister is hardly going to be joining in is she? It sounds like she's not that familiar with the custom herself, so if she had stayed in the house I'm sure she would have kept to herself in her room and been as quiet as possible, out of respect to the mourners.

sweetiepie1979 Sat 04-May-13 18:26:11

Yeah really that's what happens, maybe she wouldn't s dinner party that particular week for her friends but when I've called at friends houses when they've been holding a wake, always someone from the family I'd add it's oh uncle died in America he's been waked a week here, drink? Maybe it's a cultural thing ladies but It happens where I live. And I just think a man ha died, it's her Daddy, do a good turn for someone and it'll come back to ye.

sweetiepie1979 Sat 04-May-13 18:35:18

floggingmolly it's not unheard of at all, it doesn't happen very often but it's not unheard if. I do think that the wake should be at deceased NAND house and that the Mother is been a bit difficult but if I was in this position I'd let the flat mate have the wake.

FannyFifer Sat 04-May-13 19:33:59

I really really need an update on the weekend at Bernies situation.
Would be ace if the sister was actually called Bernie.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 04-May-13 20:38:38

I'm starting to think this whole thing is not true.

EffieTheDuck Sat 04-May-13 20:50:32

Unfortunately, the BBC pulled the Islands Blog which used to be great for catching up on each island's news.
I wonder if OP has either gone to rescue her sister or whether it has been untrue. Five days is sort of pushing it in summer, understandable in winter.

StoicButStressed Sat 04-May-13 22:02:33

But LadyB - how can it NOT be true? As you said, Mumford is not exactly a newbie or obv troll suspect - I'm choosing to believe she has gone to rescue DS from the weird forces of darkness that 'are' the DM and the DD along with the Zombie posse backed up the even more terrifying posse of Scottish women, all now barricading the house and that, err, maybe her signal has gone given so far out?

Or battery died? And is now being waked in some strangers house so she can't access it to re-charge?grin

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 04-May-13 22:16:03

Dunno, Stoic, even established posters have been known to make things up.
I'm starting to get a feeling... grin

I'm hoping she's on a ferry.

saffronwblue Sat 04-May-13 22:28:01

You couldn't make this up. You just couldn't. Lol at the battery being waked.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sat 04-May-13 22:28:16

Poor man getting dragged around to random houses its like flipping weekend at Bernies

I'm sorry but I'm still pmsl at that one.

This thread is definitely destined for Classics.

BackforGood Sat 04-May-13 23:34:33

It does sound like something from an episode of Stella hmm

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 04-May-13 23:56:37

It's been a good thread though.
I've been suitably and almost enjoyably outraged.
How sad that is how I've spent my weekend. I need to get out more.grin.

CornflowerB Sun 05-May-13 00:57:01

I have to confess that not finding out the denouement is going to be disappointing.

stargirl04 Sun 05-May-13 05:12:18

There is no way that I would put up with this. It is just outrageous. I would be seeking legal advice. Good luck OP - I really hope your sister gets this sorted out.

stargirl04 Sun 05-May-13 06:30:51

Just read the last page.... D'oh! :-)

I agree, though, it's been a great thread!

We need an update, I've thoroughly enjoyed being appalled at this thread ha ha

goonyagoodthing Sun 05-May-13 10:34:01

It is the norm here in Ireland to have the remains in the persons home after they die. It is not normal to bring him / her to a random house somewhere, the point of it is to bring the person home to family. And in all my 35 years I have never heard of a body being kept in a house for five days. Usually one night, or two nights at the very most.

StoicButStressed Sun 05-May-13 11:55:35

LadyB - uber LOL at "almost enjoyably outraged" (and share your shame at fact this thread has been highlight of my weekend if that makes you feel any better?)

