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Can a Stepmother restrict access to my father's funeral?

(45 Posts)
Pennsylvania65000 Sat 01-Nov-14 22:05:17

Not sure if anyone can help. Had a really awful day my father is very ill in hospital. My stepmother and I do not get on long story too difficult to go into. She married my father in his 70s when terminally ill. She has made it difficult for me to visit my father when he is ill. I went to the hospital to visit my father who has cancer and renal failure and she started an argument on the ward shouting at my dad to try to get me thrown out. The nurse asked my father whether he wanted me to stay and he said I would like my daughter to stay. She is abusing him in my eyes shouting over a dying man and am so upset. I want to prepare myself for him passing and don't know if I have any rights to go to his funeral.

caroldecker Sat 01-Nov-14 22:34:27

Anyone can attend a church service

Pennsylvania65000 Sat 01-Nov-14 22:50:03

How would I know when it is?

VivaLeBeaver Sat 01-Nov-14 22:52:53

Is there a more "neutral" person who would let you know when the funeral is?

You can't stop someone coming to a funeral. My dad didnt want my mum to come to his funeral. When I told my mum she said she was coming anyway and that I couldn't stop her (and did come).

Pancakeflipper Sat 01-Nov-14 22:54:04

If she will not tell you then surely someone else in the family will?

Or do what a colleague of mine did - got us phoning up nearby funeral directors and florists until we got details to piece together and then phoned the venue for further details. But that was explosive so I hope you can avoid that.

Poor you and poor dad.

TheysayIamparanoid Sat 01-Nov-14 22:56:10

Ring church and/or funeral home you think he may be at, they will tell you when it is.
Yy to anyone can attend a church service flowers

Pennsylvania65000 Sat 01-Nov-14 23:01:46

I know my dad loves me very much but is in a vulnerable position. I am very worried about him and that I can't be with him at this time as I don't want him to get upset. Any advice on this would be really kind. She is marking his bedside.

Pancakeflipper Sat 01-Nov-14 23:11:26

Speak to the nursing staff. They have seen this before. Their hands are tied but there ways...

TheOnlyOliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 01-Nov-14 23:12:21

Other posts here but that thread's now closed

So sorry about to hear about this OP -
The others are right - a funeral service is usually an open event.
But do try and focus on him now too

Pennsylvania65000 Sat 01-Nov-14 23:15:53

I am obviously very focused on him now, but I have little control on being with him. I just wanted to know because I may not be in a good way to wade through the technicalities later. I just want to be with my dad.

TheysayIamparanoid Sat 01-Nov-14 23:20:00

Pancakeflipper is right, the nursing staff will know that you are genuine and will have seen people like her before

Pennsylvania65000 Sat 01-Nov-14 23:24:40

Yes they have been very kind to me today and she did leave the ward but this isn't helpful to my dad I worry going onto the ward as she starts shouting. It isn't fair to my dad or the other patients. Should I stay away? Or persevere with the help of the nursing staff?

AcrossthePond55 Sat 01-Nov-14 23:40:34

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I just can't imagine it.

If you are not able to find out about the funeral or you decide that it's not worth a possible 'scene' by your SM, remember that there is no reason you can't have your own remembrance ceremony for your father. You can always gather some friends and loved ones together in your way and remember your father formally or informally. I'm sure if you are a person of faith your clergyperson would be willing to officiate at a small memorial service.

Is she there 24/7? Does she go home at night? You may have to make a visit late at night or early morning if that's possible. There are no set 'visiting hours' where I live, other than in the critical units, so you can visit at 3am as long as you aren't disrupting others.

Talk to the nurses. Maybe they've noticed a pattern in her time and can give you a good time to visit. Or maybe they'd at least be willing to pass your dad an 'I love you' or a message when she steps out.

TheysayIamparanoid Sat 01-Nov-14 23:54:27

Persevere, do all you can. Even if you are just sitting in the room while he sleeps. Your Dad knows you love him and he does want to see you.

