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To attend ex's mothers funeral tomorrow?

(51 Posts)
overstepping Wed 15-Jun-11 11:40:41

Namechanged (yawn) as this makes me sooo identifiable to friends and family.

My ExP's mother has died. She was a really really lovely lady. I thought a great deal of her.

I was with my ExP for 11 years. We split a long time ago- about 8 years. It wasn't a nice split, neither my Ex, the OW or myself behaved particularly well. He has since got married (to the OW), The split was initially incredibly difficult for me and nearly pushed me over the edge, probably because he was my first boyfriend,we were together for a long time, and I was naive . However, after some time I realised we were not suited, it was for the best and I managed to move on. I genuinely wish him and his wife well, and I am very happily married with 2 (mostly) delightful DCs.

My relationship with the Ex is fine, we are friendly if we see each other and have called each other at key milestones (marriage, kids etc) to pass on our best wishes.

I was totally shocked that his mother's death shook me so badly. She was like a mother to me during a time in my life when my own mother had a lot of problems including an alcohol and drug habit. I am devastated and cannot get my head around someone so lovely and full of life has gone. I know death comes to us all so this is a strange way to feel. It has been hard to explain how I feel to friends and family as they all seem to think that as I am over the Ex, I should not be so sad about the death of him DM.

I do realise this is all a bit self indulgent and that of course my Ex and his family have a million times more right and reason to be grieving. I know that at a time like this is is their feelings and wishes that must come first.

However, I feel very strongly that I would like to go to the funeral. To say goodbye, pay my respects and be there as someone who thought a great deal of her. I was planning to sit at the back, keep myself to myself (ie not be unfriendly but be in the background if possible) and not attend the wake.

I have seen my Ex and his family many times over the years and everyone has been friendly. His parents always made the effort to catch up at when we saw each other when out and about. So I didn't think it would be a problem for me to attend. I sought the opinion of a few close friends and they all said they thought it would be fine to go.

However, my work colleagues have told me today that they think it is totally inappropriate and I am now in a muddle. The thought of not going makes me feel very very sad but this is not about me is it?

Sorry for the epic post- AIBU to want to go?

HarrietJones Wed 15-Jun-11 11:42:45

No YANBU to want to go but I think you need to check with your xh first out of courtesy.

mrsmellow Wed 15-Jun-11 11:44:01

YANBU at all. Please go - I think it is the right thing to do. Your ex-s family will appreciate it if they see you and it will help you to come to terms as well. I'm sorry for your loss.

Itsjustafleshwound Wed 15-Jun-11 11:44:23

YANBU - it isn't about you it is about going to remember a woman who was kind and loving towards you.

OurPlanetNeptune Wed 15-Jun-11 11:44:27

Can you not speak to ex about it. If it makes him or his wife uncomfortable then don't go. Seems a bit intrusive of you, to be honest.

Surely you can find some other ways to pay your the funeral home maybe?

MrSpoc Wed 15-Jun-11 11:45:05

How would you work collegues know how appropriate it is for you to go???

If you were close and she meant allot to you then go. Have you spoken to the Ex and asked him what his thoughts would be?

AgentZigzag Wed 15-Jun-11 11:45:52

I can't see how that's inappropriate at all, especially 'totally inappropriate' confused

Nobody has a monopoly on feeling sad at someones death and I think it's lovely you both thought so much of each other, that must be evident to anyone who knows you.

Like you say, keep a respectful but not unfriendly distance, and the family will probably invite you to be with them.

JudysJudgement Wed 15-Jun-11 11:45:53

i think its perfectly acceptable and appropriate to attend

i would mention it to ex first though just to let him know

lurkedtoolong Wed 15-Jun-11 11:46:19

Absolutely YANBU. Go to the funeral, show your respects to a lovely lady and say your goodbyes. Your grief doesn't negate the grief of your Ex or his family or vice versa, it isn't a competition. You should go.

oohlaalaa Wed 15-Jun-11 11:47:40

Not at all inappropriate.

I would suggest sitting at the back, and leaving after the service, re not staying for bun fight.

She was obviously very special to you.

Ormirian Wed 15-Jun-11 11:51:03

How the fuck could it be inappropriate? She was someone important in your life. As long as you don't attend in a cartwheel-sized hat with a veil and throw yourself on the coffin I can't see how anyone could possible object.

Of course you should go.

Sorry for your loss sad

Mumwithadragontattoo Wed 15-Jun-11 11:52:23

I think YANBU since you say you will sit at the back, keep out of close family's way and not attend the wake. No reason why you shouldn't pay your respects to a woman you liked and admired.

It might be worth letting your ex know in advance. Could you call or write to him passing on your condolences and then say you would like to go to funeral but will sit at back out of the way, explaining why as have done here. The last thing you want is the funeral to turn into other people gossiping about you. This way your ex will probably be happy for the respect you are showing his mum rather than wondering why you're there.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Wed 15-Jun-11 11:54:03

YANBU - I totally agree with oohlaalaa - just slip in, sit at the back and then leave after the service. You are entitled to pay your respects to what sounds like a lovely lady!

