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Simple etiquette question - bereavement

(51 Posts)
whiskyowl Tue 31-Oct-17 11:27:23

My exP's new girlfriend just lost her mother suddenly and unexpectedly. ExP and I were rubbish as a couple, but get along OK as friends now, though we live a long way apart.

I've never met his new partner (or her mother), but my heart goes out to them. I would like to show care. Do I send flowers? Or is that weird and too much from a stranger - is a card better?

messyjessy17 Tue 31-Oct-17 11:28:45

Flowers from your new boyfriends ex girlfriend would be really weird. I'm sure you mean well but she doesn't know you and she won't want to be thinking of you right now, so I would do nothing at all.

knockknockknock Tue 31-Oct-17 11:28:57

I think a card would be better - flowers seem a bit too much for someone you’re not close to.

lurkingnotlurking Tue 31-Oct-17 11:30:28

Do nothing

endofthelinefinally Tue 31-Oct-17 11:30:35

Send a card.
This is the correct and appropriate thing to do.

MyBrilliantDisguise Tue 31-Oct-17 11:30:41

I'd leave it. You didn't know her mum. You don't really know her.

Whambarsarentasfizzyastheywere Tue 31-Oct-17 11:32:33

Send a card. Flowers would be too much given the lack of relationship.

ConciseandNice Tue 31-Oct-17 11:32:40

Do nothing. You don't know her really or her mother. It would be weird no matter how bad for her you feel.

RoseAndRose Tue 31-Oct-17 11:33:03

Unless you and XP have DC together and she features in their lives, then no more then a card/letter.

BernardBlacksHangover Tue 31-Oct-17 11:34:17

I'd also go for a simple card.

This sounds really weird, (and I have to say I never felt this way myself when I lost my mum suddenly), but sometimes, I've heard people say that when the bereaved person doesn't especially like or trust a person, bigger gestures can feel intrusive and sometimes feels like the other person is gloating. She hopefully wouldn't feel that way anyway, but I probably wouldn't risk it. Flowers are big and visible, so take up room. Psychologically, I think that can feel intrusive, depending on who they are from.

thecatsthecats Tue 31-Oct-17 11:44:06

What Rose said. She doesn't know you, and hopefully has plenty of people to support her. Many many people will be experiencing the same loss today, you are just tangentially connected to this one.

As an aside, if you do send flowers to people, especially ones you don't know well, send them in a vase/holder. I have exactly two vases, and if something dreadful happened the last thing I would need is flowers from a virtual stranger that needed looking after.

TieGrr Tue 31-Oct-17 11:48:09

I wouldn't send anything but I would ask your ex to pass on your condolences.

FenceSitter01 Tue 31-Oct-17 11:49:46

Do you know the new partner? Does she take a step mother role for shared children? If not, then it's plain weird

messyjessy17 Tue 31-Oct-17 11:50:30

OP clearly says she has never met the new girlfriend or her mother.

whiskyowl Tue 31-Oct-17 11:52:24

Thanks all for the opinions. And Bernard - yes, that is a very good point, insightful!

I have directly asked my exP whether a card would be appropriate, and he says it would be appreciated so I will simply send that. As always, appreciate the advice from you all.

FeistyColl Tue 31-Oct-17 11:54:35

I'm with messyjessy, I think it would be odd to even send a card to exp's girlfriend who you have never met.

Welshmaenad Tue 31-Oct-17 11:54:57

I think a card with a message of condolence is appropriate and kind.

If you have children with your ex, this is the kind of gesture that will build good relationships in a blended family and benefit your children hugely.

I lost my dad when my exH had been with his new girlfriend a few months. She reached out in sympathy, supported my children when they were with her/their dad, and attended my dad's funeral in support - in return I insisted she join ExH and us in the family pews. I was very grateful for her kindness, they've split up now and it's a real shame (his new GF is awful).

You sound very lovely OP. I hope the gesture is appreciated in the vein it is clearly intended.

pasturesgreen Tue 31-Oct-17 11:58:45

Agree with the majority, sending a card would be a kind and thoughtful thing to do. Flowers would be OTT.

GrumpyOldBag Tue 31-Oct-17 12:00:49

Just send a card expressing condolences.

LellyMcKelly Tue 31-Oct-17 12:03:37

I think that unless you have children with your ex and she knows them then it would be a bit weird if you've never even met her. Would she even know your name if she saw it?

DiegoMadonna Tue 31-Oct-17 12:11:20

I would find it super weird to receive a card from my partner's ex who I've never met.

Especially when I'm grieving, I would not appreciate it at all.

Obsidian77 Tue 31-Oct-17 12:13:33

I think it would be kinder to do nothing. You don't know her and you didn't know her mum. The last thing she needs when she's mourning a sudden loss is to have to worry about you re-appearing in her partner's life. Even if your motives are absolutely pure it might cause unwarranted anxiety.

sadcaptains Tue 31-Oct-17 12:13:41

I have to agree with previous posters - I would find it super weird! confused

Knusper Tue 31-Oct-17 12:16:45

If you really want to respond, I think that a card to both of them, e.g. 'sorry to hear that you are going through such a sad time' would be appropriate and keep boundaries intact.

Inertia Tue 31-Oct-17 12:19:35

I would send a joint card to your ex and his partner.

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