Advanced search

To be uspet at family's behaviour at FIL funeral

(70 Posts)
brummiegirl1 Sat 16-Mar-13 17:28:16

I went to my FIL funeral a couple of days ago as he sadly died of COPD. Prior to my FIL death i hadn't much contact with my IL's apart from speaking to my MIL who do get on with very well. My MIL and FIL were divorced but stayed friends. The reason i hadn't seen much of my IL's was because since i have had my children i don't want them around smoke and my IL's are heavy smokers and smoke in the house. I have never made an issue about their smoking as it is there house. My husband also does not want our children around smoke so it's not just me. My dad also died of COPD so smoking is a big deal to me. Just explaining a bit of background which i know is not relevant to the funeral but just to explain why their may be tension.

On the day of the funeral due to timings DH suggested i stay in the car while he went inside as they would be smoking while waiting for the funeral cars to arrive which i did. TBH i would haave probably have done this anyway regardless of the smoking as the service was my DS2 feed time so i decided to feed him in the car(breastfed and dinner) which took about 30 minutes).

When we arrived at the church i said to my husband to not worry about me to just concentrate on remembering his dad. He went on ahead to help carry his dad. I went to go in and other family members did not speak to me at all or invite me to sit with them. In fact all i saw was their backs. I understand they were grieving but they were talking and giggling to each other as they were going in and i was just right at the back. My DH didn't even get to sit on the front row as they didn't leave room for him. I ended up sitting at the back in the end anyway as baby started to get unsettled.

When we came out of church everyone gathered outside talking and no one spoke at all to me or my baby. I spoke to my MIL who is lovely.

At the wake my DH wasn't going to go as we live an hour away and he has a strained relationship with his family but i said to him that he may regret it if he didn't go in memory of his dad and DH agreed. We ended up going but only staying a short time. Again i wasn't spoke to and DH noticed(i didnt say anything to him but it was so obvious) My niece her boyfriend and her brothers girlfriend were giving me dirty looks. TBH honest i felt like i shouldn't have been there and that is what they were probably tthinking but my dh said he wanted me there. I should have expected them not to taalk to me but to ignore my DS was poor taste tbh.

Sorry i don't want to make it about me as i understand its a difficult time as its a funeral but i can't ignore what an uncomfortable feeling it was. We are also planning a christening soon and it will probably cause problems again as apart from MIL no one else bothered coming to our DS1 christening from husbands family as they think im over reacting about not wanting my children around smoke.

TraceyTrickster Mon 18-Mar-13 02:09:04

My family are all smokers and I am asthmatic.
I went to stay with these heavy smokers (I live overseas) when my daughter was 4 months. When 10 people lit up in the garden I just had to go inside and make my excuses.

But to avoid going in to see them- however briefly, on the day of a funeral- is very poor manners and comes across as very uncaring.
However during funerals, those grieving are often rather overwhelmed with things other than poor behaviour of relatives/attendees.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 17-Mar-13 11:11:37


I completely appreciate there are good reasons not to expose certain babies to smoke for even a short time.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 17-Mar-13 11:08:29

We can guess that this particular family think the OP is unreasonable for caring about their smoking. If they thought she was being reasonable they would not smoke around the baby in the first place.


My point is that, given the Op and her DH know what his family are like, they should either have put their paranoia abot the smoking aside for one, important, day, OR not taken the baby.

OTTMummA Sat 16-Mar-13 22:09:14

She hadn't forced her DH to cut off his family, he apparently feels the same about the smoking issue so don't put it all on the op.

Yanbu about the car, but I would of been better to just pop in quickly first to say your condolences and then excused yourself, that you could of done tbh, but also DH could of explained as well.
However yabu about expecting people who you choose not to interact with to suddenly be interested in communicating with you.

I think yabu overall but you don't deserve this roasting IMO.

MidniteScribbler Sat 16-Mar-13 21:34:14

Wow, you've practically forced your husband to cut off his family, had nothing to do with them, sat in a car because you dislike them so much, and you wonder why they didn't roll out the red carpet for you? I can't possibly imagine why they don't like you.

TheSecondComing Sat 16-Mar-13 19:58:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Iamsparklyknickers Sat 16-Mar-13 19:46:34

Aside from how you must have come across on the day, was there any particular hurt on your FIL's part about the lack of relationship with his grandchildren?

If emotions were running high and your presence highlighted a situation that caused him angst, then I very much doubt there would be any kind of behaviour that wouldn't have earnt you the same treatment...

It's sad and I'm sorry that it impacted your DH's experience, but those are the choices we make and the consequences that arise. People will have their opinions and proportion blame/judgeyness where ever they see fit.

That's not taking any side, it's just how things are when people have extreme differences of opinion.

aldiwhore Sat 16-Mar-13 19:45:58

In some ways YABU, you avoided them by staying in the car, you've cut them off, and in doing so the whispers that you think you're better than them have probably taken root and everytime you keep your distance it only proves further to them that the whispers are fact. Whether that is true or not is a moot point. Once you make the decision to limit contact AND give a reason, that is something you have to expect, right or wrong.

In some ways YANBU. On behalf of your DH I will say that HIS family treated HIM very badly by ignoring HIS wife. (But this isn't about you and your feelings at all really, not at the funeral of your FIL... funerals are a no go zone for wanting attention of any kind because people are crazy). Your child is neither here nor there in all honesty, so don't get embroiled in anger that your baby was ignored, your baby won't give a shiny shit!

What you have heere is a situation that will probably never be reconciled, because of distance, lies have become truths, assumptions become fact (from both sides) where a quick glance becomes a 'dirty look', a smile is seen as a grimace and there is absolutely sweet feck all you can do about EXCEPT take the high ground, always smile and say hello like there's no issue at all, always send greeting cards (or actually get DH to do it) always be the one that can never be actually criticised on actual actions... at some point, over the years, they will look foolish.

