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To not agree to do this

(22 Posts)
boocha Wed 12-Oct-11 14:08:46

My mum passed away 6 years ago aged 54, my mum and dad had been together since they were teenagers so as you can imagine my dad was devastated.
It is rare now if you speak about my mum that he doesn't get upset.

Considering this my dad has done ok, he does alot of DIY,gardening etc so keeps very busy.

Maybe a year after a my mum died he became very friendly with a lady 10 years older than himself , she is in her 70s and a really lovely person, very respectable and has been such a good companion to my dad and him to her ( her dh passed away some years ago)
My dad is not religious at all but his friend is very involved in a church, going most days organising events etc, I think she is some kind of secretary there? My dad goes with her 3 times a week and does gardening, DIY in the church.
Everytime myself or my sister and brother talk to him he mentions the church ongoings, I'm not interested but I see that it really helps to keep him busy and he enjoys it.
He rang me for a chat and during the conversation mentioned that when he dies he wants his ashes to be buried at his friends church because they know him, he spends a lot of time there and he really doesn't like one of the trustees at the church where my mum is (fair enough, if that's what he wants) and he wants me to arrange for my mums ashes to be exhumed and moved to this church.
I was shocked, I told him that while I respect his wishes to be buried where he wants there is no way I'm having anything to do with moving my mums ashes.
I dont agree with it because my mum had no dealings or even knowledge of this church on the other side of town and, well I don't know , it just doesn't seem right?
He has gone mad at me saying I want to be at rest with your mum and you have to abide by my wishes ,to which I replied that while I respected and kind of understand his wishes, I'm not doing it now or when he does pass away as I don't want to.
I told him if my brother and sister will do it then fine,I wouldnt stand in their way but I'm not doing it or having anytime to do with it.
He see me as the administrator of the family because I dealt with everything when my mum died.
I told him if he feels that strongly he should do it himself now, he doesn't want the hassle he said!!
The stupid thing about all this is that neither my mum or dad have any religious beliefs at all.

carabos Wed 12-Oct-11 14:10:25

Not sure that exhuming someone's remains is quite that simple!

GypsyMoth Wed 12-Oct-11 14:11:45

Yanbu. But he's clearly still grieving

Maybe humour him? A few years on and it won't be as raw and he will have moved on a bit

Ragwort Wed 12-Oct-11 14:13:20

Agree with carabos - I don't think you can just go and arrange for ashes to be exhumed??? I think you should try and calmly repeat that if he feels strongly about this he really needs to make some initial enquries himself ... if he says he doesn't want the hassle then just say that you don't either grin.

whattodoo Wed 12-Oct-11 14:15:50

I felt some sympathy for your Dad until I read your second-but-last sentence "I told him if he feels that strongly he should do it himself now, he doesn't want the hassle he said"
I agree that it wouldn't be right to move your mum's ashes. Hats off to you for understanding his wishes for his ashes to be buries at his friend's church. You sound very reasonable and accommodating in all of this.
to be honest, if it were me, I would refuse to move my mum and would ask him instead which is more important to him - to be buried in the church he now has a connection with or to be buried with his wife.
What do your siblings feel/say? Any chance of a family get together to talk about this?
I really don't know how you play this now, sounds like a recipe for a ding-dong of a family row. Sorry.

MumblingAndBloodyRagDoll Wed 12-Oct-11 14:20:58

He's worried about it. He may not be thinking straight ut it is obviously worrying him. Just tell him you will....if you can't bar to think of them being buried separately then split the ashes. r just put a memorial in the new church.

I think you CAN move remains but it costs a lot.

gallicgirl Wed 12-Oct-11 14:21:46

I know it's not very ethical but how would you feel about agreeing with him and then just ignoring his request when the time comes? It would keep the peace now.

aldiwhore Wed 12-Oct-11 14:22:07

You could always say you'll consider it, leave it at that, and when he's gone discuss it with the family and make a decision then.

My FIL lost MIL 8 years ago and (doesn't) cope very well, it the weeks after he'd visit various cemetaries where his mum, dad, brother were buried and where his wife's family were also... over the course of a few weeks I'm sure my MIL would have been absolutely fuming to have been carried around in a Tesco carrier bag and scattered all over the place! BUT the important thing here is that the living decide what importance the ashes of the dead have, FIL did what he thought was right, then changed his mind 1000 times.

I think the saying 'cross that bridge when you come to it' is the best here. There's no reason why you cannot say to your Dad that you will try to respect HIS wishes but you will also have a duty to your siblings, and that it may be a very complex situation. Its not a lie, but it saves an argument ensuing about something that honestly doesn't matter.

gallicgirl Wed 12-Oct-11 14:25:16

I found this:

It really looks difficult to arrange.

EmLH Wed 12-Oct-11 14:26:09

Is it possible to halve his ashes so half is with your mum and half at the new church? Or would that be weird?

boocha Wed 12-Oct-11 14:26:45

The thing is he's hopefully got a good 20 years ahead of him and by that time I'll be a pensioner!! Why did he have to bring this up now?
I have very quickly googled and to exhume ashes you have to apply to the council, I don't think it would be too difficult but I think it would be vey upsetting.
I think he is being very self centred, he said that I will change my mind and wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't move my mums ashes.
I haven't discussed this with my brother and sister yet, not sure what they will say.
I asked him if he had discussed it with his lady friend , he said she said to think very carefully about it.

onebigchocolatemess Wed 12-Oct-11 14:26:59


agree with Aldi its a tough one, diplomacy could be key

gallicgirl Wed 12-Oct-11 14:30:28

Actually, this is a better guide.

Firawla Wed 12-Oct-11 14:31:10

yanbu he needs to decide whetther he wants to be buried with your mum, or in the other church. i dont think it is right to move your mum, and he should not be putting you in this position

boocha Wed 12-Oct-11 14:31:42

I think you're right, I'm going to avoid all mention of the subject and cross that bridge when he passes away. He was in tears on the phone and said (jokingly) that it was a black mark against my name, wtf!
I will ring my sister tonight and discuss it with her.

wahwahwah Wed 12-Oct-11 14:35:27

It sounds like he is conflicted between being with your mum and being with the people that surround him now and give him friendship and comfort.

I suppose it is his wishes and part of me thinks 'agree with him and do bury him with your mum when the time comes' but that isn't helpful and you will feel guilty!

I don't think it is easy to exhume, so you'd need to check that out. I would say to him that doing this would be too awful for you - if he wants to do this not and rebury your mum in the church (what would she think of that?) then you would support him - even though it would be distressing for you.

gallicgirl Wed 12-Oct-11 14:35:42

It's not just the council you apply to, you need the permission of the landowner, a Bishop's faculty from the diocese and possibly a Home Office licence.

Bit bored of being at home so using google to research.

If he's that upset about it, then you really will have to come to some sort of agreement.

boocha Wed 12-Oct-11 14:36:30

Thinking about it as well, I don't think my mum would have been too chuffed with all this, she would think he was being a silly bugger.

WilsonFrickett Wed 12-Oct-11 14:37:07

I think get your brothers and sisters on side, and agree amongst you all to take a 'cross that bridge when we come to it' approach. I think it's a very odd request and - well, you've already googled it so you know - it's not a simple thing to do either.

diddl Wed 12-Oct-11 14:38:05

Assuming that your mother was buried where she wanted to be, where´s the respect for her decision if her ashes are moved to suit your father?

boocha Wed 12-Oct-11 14:38:42

Thanks galligirl for that research, you're right it looks a right pain to arrange, not mentioning expensive.

diddl Wed 12-Oct-11 14:39:53

It might be best just to say "we´ll look at it when the time comes"

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