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(25 Posts)
dqrtby Tue 16-May-17 23:34:12

I will have to be slightly vague on details out of sensitivity to the situation, hence why posting here but I am shocked and appalled, and could use some advice - I have tried looking on the net but there's not much there, probably because this is so unthinkable. I've also not posted in the bereavement topic because I'm not sure this is right for there, but I may be wrong.

Someone close to me has lost their child, it was very sudden and child wasn't known to be ill however for unrelated reasons parent hadn't seen child for a few months but had continued financial support and extended family had been in contact. Child lives with their other parent, and was in their care when this happened. Resident parent did not tell other parent, or any extended family, this happened 2 weeks ago and it was only discovered by chance. Res parent had many ways of contacting other parent and family but hasn't.

Resident parent is arranging funeral etc and has instructed funeral directors not to release any info including date etc, and is refusing to allow any communication between other parent/ family and child's siblings.

I appreciate the old adage grief does funny things etc but this is so cruel and unthinking. Family are (understandably) distraught, I am trying to support as best I can, but this is not a situation anyone expected to be in. I don't know what to do, or where to seek help for the family (if they want it that is) or what we can do re the funeral.

dqrtby Wed 17-May-17 08:27:44

Have been awake most of the night thinking about this, can anyone help?

SparklyMagpie Wed 17-May-17 10:56:33

Oh wow ! I have no idea what to advise so I'm hoping some lovely poster comes along soon to help.

You are right though, I have never heard of a situation like this.

Could the fact the other parent hadn't seen the child for a few months be pushing the resident parent to keep them away?

Was there a fall out that lead the other parent to not see the child?

Just trying to get my head round why the resident parent would ban them all from the poor child's funeral sad

dqrtby Wed 17-May-17 11:20:22

Thanks I appreciate the reply. I can't say too much about why the non resident parent wasn't seeing the child, except thar it wasn't through choice, and the res parent was aware of it (and could have agreed to contact continuing but decided not to). Despite all that, it's inconceivable to me that you could prevent a parent attending their child's funeral and worse still, not even let them know child had died. But for finding out accidentally, it would have ended up with them not knowing until CSA (sorry, forgotten their new name) got in touch to amend the payments. It is like a bad dream.

OliviaBenson Wed 17-May-17 11:42:52

Gosh what a horrible situation. Does your friend have parental responsibility? If so, can they legally be restricted from having any input? It might be worth taking advice.

Penfold007 Wed 17-May-17 11:59:44

Is the reason the NRP has no contact a Court and/or Social Services matter? Do they even have PR? The answers to theses questions may help clarify the situation for you friend.

percyluka Wed 17-May-17 12:01:40

I can't help but send love to the parent being blocked out.

Are they on the birth certificate?

Does the parent know why/how child died?

dqrtby Wed 17-May-17 12:14:47

Parent does have PR automatically, as they were married at time of childs birth, and yes on birth cert too. Previously there was a shared care arrangement in place, at present there is nothing to prohibit contact, only that it has to be with agreement of the resident parent, which wasn't given, hence not seeing any of the children. Social services not involved as far as we're aware, certainly parent I am close to has had no contact with or from social services.

We have been passed some basic info, it's not clear yet whether there will need to be an inquest, I'm not sure if cause of death can be confirmed before that.

I have tried looking online, there is info about how to resolve disputes between divorced parents over burial/ ashes but not what you do if you're being cut out of everything.

Phillipa12 Wed 17-May-17 13:00:26

If this child has died suddenly then the coroner will be involved and so will the police, they act as coroners assistants in gaining information about the child leading upto their death. It is not hard to find out who is the coroner for the area where the child died and you then have contact details to go forward with. I am truly sorry for what your friend is going through and hope that matters resolve themselves and that he is allowed to attend his childs funeral.

Penfold007 Wed 17-May-17 14:14:18

If you know where the child died ring the coroners office in that area, they should be able to help your family member. I'm sorry for your family's loss.

dqrtby Wed 17-May-17 14:56:16

Thanks- would coroners office be able to give funeral info?

FishInAWetSuitAndFlippers Wed 17-May-17 15:02:30

I was on the other side of this. When one of my children died I didn't let his father know and I banned him from the funeral.

I was told that as it was in a private funeral home, not a church, and because I was paying for the funeral and responsible for all the paperwork etc that it was my choice.

My son's father could have got information from public records, anything further would have been him having to seek it through other means which may have involved court.

As far as I was told he had no right to come to the funeral and there isn't anything he could have done about it.

This was a long time ago now, best part of 20 years actually, so maybe times have changed.

I know it probably isn't what you want to hear sad

Sorry for your families loss flowers

dqrtby Wed 17-May-17 15:58:04

With PR, I'm not sure it's that simple.

That said, I can't ever envisage a situation where I would feel I had the right to conceal a child's death from their other parent, or refuse to tell them where the funeral was, I don't feel anyone has the right.

I think we may have to take legal advice on what to do next.

FishInAWetSuitAndFlippers Wed 17-May-17 16:29:06

That said, I can't ever envisage a situation where I would feel I had the right to conceal a child's death from their other parent, or refuse to tell them where the funeral was, I don't feel anyone has the right.

I understand you are feeling very raw about the situation at the moment.

I was giving you my experience of what I was told whilst on the other side of this in order to try and be of some help to you, I do not expect to be judged on my actions and I absolutely did have the right to do what I did, both morally and, from what I was told, legally too.

