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Sad about ex-MIL

(17 Posts)
Balders74 Wed 20-Apr-16 13:03:11

I posted a while ago about the fact that my MIL had gone NC with me when I split from XH. We were really close over the 16 years I was with her DS but she just couldn't forgive me for giving up on him.

She knew what he was like and how hard it was being in a relationship with him but when I made the decision to end it she cut me off and I was heartbroken. I haven't seen her since January 2015 I went to tell the IL's that we were splitting. I tried to contact her during last year but she said she just couldn't forgive me.

Sadly she passed away on Monday morning sad She had been ill for a few years but was in remission and so it was quite unexpected. My XH didn't tell me, I found out from my DSis whose DH is friends with XH.

He did text me to say he needed to speak to the DC and when I asked if everything was ok he said no. He came to pick DS up after school and take him & DD to IL's but he didn't say a word. The DC are understandably devastated and my only place in all of this now is to support them.

I text XSIL and said how sorry I was and got a thank you reply. I've bought a sympathy card to send to her & XFIL. I know I will not be welcome at the funeral.

It really feels like unfinished business that now will never be resolved and I'm desperately sad that she has gone without being able to resolve things with her.

I feel like I am not entitled to my grief.

tornandhurt Wed 20-Apr-16 13:24:36

This is so sad to read. I'm very sorry for your loss. Sending the card with a personal message is a good idea though, at least they will know you are thinking of them.

Is it worth perhaps approaching ex-sil to ask whether you attending to pay your respects would be ok? x

Balders74 Wed 20-Apr-16 14:29:19

Thanks for your reply. I'd feel really uncomfortable attending the funeral. They are not a forgiving family and tend to close ranks and that would be really hard to deal with and not a position I want to put her whole family in on such a hard day.

I have a ring that XMIL gave me a few years ago and I know XSIL was annoyed (she told me) so I'm going to return that to XSIL. I had intended to do that before she died as I am not longer a part of the family and it felt wrong to still have it but never got round to it.

I will also send flowers to her funeral as my goodbye sad

ButIbeingpoor Wed 20-Apr-16 14:53:45

If you have a daughter, do you think your exMIL might like her to have the ring?
I'm sorry for your loss and admire you for the support you are giving your children and the distance you are giving exMIL's family. I think this says an awful lot about you.

Balders74 Wed 20-Apr-16 15:08:34

I did wonder about giving my DD the ring but I think that is a decision for xSIL to make. She was very vocal about it being given to me in the first place.

RatherBeRiding Wed 20-Apr-16 15:20:14

I disagree that the ring is XSIL's decision - XMIL gave it to you. It was a gift and therefore is yours to do with what you will. I would give it to DD, as a memento of her GM.

You may not feel you are part of the family anymore, but your DD most definitely is, and as your XMIL wanted you to have the ring in the first place, I think it would be lovely to pass it on to her grand-daughter.

As for feeling excluded - well, that was their choice. That might sound harsh but you tried to stay in contact and they snubbed you. Unfinished business can eat away at you if you let it. It is, as you say, terribly sad that you will never get to resolve things, although you did try and were rebuffed. So sad as it is, there is really nothing to reproach yourself with and you need to find a way to let it go.

Funerals are not private, invitation only occasions, and you could always get there early and sit quietly and unobtrusively at the back. The family will all come in together following the coffin and I doubt very much they will notice you. You could then wait until they all leave the church and slip quietly away again.

plainjanine Wed 20-Apr-16 15:34:39

OP, I think if you would feel uncomfortable at the funeral, then don't go. Nerves will be raw for everyone there. If you want to show respect or something, maybe put flowers on her grave at some later time, if it's a burial?

As for your feelings and unfinished business - I don't think you should regret anything or feel guilty for your actions. From your OP, you tried to maintain contact, and the lack of it was entirely down to her. Regretable, but really not your fault. Try to remember her from the good times. Anger and resentment will only eat away at you. You were a good friend to her when you were married, so remember that and let the more recent past go.


inlectorecumbit Wed 20-Apr-16 15:50:50

OP l agree give the ring to your DD. Let her have something meaningful to remember her DGM. XSIL would probably take it from you out of spite anad not give to DD.
I am so sorry for the predicament you find yourself in, flowers area good idea are the DC's going to the funeral. If so could you get yourself to a quiet spot at the time of the funeral and say goodbye in your own way?

RaeSkywalker Wed 20-Apr-16 15:54:58

flowers for you OP. How desperately sad. I hope that you have someone who can support you through this.

RaeSkywalker Wed 20-Apr-16 15:55:50

Regarding the ring, would it be an option to ask your ExH once the dust has settled? You could ask whether he would like DD to have it, or for it to be returned to SIL.

blindsider Wed 20-Apr-16 15:59:02

Another vote for give it to your DD, the ring was a gift to you , there is no reason your SIL should have it rather than your DD.

Balders74 Wed 20-Apr-16 16:17:08

Thanks everyone. My DD is 15 so I may tell her I have it and will keep it safe for her until she is an adult.

The DC will go to the funeral with their DH, I will use that time to say goodbye. My XH has told me on many occasions that I broke XMIL heart by breaking up the family so I'm sure there is a part of them that feels bitter towards me.

XSIL has MH problems that I was very involved in when they came to a head a couple of years ago and she had to be sectioned. Her Parents had no clue how to deal with her and as we are of similar ages and I have suffered with depression for many years (which seems to have lifted since XH & I split) I was drafted in to support her and was happy to do so.

There is a lot of history over 16 years, 2 DCs, a wedding etc. but I made my peace with it last year when I reached out to her and she said she couldn't forgive me. I had to let it go and grieve for our relationship then.

This is the first close relative my DC have lost and so I just need to be there for them.

My XH is a complete emotional cripple and couldn't even tell the DC in the best way for them, at home with their DM to comfort them. He took them off and told them separately in the car whilst driving.

HeddaGarbled Wed 20-Apr-16 22:22:43

When the chips were down, she treated you badly. Plenty of MILs manage to maintain relationships with their ex DILs. She cut you off. That was harsh and unkind.

You are grieving, and what a credit to you to be so forgiving and to prioritise your children at this time, but don't build her up in your head as something she wasn't.

Zumbarunswim Wed 20-Apr-16 22:30:24

i remember your threads from when you were splitting from your husband as I was in a similar position with my abusive ex. It was pretty saintly and kind of you to try and maintain a friendship with her. I went Nc with my mother in law as couldn't deal with the way she condones/turns a blind eye to her sons appalling behaviour. You've done all you can and set a good example to your kids. flowers

Atenco Wed 20-Apr-16 22:35:49

How hard for you. An uncle of mine stopped speaking to me after my mother's funeral for the stupidest reasons imaginable, so I can only put it down to his grief at the loss of his sister and a desire to blame someone. Whatever we never did get to make it up and it is sad.

TheVeganVagina Wed 20-Apr-16 23:30:44

You ARE entitled to your grief.
You have done nothing wrong.
You wanted and tried to maintain a relationship with your dexmil.
If i were you i would write a letter to her telling her everything you ever wanted to. I believe in heaven and she will get it!
She may regret cuttung you off.
Cry and scream and shout. Just dont feel like you arent entitled to.
You loved her and your grief is your own. (Im an expert on grief, dying and unfinished business).
flowersfor you
flowersfor your dmil

TheVeganVagina Wed 20-Apr-16 23:31:47

It was easier for her to blame you for the marriage breakdown rather than her ds.

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