Stargirl04 Truly, thank you SO much for your 'an hour apart' & hilarious dual postsmile ....Just out of shameful blatant noseyness curiousity, were they due to you having a seriously great night out on the wine or an horrific brain-deadening night up feeding or something? They really are kinda geniusly funnygrin

stargirl04 Sun 05-May-13 05:12:18
There is no way that I would put up with this. It is just outrageous. I would be seeking legal advice. Good luck OP - I really hope your sister gets this sorted out.

stargirl04 Sun 05-May-13 06:30:51
Just read the last page.... D'oh! :-)

NB: Agree with ALL that we NEED a denoument here (or a fess if wasn't real, but soooooooo don't want to believe that of Mumford or any other L/T MN'er) D'you think a PM to chase would be just TOO cheeky?blush

Lweji Sun 05-May-13 12:00:41

My thoughts too.
Maybe we should inundate Mumford with PMs. smile

MumfordandDaughter Sun 05-May-13 12:07:55

Hello, everyone. So sorry for the delay. My sister said she’s okay with the thread staying so long as I haven’t disclosed any specific info such as names or locations (e.g. exactly what island she’s staying on). I’m a bit worried I might have said too much already actually, so I’ll try and be more vague with my posts.

Okay. I want to start off by saying that myself and my family don’t live anywhere near my sis. We’re near Edinburgh. My dad has been constantly helping my sis out ever since she moved up there. He had to find her a flat. He had to go through all the contracts with the landlord/agency. And he’s quite ill at the moment with an ulcer so all this stress isn’t good for him, which my mum pointed out to my sis Fri night, leading sis to get all uppity and stubborn, refusing to give us permission to contact the priest etc on her behalf. She says she doesn’t need anyone’s help if it’s ‘too much trouble.’

As for how she can handle a classroom... She’s newly qualified. This is her first year as a proper teacher (last year was her probationary year). Out of 6 interviews she went for, 5 of the schools wanted her. She picked the one on the island because she fancied a quiet lifestyle and wanted to prove she could be independent. She mid-twenties by the way. No idea why she can address a class of kids and not two adults!

Anyway. She went home Fri night with the HOD’s husband. The mother and housemate were there, but the body was not. Due to some reason, it’s now not going to be arriving until Monday. Don’t know why, but it apparently wasn’t the mother’s/housemate’s decision as they seemed quite upset about the delay.

So my sister said okay, she’ll not be moving to HOD’s house until Monday then. The mother seemed quite surprised by this and asked ‘where am I supposed to sleep then?’ She assumed from my sister’s lack of reply that she was agreeing to the mother having her bed. The HOD’s husband then cut in stating the obvious. It’s my sis’s house/bed and she wants to sleep on it. The mother said she can’t go home because she was expecting a few visitors over the weekend at my sis’s house and she didn’t want to mess them about. My sis found her courage at this stage and asked about swapping houses for the week – as you suggested – and the mother said no because she hardly knows my sis and doesn’t want a stranger sleeping in her house. My sis pointed out the hypocrisy, and the mother said that the flatmate isn’t a stranger to my sis and that she would be properly supervised if that’s what my sis wanted.

Anyway. This really riled my sis. And she – in her words – found her balls. She told them that she’s sick of being bossed around and being made to feel unwelcome in her own home. She said she’ll be staying in her room and that she’ll be treating the house as if she can’t see all of the visitors coming and going. She also said that if the landlord doesn’t get back to her by Sun night (tonight) she’ll be going to his house personally to get him to put a stop to this.

So this ended in a huge argument with tears and name calling. Nothing got solved. And they haven’t spoken to each other since.

Waiting on her getting back to me a bit later with any more news.

Sorry for the ramble! Trying to type as I remember the conversation.

Thanks again for everyone's advice. But i don't think there's anything left to be done tbh. I doubt my sis will stand up for herself like that again in a hurry. My prediction is she'll just stay shut up in her room for the week, and put up with the visitors, body, rosaries, wake etc.