OurPlanetNeptune Wed 15-Jun-11 11:54:53

She may have been dear to you but she was you ex's mother. This will be a diffcult time already for him as it is. Dont disregard his feelings, if he has a problem with it don't go. If he does not, very good - go.

Tangle Wed 15-Jun-11 11:56:36

I would say it was totally inappropriate of your work colleagues to pass comment, personally!

If you're worried, talk to your Ex (yes - he'll have lots to do, but talking to people that want to attend the funeral is part of that "lots"). From what you've said here, though, I can't see why it would be seen by his family as anything other than a gesture of support and respect. (The only time it would be inappropriate was if you knew or suspected that you wouldn't be welcome and went anyway, sat at the front and acted as though you were chief mourner - which is no where near your stated intention.)

whackamole Wed 15-Jun-11 11:56:57

YANBU. I went to my OH mum's funeral as did his ex. The difference being they do not get on and also he never had a good relationship with his mother either. I would ask him first as a courtesy, though, and ask for his thoughts on you attending the wake. You had a long relationship with both him and his mum so I don't think it is unreasonable to want to go.

Hope it all goes well, funerals are hard sad

ShoutyHamster Wed 15-Jun-11 11:58:59

If you can contact the Ex that would be best. You could ask whether it is likely to be a large (read very public) funeral or a small family affair, as if it is the former, then you would like to pay your respects. This offers him (or his wife) to get back to you with 'it's probably going to be quite small we think' as a polite get-out should they feel uncomfy with it.

Not inappropriate to want to go at all! Funerals are all different but many are a very public goodbye to someone with folk attending from all stages of their lives. The last I went to numbered over a hundred - for a relative who was a very popular and sociable person.

eurochick Wed 15-Jun-11 12:00:59

Speak to the ex first as a courtesy. Emotions will be running high on the day and if it is a surprise for him to see you there, it might not go well.

MrsBradleyCooper Wed 15-Jun-11 12:01:33

My parents are divorced and my mum attended both of my father's parents' funerals - like you are suggesting she sat at the back, however she did come to the wake also as they invited her to (she gets on well with my dad and his new wife and family).

I don't think it's inappropriate, but out of courtesy I would mention it to your ex so it doesn't come as a shock to him if he sees you there.

Do you think he would have a problem with you going?

2rebecca Wed 15-Jun-11 12:03:58

I wouldn't have discussed it with my work colleagues. I would discuss it with your ex as the focus of the funeral should be on the deceased and their family and not on you. If your exboyfriend is happy with it go, if you can get annual leave at short notice, if your ex isn't happy then I would just hold your own small commemorative ceremony where you think of her.

overstepping Wed 15-Jun-11 12:04:41

Thank you for all the replies. I have a lump in my throat reading other people saying its OK to be so sad. She really was one of life’s few absolute treasures.

I have written to my ex and his wife, and also to her husband to express my condolences and to tell them how much I thought of her. I also texted my ex the day after she died, a phonecall from the ex (aka me) seemed too intrusive at a difficult time. He sent a polite reply back thanking me etc..

I could text him to check it is OK as several people have suggested. I feel a bit reluctant though- its hard to explain but it sort of feels like that may imply that there is some kind of unfinished business or resentment between us. By quietly turning up I hoped to imply that its no bit deal me being there and that I am terribly sorry that she has died.

I guess my colleagues comments upset me and made me think because they are more independent than my friends IYSWIM. The last thing I want to do is make a very difficult day more difficult for anyone.

However I do think that her family will probably not even notice me there, which is as it should be.

Slightlyreluctantexpat Wed 15-Jun-11 12:06:47

Do go!

If you've been close to someone it's entirely appropriate to attend their funeral. There will be people there from all stages of her life.

ShoutyHamster Wed 15-Jun-11 12:09:14

I see what you mean about the not getting in touch, a bit 'I think you should know that I, YES ME, am planning to come' ! Takes on an attitude of I Am Signficant that doesn't represent your feelings at all.

How well do you know them now - do you know his wife? You say you've exchanged greetings etc. quite regularly - I think it sounds as if it would be ok to go along unannounced. BUT. Could you find out how big the funeral's going to be - some are tiny, some huge. If you can be fairly sure that it's going to be a big do with lots of friends, neighbours etc. - then go. If you have a sneaking suspicion that it's going to be 15 people, mainly family - then maybe not.

overstepping Wed 15-Jun-11 12:10:07

Oh dear- here comes the AIBU by stealth bit. The funeral is today, this afternoon. I said it was tomorrow in my OP as I wanted to be less identifiable- have namechanged but who knows if Ex's wife, sisters etc are MNetters........

Would those who suggested I should text the Ex think I should still do so seeing as it is today?

Leaving work to go home and get ready shortly so will check back in....

MrsBradleyCooper Wed 15-Jun-11 12:12:47

I think if it were me I'd still send a text maybe just saying "I'd like to go to your mother's funeral as she meant a lot to me, is that ok with you?"

To be honest, I don't think his mind will be on whether there is any unfinished business or anything, he will be focused on the loss of his mother and the logistics of the day etc.

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