I speak from experience. You're going to waste energy either way, either by being angry at the injustice of it all, by their behaviour, by the assumptions OR by retaining the moral highround. Trust me, the latter is FAR more fun. Get practice in now, because your children will notice at some point, and isn't it better to see mummy doing nothing wrong EVER in their company than for them to see Mummy assume position at the back, meek and quiet, accepting your exile? Sometimes, denial is good, denial that they're treating you badly... act like it's all normal.

JenaiMorris Sat 16-Mar-13 19:44:13

I fucked up massively by holding the funeral tea at mine, which is completely inaccessible for wheelchairs, so my mother's aunt, uncle and cousin who'd travelled several hours had to leave after the funeral.

A horrible oversight on my part. But they were upset that I was upset that they couldn't come.

I can imagine the AIBU they could have posted, had they less empathy.

Rowlers Sat 16-Mar-13 19:37:34

If My dad had died, and we were a family of smokers, and my DB's wife had an 8 month old baby she was breastfeeding stayed in the car to feed, particularly to avoid baby being in smoke filled-room, I think I'd have found that fine.
To be honest, not sure I'd have noticed.
I'd have had my dad on my mind.
Actually I hated having pointless "condolences" at the end of my DM's funeral. Kind thoughts, but they all went home and carried on with their lives. It all felt meaningless.
I would not have made an effort to come over and talk to DB's wife though. Too much to cope with just getting through.
If she'd taken offence at that, tough.
But I would not have taken offence at her not coming in to pretend she was bothered about someone she barely knew.

Shakirasma Sat 16-Mar-13 19:37:14

Why was your DH so insistent you take DS2 to his fathers funeral, knowing you wouldn't set foot in his family's house with him? You have 2 children but were happy to leave the older one at home? Seems odd to me.

JenaiMorris Sat 16-Mar-13 19:33:42

I laughed at my mother's funeral, thinking about it.

JenaiMorris Sat 16-Mar-13 19:32:07

My close friend laughed a couple of times at her husband's funeral. As did their teenage children.

OP, I'm sorry you had such a horrible time but please take on board what people have said here about how you looked to your in laws.

HollyBerryBush Sat 16-Mar-13 19:27:37

Really it was for DH to breeze in and say the OP was feeding in the car - polite excuses made all round.

I'm afraid OP - it was your place at the funeral to pass on your condolences to the bereaved family, not sit in state and expect them to come to you.

That would probably account for the perceived dirty looks - they think you are a bit above yourself.

MurderOfGoths Sat 16-Mar-13 19:20:29

Wow, just wow. Glad no one expected me to play polite hostess and go make conversation at my mum's funeral. As for if someone had refused to come in and instead just waved from the damn car? Christ...

mrsbunnylove Sat 16-Mar-13 19:16:49

if you avoid smokers with your baby, that's fine. but don't blame people for having a laugh at a funeral. it might not be your way, but it is a way, and its ok.

freddiemisagreatshag Sat 16-Mar-13 19:09:33

Is this a reverse AIBU? Are you really a SIL or a cousin or something?

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Sat 16-Mar-13 19:03:11


You have barely seen the family since you had children and your distaste comes across very clearly so you can hardly expect them to kiss your arse for deigning to turn up to a funeral and wave regally from the car.

Perhaps when they left the house they were too busy focussing on their dad/husband/granddads coffin and grieving, rather than worrying about acknowledging that you had graced them with your presence.

Did I mention that YABU?


DizzyHoneyBee Sat 16-Mar-13 19:02:35

If you were not prepared to go in their house then you should not have gone.

Pagwatch Sat 16-Mar-13 18:58:47

It wasn't really up to DH if your concerns about the baby were going o create such an incredibly awkward situation.

I think you should contemplate the likelihood that you have not handled this very well.

shesariver Sat 16-Mar-13 18:58:06

Regardless of you thinking you had very valid reasons sitting in the car and not going inside is extremely rude and will have been taken like this, you would come across badly by not going into the house - and then you wonder why people didnt speak to you? Dont you get it?

Jayne266 Sat 16-Mar-13 18:53:36

Am sorry you had a bad experience I hope your feeling upset because you were worried for your DH and his loss.

Unfortunately taking you lil one and needing a feed straight away had put you in a awkward situation as you couldn't offer your condolences. I had to attend a funeral (3 days after i gave birth) of a friend who was like a second mum to me and the family requested I bring the baby. I didn't bring him as I don't feel I could have grieved properly with him there and also didn't want him to get upset and disturb the ceremony.

This was their request to bring him I felt it wasn't appropriate.

I think you DH wanted him there but considering your issues with other family members it's a sore topic.

I don't know much about the past but I think the best thing now is to not focus on it help your DH and MIL grieve and don't worry about it.

Sorry for your DH loss by the way.

DowntonTrout Sat 16-Mar-13 18:48:30

And actually - when I burried my father- I appreciated the people who came up to me with stories about my dad but I didn't make the effort to go around everyone and be inclusive.
Maybe they were just grieving .

It is not really a social occasion or close family. Perhaps you did not make enough effort.

DowntonTrout Sat 16-Mar-13 18:41:29

I think you are getting a hard time here- butim afraid I completely agree.

This is your DH father- who DIED. Everyone is grieving. Breast feeding or anything else doesn't mean a jot in this instance. What comes first, if only for a few hours is the family and respect for the emotions that exist that day.

It is not a time for making a point about smoking or anything else really.

freddiemisagreatshag Sat 16-Mar-13 18:40:46

shockJesus Christ they live an hour away. Not a 12 hour flight and a trek up a mountain. Could you not have, you know, gone to SEE them?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now