MumfordandDaughter Sun 05-May-13 12:12:42

Oh dear, just catching up on all the replies since Fri when i last posted. I'm so sorry to keep you all waiting when you've all been so lovely to help!

My daughter's not been well and hasn't given be a minute long enough to sit and write that gigantic reply.

In fact, it's taken me all morning just to write that. Ihad to keep coming back and adding to it when my dd was momentarily distracted, then had to copy it over to this Mumsnet page.

Sleep deprived and grumpy, excuse the horrific grammar please. blush

Anyway, thanks again, everyone. My sis isn't really talking to any of us now, so don't know how long it will be before i hear back from her.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Sun 05-May-13 12:15:28

Well done to your sister for standing up to them as she did!

Alligatorpie Sun 05-May-13 12:18:34

Good for her standing up to them. How awful they were going to use her room for the weekend, when the body wasn't even there.

I hope she can move out soon!

DontmindifIdo Sun 05-May-13 12:22:19

wow! Well done on your sister! I think the housemate needs to realise this is stupid.

Also could you call your sister and suggest she speaks to the priest (now she's found her balls she can deal with it) and get them to say it's inapproprate to have the body in this house if the housemate doesn't want it there. And that she's entirely within her right to cause a scene when the wake is happening, so it should be moved back to the mother's house...

Lweji Sun 05-May-13 12:23:55

Well done sis.
And thanks for the update.

You could email her this thread, particularly the suggestions for loud music. Possibly putting on the tv Night of the Living Dead. smile. Or several comedies, with canned laughter.

I might be out in the livin room with some febreeze too.

Let's hope it's not for 5 days, then.

roisin Sun 05-May-13 12:37:05

Well done sis for standing up to them.
If she knows who the funeral directors are, she could contact them direct and say the occupies of the house do not all give consent to having the body there. (FDs are always on call, so there will be someone there now.)

cocolepew Sun 05-May-13 12:44:59

God they really take the biscuit don't they?

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Sun 05-May-13 12:49:11

If the body isn't coming until the Monday then there is no need to have a extended wake. They could just have the bady there for a night. This would still be TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE but not quite as bad as five nights.

Hopefully, it may still not happen at all.

coffeeinbed Sun 05-May-13 12:58:36

I've only been lurking here so far, but blimey, the cheek of that!
Where is she going to sleep
on top of everything else

cozietoesie Sun 05-May-13 13:00:16

Just a thought but could you speak to your Sis's Head Teacher? She might be able to sort something out - and in any case, if there are issues on the island she'd best know about it to protect your sister.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Sun 05-May-13 13:01:51

Thanks for coming back Mumford, sorry to hear about all the falling out, particularly as it was caused by non-family members being totally out of order.

When you speak with her, tell your sis to hang on to those balls, they come in very useful!

CominThroughTheWry Sun 05-May-13 13:02:46

Well done your sister. If the door can't be locked, she needs to stay put. They may be grieving, but the mother and flatmate are taking the piss.

Doesn't want a "stranger" in her house indeed. Good for the HOD chipping in and supporting her.

LadyBeagleEyes Sun 05-May-13 13:04:46

Your sister has now put her foot down, she can't back out now.
Hopefully the initial row has made her more confident, and she can now say 'Yay, I can do this', and carry on.

Booyhoo Sun 05-May-13 13:09:17

you know OP i think your sister might surprise you and hold onto those balls to see this through. this might have given her the courage to tsand her ground and refuse access and refuse to move out.

the widow sounds absoloutely vile tbh. grieving or not, her heads up her hole.

LIZS Sun 05-May-13 13:12:29

the mother said no because she hardly knows my sis and doesn’t want a stranger sleeping in her house. My sis pointed out the hypocrisy, and the mother said that the flatmate isn’t a stranger to my sis and that she would be properly supervised if that’s what my sis wanted.

but it is ok for your sis to have a dead stranger in her home ! shock. I know grief can affect people strangely but that logic really is beyond belief.