Not sure who if anyone is being unreasonable and how to sort this out.(63 Posts)
This will make me instantly identifable so will try and be brief.
Sadly DPs uncle died, he left three adult children behind, a brother (DPs dad) and a Sister.
DP and I have a 9 week old son.
All the other relatives are more distant, not frequently seen other than at weddings, funerals, family events. None have met our DS.
DS has been the only baby born in the family for 25 years.
So, the problem is this:
Understandbly, we have been asked that DS doesn't attend the church service - I totally agree with this and wouldn't have taken him anyway.
But, we have also been told that DS isn't welcome at the wake afterwards (in a child friendly pub) as (and I quote) "He would take the limelight away from the decesed" and they want people to be thinking of him rather than paying attention to DS.
Now, DP and his parents are offended and have had words with the deceaseds adult children saying that DS is family too and that they can't understand why he is barred from the wake. Questions will be asked as to the whereabouts of DS and I, and I am sure comments will be made when they find out we wern't allowed to come. There will be an atmosphere and it will be uncomfortable for everyone - DP and his parents will probably leave after having a quick drink.
Now, I am not overly concerned really whether DS and I are there or not, but I can see that this is going to run and run with me at the centre of it. I can't leave DS with a babysitter as I am breastfeeding and plus I don't want too. DP and his parents want to introduce the baby to their side of the family, they are proud of DS and feel he has been snubbed.
So who if anyone is being unreasonable, and whats the solution?
Who has asked you not to bring him? Just one person or all the adult DCs?
I think they are being unreasonable...how can anyone 'take the limelight from the deceased' for goodness sake?
Mind you, my family are Irish and wakes tend to be very family orientated anyway...more of a celebration of life so the baby would be very welcome.
Not helpful to you, I know
That sounds incredibly odd to me. What strange people.
They are being weird but they are bereaved so don't hold any grudges and leave them to it. Go to the service and then get back to your baby, people won't be that curious as to why you didn't come as you have a little baby.
You should put aside what you and DP think or don't think about it and accept that this is not YOUR father who the family are grieving... it's THEIRS.
And if they want the wake to be held in a certain way, so be it. They NEED to express their grief in the way that feels right to them, they clearly feel that they need to be able to look back and say, "We remembered Daddy in this way on the day we laid him to rest, we spoke of him doing XYZ on that day, we smiled when we talked about him doing ABC... ".
So the solution is to say to the grieving sons and daughters of the gentleman - "I quite understand and I feel for you at this sad time."
It is very weird and they are BU, but grief makes one act strangely.
I took my baby (toddling) daughter to her great-grandad's funeral and a large number of the older people there made the comment that it was very heart-warming to see a little one, especially the newest member of the family - the old Circle of Life and all that.
So I would say that if your relatives don't want your baby there, it's their loss.
I guess your DP might try to talk to them again, and explain that you understand the wake is about remembering and celebrating the deceased, and all the family should have a chance to do that.
I took DD1, then a year old, to my great granny's funeral after hearing how she had photos of DD1 (her only great-great-grandchild at the time she died) all round her bed in the nursing home. She chattered and emptied my handbag all over the floor. Afterwards everyone (including G.Granny's close relatives) said how nice it was to hear Dd1, and g.Granny would have been pleased she was there.
Who is it exactly who has said you aren't welcome? It sounds a bit silly to ban anybody from a funeral. Surely if you want to go, you can go?
I think as odd as I also find it (Irish too, everyones invited!!babies very welcome, circle of life and all that)
Anyway I do think I have to agree with DogsBestFriend, and as hard as it maybe for you FIL losing a brother, I think any more 'words' may cause things to blow up.
I'd stay at home let others draw from it what they will and remind FIL that he has your LO there to cuddle after it all
To be honest the only solution I can see is that you both go to the funeral, but your DP goes onto the wake alone. If you are gracious it should avoid any kind of atmosphere.
Unreasonable or not, its not worth a family falling out.
Is it possible for your Dp to go to the wake for an hour or so then you come with the baby for say half an hour before all of you going home together? That way you can pay your respects to his family yourself and the 'limelight' won't be taken away at what can be a really difficult time fo everyone involved.
Their wake, their business and just because they are going to be gathered together under unfortunate circumstances doesnt make it an opportune moment to introduce your ds to everyone. If the relatives were so important and valued to you then wouldnt you have made other arrangements for them to meet your ds.
Its a bit odd, but it's not your funeral and they have a right to grieve in whatever way they think works best. Do what you have to then go.
(And yes I think the Irish do it best!)
uncles brother is equally immediate family to the adult children so in my opinion should have a say and be the one to say something. he needs to say that as immediate family not having his grandchild there will affect him. your dp is not as close and doesn't quite have the same say really, but brother should.
That is odd and I can understand your DP and his parents being upset, but your only option really is to go along with it, you can't force the issue if they are grieving their father.
They probably are BU, a little bit anyway, but come on, they've just lost their DAD Just let it be, grieve the sad loss, and support them in any way they need.
I agree with most of the above. It seems an oddly peevish thing to do but it is their father and primarily their grief so you have no choice but to graciously follow their request.
However, other family members will wonder where you and baby are and will ask. Your DH and MIL have little choice but to tell the truth as nicely as possible. X children preferred that the baby not attend. Let family subsequently make their mind up what they think of this.
Yes they are BU. But tbh people do funny things when they have been recently bereaved. So I think you need to not go and not mention it. Madamdeathstare's suggestion about what your DP can say about you not being there, is a good one. I think most people would understand a new mother not attending a funeral.
On the one hand, they sound almost resentful that the baby will bring some positivity to the occasion.
On the other hand, grief does funny things to people.
It will be questioned as to DS's whereabouts as they are an Irish family and it is almost unheard of for children to be excluded. The church service will be a long Catholic one and I totally agree with them that DS shouldn't be there, the wake will be music, food and singing most likely.
They are a very traditional family (the extended relatives) and will think it very rude if any family member isn't there.
The 'ban' has come from all three adult children.
I haven't said anything to them (or anyone else) about this, only offered condolences and thoughts etc. I dont feel its my place to make demands on how they organise their fathers funeral. But, I am the exception it seems as phone calls have been flying back and forth between them and DPs family almost arguing over whether DS (and by default me) should be there. I thought origionally that DS and I would attend the wake for an hour and leave which meant I would be paying respects but not intruding, but didn't realise that we were not welcome on the day at all.
Then the way to handle it is to do the grieving family a kindness. Tell a white lie to quell all the rumours and arguing by saying that it's irrelevant whether DS should or shouldn't be there, that sadly you cannot attend the wake anyway as you are still feeling rather exhausted and the babe is almost continuously feeding, he's going through a loud crying stage blah blah blah.
That way there can be no argument or ill feeling towards the people who have just lost their Daddy, you and DP can be seen to be not rocking the boat but being considerate and respectful and everyone wins.
Seeing as this is AIBU I'm going to be blunt. They have lost their Dad and are grieving but you and your DP seem mainly concerned about how you and DS fit into this and what other people (who you see next to never anyway) will think of you if you don't go.
They've been clear they don't want DS there, this may not seem rationale or particularly reasonable but that's how it is. Both you and DP need to be the bigger person here and stop discussing it with other family members.
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