ElsieMc Sun 02-Nov-14 10:04:24

My brother refused to allow my DM a religious funeral service because he had turned away from the church. He wanted a strange arts-type wake reflecting his new views on life. He made it clear he did not want me at "his" service nor her grandchildren.He said we would "upset" other people, though none of us knew who these mysterious people were.

In the end I arranged a very small, private close family church service. It was a beautiiful service, no singing, just some music and short readings. You can do this, you are his daughter like I was hers. I know I did the right thing.

I don't know whether I was able to do this because I was an executor or her daughter, or it does not matter.

Such a sad situation for you both.

Pennsylvania65000 Sun 02-Nov-14 10:26:11

Thank you for all your kind comments, feel tired this morning stayed up too late last night. I will stay away today and go back tomorrow. It is draining and puts you off going to the hospital. I will go back though.

Thank you for all you replies regarding attending/having own service that has given me hope.

Pennsylvania65000 Mon 03-Nov-14 09:49:15

Phoned the ward today, to explain that I didn't feel able to visit with the thought of my stepmother causing trouble, they said that visiting times are open to everyone and that I couldn't do anything about it.

I feel unable to go there now as I couldn't cope with another scene, to depressing for my dad. That's it then. A new wife of two years can stop a daughter seeing her dying father, what sort of a world do we live in.

Pennsylvania65000 Mon 03-Nov-14 09:51:57

Sorry a new wife of only a year - although have been together 7 . He is 76 she is 50 odd.

AcrossthePond55 Mon 03-Nov-14 13:38:16

I'm so sorry it's come to this for you. Is there anyone who could accompany you that she wouldn't act up around? A clergy member or friend? Do you have any relatives she likes?

It's so hard to understand. What on earth does she hope to accomplish? Why would she hurt your dad this way? Those are rhetorical, you don't need to answer.

I wish you peace and you are in my prayers, as is your dad.

LilAnnieAmphetamine Mon 03-Nov-14 13:57:08


Visiting times may be open to anybody BUT staff have the prerogative to ask anybody causing trouble to leave and that includes your stepmother- even if she is a close relative. So my advice to you is to involve the staff. If she starts yelling, quietly leave the room and fetch a staff member. Ask them to document it if necessary (I would have done this if one of my patients had been distressed by family arguments).

Please don't stay away. I worry that you will regret this when it gets twisted into 'Penn never visited her dying father'. Focus on him, ignore her and ask others to intercede.

Pennsylvania65000 Mon 03-Nov-14 14:17:33

Thanks for your post Across, I think she can not accept that my dad has a daughter (she has no children).

I agree Lil, she will say I abandoned my father when he is dying. That is what she shouted on the ward that I didn't care about my dad and never bothered with him so didn't deserve to be there. The truth is I can't visit him with her there at home.sad
I worry my dad may want me to stay away and that he thinks I'm causing trouble.

clam Mon 03-Nov-14 14:31:10

Is there any way that you could arrange to go for a short period outside visiting hours? Some hospitals are flexible like that.

LilAnnieAmphetamine Mon 03-Nov-14 14:54:25

It sounds like your Father tried to support you but lack the physical and emotional energy to take it any further.

Please have a private chat with the staff- i know I would have been sensitive to your needs if I witnessed what you described. There is more than one way to skin a cat so to speak and the staff may be able to speak quietly with your Father and arrange a different visiting time if he is amenable to this.

ElsieMc Mon 03-Nov-14 14:54:36

Your dad does not want you to stay away. She is speaking for herself, not him. My brother also did not want us there, but the staff politely asked him to step aside for a while, which he did, when we turned up. He had refused when I phoned and I was also undecided whether to go.

I do urge you to try again whilst understanding your reticence. It is the right thing for you and your dad. It doesn't matter about her.

LilAnnieAmphetamine Mon 03-Nov-14 14:55:28

I had a stepmother like this. I will be blunt. She was a cunt (makes me so angry I start to make bad rhymes smile) who made our lives hell.

We have no contact now.,

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