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What would you do?

(58 Posts)
Outonbluesix Sun 02-Aug-15 19:36:12

The inevitable has happened and my alcoholic ex has succumbed to the inevitable cirrhosis of the liver and died on Friday, RIP, 48 is no age to go.

My ex PIL, who I have always stayed friendly with, have been in contact asking that our 3 DDs, 18, 15 and 13 go to the funeral.

I have been pretty much NC for 6 years, years of drunken physical and mental abuse tend to do that, and the girls NC for 18 months.

I had to tell the girls on Friday, the oldest said 'about time to' the youngest 'why should I care', middle one was more upset but none of them want to go to the funeral.

My ex PIL are lovely people and obviously distraught at their loss, I don't want to upset them anymore than they are already but can't force the girls to go, I won't be there to support them.

On the other hand I don't want them to regret missing it in the future.

There will also be the question of the new partner who the girls all hate with a vengeance.

I can't ask anyone in RL as they all have such a jaundiced view of the ex that it's not worth even starting the conversation.

Any thoughts?

AnyFucker Sun 02-Aug-15 19:40:59

do not force your children to go to the funeral

let them make their own minds up, they are old enough

now is not the time to succumb to pressure to "make it alright"

it was very far from alright and his death only reinforces that

AgentProvocateur Sun 02-Aug-15 19:43:09

I'd probably go, with my DC, for my in-laws' sake. Funerals are, to me, as much about the living as the dead.

mrsg1888 Sun 02-Aug-15 19:44:28

Your girls are old enough to make this decision on their own.
I would tell them how you feel that they may regret it if they don't and that the grandparents have asked, but leave it at that. They will deal with things how they feel is best without any pressure x

Muddlewitch Sun 02-Aug-15 19:45:04

They are old enough to know their own minds and if they don't want to go then that is entirely understandable and should be respected.

I think I would maybe explain to the ex PIL that the children do not feel comfortable with the thought of going to the funeral and would prefer to deal with their grief their own way, but that perhaps you could arrange a get together with the PIL and your children at some point?

How about you, how are you feeling about it all?

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Sun 02-Aug-15 19:47:31

I would go with them, and tell them it's about supporting his parents who have lost their son.

Your children still need guidance in this.

mrsdavidbowie Sun 02-Aug-15 19:47:50

Why on earth would you take 3 young people to a funeral they don't want to go to agentprovocateur?
What a horrible experience for them.
He wasnt a father to them.

FolkGirl Sun 02-Aug-15 19:49:04


At their ages I would respect their wishes.

I would give them time and space to process their feelings. Which will probably be a mixture of anger, regret, sadness. After all, they were denied the dad they should have had. And the one they did have will never have chance to put it right now.

I would take them to the grave for closure privately and at a later date.

You do not owe your ex pils anything here. Your daughters are you priority. They want them there for their own comfort and for their son's memory. After all, what does it say about a man that his daughters won't go to his funeral. But that is the truth of his life and death. Sad as it is.

It would be hard for them to hear positive things being said about him, if these did not reflect the man they knew. But equally it would be hard for them to know what people were really thinking about their dad.

heyday Sun 02-Aug-15 19:49:31

This is a sad situation but often what we sow in life, so we shall reap. Many alcoholics will die early of alcohol related illness.
I would ask your children again, now that the dust has settled, if they want to go to the funeral. If the answer is still no then you need to contact your PIL telling them that you are sorry for their loss but that your children do not wish to attend. No doubt people at the funeral will be sad about their absence but they are old enough to make this important decision for themselves.
I almost rejoiced when my alcoholic 'D'F died however, it did hit me a short time after. I felt great guilt at not attending his funeral but I couldn't because of all the suffering he had put us all through for years. The enormous grief I felt was for the father I wished I had had rather than the monster of the one that I was given.

scatterthenuns Sun 02-Aug-15 19:50:06

A good rule of thumb is always give teenagers the choice, and to respect it, when it comes to funerals.

GoooRooo Sun 02-Aug-15 19:51:07

I would tell your PIL that you offered for them to go, and to go with them if your daughters needed your support but that they have decided they don't want to and you're going to respect that decision. Send flowers and leave it at that.

FolkGirl Sun 02-Aug-15 19:51:19

Flipflops surely the op's loyalty and support should lie with her children. It's not their responsibility to make their grandparents feel better.

BertPuttocks Sun 02-Aug-15 19:57:25

I think they are old enough to decide for themselves.

It's unfortunate for the PIL but the truth is that their son wasn't a nice person and it's not your children's job to play the role that your ILs would like.

miffytherabbit3 Sun 02-Aug-15 20:05:58


Very well put.

stepsharp Sun 02-Aug-15 20:05:58

They will only regret not going or feel guilty if someone puts that idea in their heads. They are fully entitled to choose not to go.

mrsdavidbowie Sun 02-Aug-15 20:09:04

Yes well said ,folkgirl

Tryharder Sun 02-Aug-15 20:10:45

I disagree.

I think they are old enough to understand the funerals are often about supporting the living. It's an hour or so out of their lives to say goodbye to the father that never really was and to show support to the poor couple who have lost a son.

I think all of you need to mourn the loss of a man who threw away his life- not so much loss of what was but what should've been.

I think they will regret not going in later years. Teenagers see things in black and white; this situation is all the shades of grey possible.

Joysmum Sun 02-Aug-15 20:11:11

My daughter is 13 and perfectly capable of making her own decisions now. I would tell her that I wouldn't be surprised if she had mixed feelings and would support her decision, whatever she decided.

scatterthenuns Sun 02-Aug-15 20:18:25

I think they will regret not going in later years.

You've literally know way of knowing that.

Outonbluesix Sun 02-Aug-15 20:20:06

Thanks for the replies, a mixed bag it's fair to say.

I should clarify, this is their mother I'm talking about, I'm the father.

I absolutely cannot go to this funeral, I mourn the beautiful, intelligent vivacious girl I married, I can't forgive her for what she put me and the girls through.

I also cannot be in the same room as her partner, if that comes across as very macho and testotorone fuelled, I'm not like that at all, but the red mist would descend. I can't be there to support the girls.

Middle DD is the one I worry about the most, she was the closest to her Mum, oldest saw and heard too much and youngest was destroyed by her Mum at the age of 7.

I think, on balance, I'll ask them to speak to their grandparents and explain how they feel, they're very close.

I'm 53 and somehow I don't feel like I'm grown up enough to deal with this

ThoseAwfulCurtains Sun 02-Aug-15 20:22:01

I would be respecting their wishes about funerals. I wouldn't even want them at my own if they didn't want to attend.

BertPuttocks Sun 02-Aug-15 20:26:22

I hope the talk between the girls and their grandparents goes well.

I think this is one of those times when the feelings and wishes of the children should come first.

ThoseAwfulCurtains Sun 02-Aug-15 20:26:54

I think asking them to have that conversation with their grandparents is a cop out. I'd also be concerned that they'd attend rather than have that conversation. You need to protect them from that situation.

AnyFucker Sun 02-Aug-15 20:31:19

Nope, I wouldn't expect them to explain their decision to their GP either

step up for them, op

if they don't want to go, no emotional blackmail should be brought to bear from any quarter

DrMorbius Sun 02-Aug-15 20:32:08

Your DC's have a family on your Ex's side of the family. Obviously while Ex was alive they had to go NC. But now he has gone (long term) they would probably benefit from building relationships with that side of the family. Why not explain to them that the funeral is a chance to start to build bridges and to start to integrate with that side of the family.

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