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Sister's housemate wants to bring her father's body to stay at their home for 5 days before funeral. Advice?

(491 Posts)
MumfordandDaughter Fri 03-May-13 12:58:41

Hello, sorry if this is in the wrong area.

My sister's just phoned me in bits. She works as a teacher further up North from me on one of the small islands. She shares a house with a fellow teacher/colleague.

The housemate is an only child. Her elderly father died last night and the mother has refused to have his body at their home because she wouldn't be able to cope. She also doesn't want the body to remain at the funeral parlour or go to chapel. So the mother has asked her daughter - my sister's housemate - to have him at her house instead, to which the housemate agreed.

My sister is really uncomfortable with this. Especially as it's going to be an open coffin until the day of the funeral (middle of next week). The housemate plans to hold 2-3 rosaries and the wake at their house, too.

My sister - who is really quiet and usually a 'yes' person - has told her housemate she's not happy with this arrangement, and it will make her really uncomfortable.

The housemate really didn't take this well and it ended with the mother phoning my sister and calling her selfish.

My sister doesn't know what to do. It's a really small town she lives in, with just one very expensive hotel. My parents have refused to loan her the money to stay at the hotel for the week as they feel the housemate should fork up at least half.

My sister also doesn't want to have to move, because it's so far from school/work, and there's no guarantee there'll be any rooms (it's only a 7-room place).

She doesn't know where she stands. It's not a religious difference, as they're both the same religion. it's just the thought of her father's open coffin being in their living room for all that time, and all the family visiting through the week.

My sister and housemate aren't particularly friends, but they've always been civil up until now.

Does anyone have any advice i could pass on?

(I told her to come on here herself but she refused to because she doesn't have children blush)

AndTheBandPlayedOn Tue 11-Jun-13 16:07:29

Thanks for the update, Mumford. I, too, am glad your sister is able to change her living circumstances.

BerylStreep Tue 11-Jun-13 09:11:19

Glad to hear she is moving too.

I didn't think you were a troll for a second.

I thought we weren't allowed to start threads which speculated whether or not people were trolls. hmm

LittleBearPad Mon 10-Jun-13 16:18:59

Good news

tribpot Mon 10-Jun-13 13:41:55

Very glad to hear your sister is getting away from this situation, Mumford.

MumfordandDaughter Mon 10-Jun-13 13:33:20

Hello, everyone.

I just wanted to thank you all for your advice. There is another unfortunate thread going on at the moment speculating whether or not i'm a 'troll'. I certainly am not. I realise this subject is unusual, but posted because my sister was relying on me for help/support, and i didn't know what to do.

I sincerely hope no one thinks i was taking the mick out of them, or wasting their time.

Things are going well now. My sister has a new job starting in August and is moving to the Highlands. Still a long way away, but at least she's on the Mainland. She reckons it'll be a four hour drive from me. She's going househunting over summer. And assures me she's definitely going to be living alone, so is saving like a trooper.

Thanks once again.

tribpot Sun 09-Jun-13 21:12:13

Let's hope this was a sofa in the housemate's bedroom, anonacfr. confused

anonacfr Sun 09-Jun-13 10:19:27

Sorry I know I'm bumping this but am I right in thinking the housemate slept on the sofa in the living room right next to the body of her own father for two nights?????? While her mother was in her bed??????

I'm sorry but that is just too bizarre for words.

BerylStreep Wed 22-May-13 18:17:33

OMG - talk about taking liberties!

Your poor sis, although I think she needs to become a bit more assertive. I would have put my foot down from the start. I would also be looking to move out ASAP, contract or not. The housemate's behaviour is completely out of order.

cloutiedumpling Wed 22-May-13 14:03:25

I'd guess that there is no need to make the story known locally - everyone will know about it already. It is a small community where it is more than likely that everyone will know about everyone else's business. Some people may think that it was incredibly generous of the OP's sister to accede to the request. Others will think the housemate and mother went too far.

LIZS Wed 22-May-13 13:28:03

Think she should claim rent form flatmate's dm and dead f !

diddl Wed 22-May-13 13:26:35

TBH, I think that she ought to be allowed out of her contract now!

Overnight visitor on the sofa & a dead body in the living room with grieving rellies coming to view!!

Not trying to sound heartless-but the girl could have moved in with the mum & it all happened at the mum's house!

I know that the mum didn't want it that way, but OPs sister didn't want it at the shared house!

Actually, I think that the other girl should be evicted & OPs sister stay on her own-if she could afford the rent.

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Sun 19-May-13 21:55:20

Oh dear! What a situation. I hope the body was only there a day or so. sad

Thanks so much for the update OP.

Hopefully, one day, this will just be a funny story to tell your mates in the pub. might take a looooong time to get there though

cardamomginger Sun 19-May-13 18:36:51

Ah. DSIS kept her bed. I shall downgrade to bloody hell.

cardamomginger Sun 19-May-13 16:34:42

Fucking hell. Oh dear.