Legal advice would probably be a good idea. Good luck.

dqrtby Wed 17-May-17 16:53:00

Please point me to where I judged you? I know nothing of your situation and don't presume to. I am entitled to my view though, i have simply stated what that is.

If parents have parental responsibility (in the situation I am in at the moment) that means they are equally responsible for their children, and I can't see anything in statute or case law to permit one parent to act as unilaterally as has happened in our case. Hopefully legal advice will clarify, although as we are denied any information it's impossible to know how far along the process is.

Trying to help a grief stricken family who were denied any opportunity to see the child before death (or even know they were ill) and only found out about it through sheer chance, there has been no formal announcement in paper or similar, again we believe to keep the family out, have no idea when the funeral is...I am living on that side of it and it's awful trying to help them come to terms with it, knowing it happened weeks ago and they might never have known for months or more otherwise. Personally I couldn't be party to creating that situation.

SparklyMagpie Thu 18-May-17 07:34:28

Hope you're ok OP

I definitely think you should seek legal advice to find out where you stand x

dqrtby Fri 19-May-17 00:34:30

Sadly no one involved is OK. Advice has been sought, but it is worth nothing. Apparently other parent is entitled to do as they please. Concealing illness (we now believe there was a period of some weeks when the child was very ill, during which family would naturally, had they known anything about it, have wanted the chance to say goodbye) keeping the funeral a secret, nothing can be done. One parent is allowed to enact cruel and selfish whims for their own endsite, with no thought for the other family, or siblings. Because somehow their twisted views are more important than anyone else's.

It was said to me today by a workmate that maybe when you divorce it should be made clear what would happen in the event of a child's illness or death, that the other parent should be informed and involved. It's astonishing such a step would even be needed though.

Phillipa12 Fri 19-May-17 09:01:34

Sorry to hear this, but i do agree with what your work colleague said. I was married when my dd died, we have since divorced, his choice not mine, we had not decided what to do with dds ashes at the time of our break up. The judge awarded possesion of our dds ashes to me as i was going to be the resident parent for our other children so she was not to be treated any differently because she had died. We did however have written into our consent order that whichever parent dies first gets interred with our dds ashes at a specific cemetery that we used to walk through on some favourite day trips as a family.

dqrtby Fri 19-May-17 13:24:10

I can appreciate making provision for a child who's already passed, it is almost unthinkable you'd have to specifically state 'in case my child becomes seriously ill or dies in future whilst in your care you must inform me'. Surely that's just what any normal person would do as a matter of course?...

leghoul Fri 19-May-17 19:41:10

Sorry to read this OP, sounds like a really tough situation. If NRP has PR then I can't see how can be stopped from attending, otherwise I don't know. I don't know if may be helpful. For general support for your friend there is a national freephone helpline

dqrtby Sat 20-May-17 00:55:23

Thanks for the phone nos. There's been a complete absence of help and support for the family, not one 'official' person has so much as sympathised with their loss, let alone offered any practical assistance.

The bottom line is irrespective of PR, if that spiteful vindictive witch refuses to tell anyone in the family where the funeral is or when, there's not a thing that can be done. I am so very angry about it on their behalf, that there is no recourse, and the attempt to conceal the death, well apparently that's just fine and dandy, and no one cares. It just cant be right. There really should be some consequences, but there aren't (well, unless you believe that ultimately all our actions are judged...).

Everyone I have told in rl agrees it just defies belief. But we are where we are. I just wish everyone involved knew the truth. I know at the funeral it will be presented as the family didn't care/ couldn't be bothered to attend, which is all just a big lie.

Brokenbiscuit Sat 20-May-17 01:29:49

I'm so sorry for your loss, OP. It must be a very upsetting situation for the whole family.

I can envisage some situations in which it might be reasonable to deny access to the funeral e.g where there has been serious abuse. However, it seems very harsh unless there is good reason for not wanting one parent to attend.

MemyselfI61 Sat 20-May-17 01:32:39

What you mention in your last paragraph is key. The truth. It's so important for the truth to be known as it could cause so many more complications and hurt at a later date to so many people with secrecy and lies.

This is so difficult for you. I really hope that someone can persuade her to realise the importance of honesty all round it will bring peace and even acceptance of this immensely sad situation more quickly. I don't suppose a family doctor can point you in the right direction but it will be her that needs the help? Take care of yourself too!

dqrtby Sat 20-May-17 08:27:11

No, there is no reason, no justification. Banning the extended family, not just the other parent, makes it worse imo.

The manipulation of the truth, and what version of the truth is being presented to siblings, is the main concern really, as they will be left thinking that side of the family don't care, which is far from the case. Unfortunately we have been told that the intransigence displayed is such that there is no prospect of her changing her mind and allowing attendance, likewise she has been categoric that she will not permit any contact under any circumstances with siblings, even if ordered to do so. Unfortunately those closest to her either consider this acceptable, or don't feel able to influence her view. I do kind of believe truth will out eventually and can only hope that proves to be correct.

Charlie97 Sat 20-May-17 11:32:05

Gosh, how unbelievably cruel. How can any parent deny the other the basic need to grieve the loss of a child. To not tell the NR parent that the child had passed away, is shocking. Doesn't the child deserve the right that it's parent (both) holds their hand when they were so ill? Strokes their cheek and to be told how loved they are by many people. It's not all about the resident parent? How can a resident parent deny the child and other parent that? (Assuming their is no massive backstory etc, which doesn't sound like there is).

Sadly, I think that because of time pressure you'll not get anything sorted before the funeral takes place.

I'm very sorry for your loss. flowers

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