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To find this distasteful?

(198 Posts)
JunosRevenge Tue 24-Jan-17 01:34:17

My dear FIL died recently. FIL requested cremation, and wished for ashes to be scattered (along with those of another deceased close family member).

SIL has asked DH if she can remove some of the ashes to be turned into some kind of glass keepsake. DH is horrified at this idea. He says it is the last thing his DF would have wanted, and I must say I agree with him.

Advice is required from the wise heads of MN. DH doesn't want to cause offence, but he's at a loss as to what to say to his DSis (who is on a notoriously short fuse at the best of times...)


Chelazla Tue 24-Jan-17 01:38:38

I have actual heard of stuff like this before. People deal with things in different ways and his ds obviously feels the need to keep ddad close. It wouldn't offend me tbh.

7SunshineSeven7 Tue 24-Jan-17 01:38:45

Maybe it will help her cope -carrying the glass pendant on a necklace etc.

Did FIL ever express he did not want his ashes separated at all? If you were separating the ashes and passing some to her I don't think you can really tell her what to do with her share - as weird as that sounds.

Maybe talk to her about how she would feel if the glass pendant thing was lost etc?

I don't think its a horrible idea. She will have something nice to remember him by - the ashes will just be in a tub in a room somewhere if not? Or scattered onto the ground, how are those options realistically better?

OneWithTheForce Tue 24-Jan-17 01:43:32

No I don't think it's distasteful at all. Is becoming very popular. People have their loved ones ashes incorporated into a piece of jewellery. How is that distasteful? I understand that perhaps FIL mightn't have wanted it but I believe death is about the living. Those left behind to mourn. She is is daughter. If this is how she wants to remember him then why not? You DH doesn't own the ashes anymore than she does.

MichelleFowler Tue 24-Jan-17 01:47:50

His wishes would still be respected if a tiny amount of his ashes were taken for SIL.

Would fil mind if his ashes could still be respected and his daughter comforted?

Very sorry for your loss. flowers

MichelleFowler Tue 24-Jan-17 01:48:34

*wishes,not ashes

AnnieAnoniMouse Tue 24-Jan-17 01:49:49

I looked into it when my Dad died. I chose not to do it for a couple of reasons, one being that I couldn't bring myself to separate his ashes, it just felt wrong. I don't know what I'd have said if siblings has asked to do it. He's just as much their Dad, but it would have felt really wrong and not something I wanted to happen to my Dad's ashes.

I'm sorry, it's no help.

BorrowedHearts Tue 24-Jan-17 01:49:59

Why is she not allowed to? In my view his wishes to be cremated were respected why should your husbands sisters way of dealing with things be any less than his?

Smitff Tue 24-Jan-17 01:50:10

I think it's distasteful.

Yes once you're dead how will you know any better. But death is indeed about the living. What good will it do the living to know that when their turn comes, people will go against your wishes and do what they want? He deceased's wishes must be respected. There's decency in order and respect, even when there's nobody there to see.

Ginkypig Tue 24-Jan-17 01:53:12

I don't think it's distasteful and if it was my sister in your dh's shoes I'd probably go along with it because it would give Her comfort but I'm not in your situation or know your family

kali110 Tue 24-Jan-17 01:56:44

Don't think it's distasteful or disrespectful in any way.
I would have loved to have done it when i lost a relative.
If this is how she wants to grieve and honor her father then it is her choice.
Maybe it will help her cope, feel like he's close to her.

7SunshineSeven7 Tue 24-Jan-17 01:59:29

Scattered ashes don't stay together, so what's wrong with letting her take some?

JunosRevenge Tue 24-Jan-17 02:00:52

Yes Annie and Smitff , you have both hit the nail on the head.

My DFIL was a** traditional sort, and DH just feels strongly that he would not have wanted his earthly remains split up in this way.

It's not that he feels he owns his DF's ashes at all. He just wants to do the right thing by his DF. He adored him.

LunaMay Tue 24-Jan-17 02:02:18

Can you not suggest something else to her? My mum got my step sisters one of those laser etched crystal cubes with a photo of them and their dad when he died, has a little bad that lights it up. She wouldn't have been comfortable separating his ashes.
Another family member just got a necklace with we dads photo etched into it and a client has one with the phot on a heart.

JunosRevenge Tue 24-Jan-17 02:02:39

Excuse typo. Not sure why last post had asterisks in it... blush

OneWithTheForce Tue 24-Jan-17 02:04:16

What good will it do the living to know that when their turn comes, people will go against your wishes and do what they want?

Then specify in your will exactly what is to happen with your remains.

Redglitter Tue 24-Jan-17 02:07:13

I know it's increasingly popular to have jewellery etc with ashes in them. Personally I think it's a horrible idea and I could never have done it.

That said I don't think it's fair of your husband to stop his sister if that's what she wants. Itll probably be a tiny amount of ashes needed.

If this is going to help your SIL at wgat is a horrible time in her life I think it would be wrong to say no

JunosRevenge Tue 24-Jan-17 02:08:01

He did specify One - he is to be scattered in a certain place. Can't be more specific I'm afraid as it will 'out' me...

OneWithTheForce Tue 24-Jan-17 02:09:07

OP without wishing to offend your DH. People can tend to get very possessive when they are mourning. People like to think they are the one who knew the deceased best and it can become a bit competitive. sadly it can lead to siblings disagreeing at a time when they really need to be kind to each other. Your DH can still spread his father's ashes in accordance with his wishes but I think he needs to be fair to his sister here and allow her to take some. Is DH in possession of the ashes?

AnnieAnoniMouse Tue 24-Jan-17 02:10:37


I do understand that POV. We were going to scatter my Dad's ashes but my Mum decided she didn't want to & wants us to scatter them together when she dies. I was very much relieved as I was dreading the though of it. I, however, don't imagine I'll be able to do it then either, so they might have to wait for me to die too!

When I think about taking part of his/their ashes out to make a pendant (or whatever) I get horrible images.

JunosRevenge Tue 24-Jan-17 02:16:28

No, one. They have still to be collected.

7SunshineSeven7 Tue 24-Jan-17 02:17:52

Yeah sorry, I deal a lot with the deceased for work etc and my view has become one that dead bodies should be disposed of as efficiently as possible - I never understood those who kept ashes for ages, but know people grieve in different ways and what happens to remains is a big part of this. I have a view of once you are dead then you are dead, you will never know or be upset by what has happened to you.

JunosRevenge Tue 24-Jan-17 02:19:15

... by the funeral director, that is...

MsMims Tue 24-Jan-17 02:19:20

I don't think it's distasteful. The amount of ash needed is tiny, less than a teaspoon with any excess being returned. I don't really see how you can refuse - the ashes aren't a possession owned by your DH, SIL has equal rights.

The jewellery is also beautiful from the main company who do this.

CrazyCavalierLady Tue 24-Jan-17 02:20:06

I have part of my grandmothers ashes in a tiny urn in my kitchen, my mum has some as does one uncle - other family members chose not to have some. The remainder were scattered, as per her wishes, on her favourite beach.

When my DD1 was tiny she once said to my mother "You have some of Nana X in that jar don't you Nana Y? We have her heart". I have no idea where she got this idea but it has brought me comfort every day of my life since.

How people deal with their loved ones passing is personal. What the dead thought is irrelevant. They are gone. He was cremated and can still have his ashes scattered as per his request. Why your DH would deny his sister comfort from such a simple request seems puzzling.

FWIW my grandmother would have LOVED to have become a diamond. I wish I'd asked for more ashes grin

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