If I have got this right, Dead Father was in the living room, and your DSIS had to sleep on the sofa... also in the living room...??? What happened to the Year Head's offer?

I hope that any fall out from the Landlord won't devolve onto your sister as well (e.g. cleaning bills).

Fucking hell.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sun 19-May-13 15:38:58

Thanks for the update Mumford.
That is shocking.
I do hope the landlord will release her from the lease. But as long as your sister is there, I hope she can develop a cold indifference to the housemate and just not ever speak to her again. The housemate avoiding the conversation in the moment makes my blood boil too, StoicButStressed.

I'm with DontmindifIdo and the idea of letting this story be known locally. Even if you were to escort your sister around, Mumford, a la Lady Harriet and Molly Gibson in "Wives and Daughters" (not exactly the same context, but ykwim), it would be well deserved and serve the housemate right.

<<being very glad I decided to "splurge" and rent dd a one bedroom at university>>

unobtanium Sun 19-May-13 15:38:16

I think Mumford's sis kept her bed -- housemate gave her bed to grieving mother, housemate took sofa. Unless I am reading this wrong.

Still a bit of a mess... I could not stay with these people. I hope your sis finds a new place very soon!

juneybean Sun 19-May-13 15:36:10

That's not how I read it at all Lweji sister in her bed, housemate on the sofa, mother in housemates bed.

DontmindifIdo Sun 19-May-13 15:17:51

I think she needs to talk to her housemate, tell her to do it this week and say how angry and upset she was at housemate and housemate's mother's selfish action.

I'd also see if she can get out of the tenancy early - the landlord should have got back to her and may well be understanding given the circumstances.

And make sure everyone knows she was so upset and treated badly, small communities maywell deal with that better than anything your sister could say directly to the housemate's mum.

Lweji Sun 19-May-13 15:13:02


So, room mate in her own bed. Your sister on the sofa. Housemate's mother on your sister's bed.

She needs to shop for a backbone. Really.

I might easily have been very loud when entering the flat about a corpse being there.
And the mother or the sister could have slept with the dead relative.

StoicButStressed Sun 19-May-13 15:08:14


Have to fess that whilst have been trying but failing slightly! on a self-imposed MN break given so addictive, I HAVE been checking periodically hourly! here. Originally to see the denounement, but more recently simply to check you were all actually ok.

The fact they DID this makes my blood boil on you & DS's behalf.

My Mum died just over 3 months ago so I am NO stranger to grief, loss, or the loss of 'rationality' it can deliver - but I am still FIRST in queue to say that is simply fucking outrageous.

Am angryangryangry on your DS's behalf. And yep, she should move ASAfuckingP, and yep, she MUST assert her rights with the Landlord and the 'housemate' (UBER lol at house'mate' huh?) and be refunded HER payment for HER home and HER normal accomodation for that week.

ALL above said though, I genuinely AM simply glad to finally hear from you and know DS esp. is in one piecesmile

InLoveWithDavidTennant Sun 19-May-13 14:56:00

shock blimey! hope your siater is able to find somewhere.

thanks for the update op. it sure has been... um... intersting grin

Ginderella Sun 19-May-13 14:45:40

Wow. Just wow. I just can't put into words what I am thinking. Your poor sister.

MumfordandDaughter Sun 19-May-13 14:41:35

I am sooooooooo sorry, everybody! blush

I've not been on here properly for ages.

Okay, my sister got in touch last week for a chat with me and dd and i asked about it.

What i had predicted is basically what then happened.

Landlord still hadn't called her back by then. My sis went out for the day and when she came home at 7pm, the body was in the living room along with three strangers (family of housemate). My sis felt powerless because there were guests there, and the mother had made some effort to put up some covers around the coffin ( a clothes rail with a blanket tossed over!)

My sister said her housemate was making it impossible to talk to alone, as she was avoiding my sister and always on her phone.

The mother ended up staying two nights in the housemate's bed (housemate slept on sofa).

Apparently the mother has been over loads since the funeral and my sister feels really uncomfortable so is opting to stay at work/school later during the week. She says that she's definitely going to look into renting elsewhere (alone) once her contract ends in August, if she can't find someone to rent in her place before then.

Landlord still hasn't been in touch but the agency have. They said that the landlord apologises (he's been ill) but that it's done now and he'll talk to them both when he's better.

I could never share a house. I have to applaud my sister on doing that at least.

Not had time yet to read through all the more recent posts, so please don't think i'm ignorant. I shall read through with a cup of tea later.

Sorry, once again!

thenightsky Fri 17-May-13 23:29:34

Anyone brave enough to PM her?

RemindMeWhatSleepIs Fri 17-May-13 21:57:22

Oh pleeeeeaase can we have an update?

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