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To say NO to this?

81 replies

CocacolaMum · 07/05/2013 11:32

OH and I live with our 12yr old DS and 7yr old DD near to my family. We often attend my families functions with the children and they are always (ish) well behaved..

OH's aunt died last week prematurely (she was 54) and OH has asked me to arrange for the children to have a day off school to be able to attend her funeral at which he will be a pallbearer. I have said that I think its a bad idea. He is not happy and is of the opinion that they are his kids too and if he wants them there then they should be.

The funeral is a good 3 hr drive away and is to be held at 3pm. By the time we have sat through the service and attended the wake we probably won't leave before 6pm making us late home for the children to be up and fresh for school the following day. All of this in my opinion would be fine (its a one off) IF the children had any idea of who this aunt was!! They met her once about 5 yrs ago so I just think it would be fully inappropriate to expect them to attend especially as they will be the only children there.

I don't want my OH to feel unsupported though and have said that I have no objection to asking my SIL whether she will pick the children up from school and give them dinner so that I can attend with OH. It will still mean a late night of course but at least they will be spending it playing rather than trying to be sombre at a funeral which tbh they have little emotional connection to (ie they will see their gran and dad upset but that's about it?)


OP posts:

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes · 07/05/2013 11:34

yes its important for him to have them there to show respect, its one day.


Sirzy · 07/05/2013 11:34

What do they want to do? The 12 year old in particular is more than old enough to be given the option.


ihatethecold · 07/05/2013 11:36

I wouldn't take my kids.

They are 13 and 9 and unless they were a close family member that they would miss and would benefit from saying goodbye to.


Seeline · 07/05/2013 11:36

No - I think you are right. If the DCs really didn't know their aunt, I don't think they should have to attend, especially if you are able to go and support your OH without having to take them.


squeakytoy · 07/05/2013 11:36

If the children didnt even know the aunt, then I can see no reason why they should go to the funeral.



ConferencePear · 07/05/2013 11:37

In a way it could be quite good for their first experience of a funeral to be for someone they are not especially fond of.


Freddiemisagreatshag · 07/05/2013 11:44

The first funeral my two eldest attended was a day off school to go to the funeral of the grandmother of their best friend. They wanted to go. They'd met her maybe twice.

And like Conference says I think it was good that their first funeral experience wasn't someone they were close to.


SamG76 · 07/05/2013 11:44

Agree with CP that it's good for kids to understand funerals. They're more for the living than the dead, so as it's one day, and is important to OH, I'd give in. It's not that the kids are missing GCSE's or similar.

My oldest children are 7 and 4, and they goes to family events, including funerals. It's often a comfort for the breaved....


MrsMelons · 07/05/2013 11:45

I wouldn't take them.

I do not think there is any need to get children 'used' to funerals - they will do this in their own time when the need arises.

I was 15 when I attended my auntie's funeral, we were very close and she was 47. I was of course upset but it wasn't any more traumatic IMO than if I had got used to going when I was younger.

My DCs were 3 and 5 when their nan died, they were very close to her but it still did not seem appropriate to take them, they said goodbye to her at the hospice and that was enough for them. If they had been older I would have given them the choice if I felt they were mature enough to go.


exexpat · 07/05/2013 11:48

If they only met her once then no, I wouldn't take them out of school for the day for her funeral. Much better to arrange after-school care for them and go yourself.


DeepRedBetty · 07/05/2013 11:50

I think funerals are for the benefit of the living, not the dead. It's obviously important to your OH that his children should be there. And I agree that the elder one is certainly old enough to have an opinion.

When my brother died, his nephews and nieces and friend's children over the age of five attended the funeral and wake afterwards, plus one bf baby. The toddler size ones went to nursery for the day.


DeWe · 07/05/2013 11:57

What does his aunt's immediate family think?

It's true that some people can find children to be a comfort at a funeral. But equally well some people could not want them there, particularly if they didn't really know their aunt.

The schools may well not give permission either.


CogitoErgoSometimes · 07/05/2013 12:00

I think YABU on this occasion. It's clearly important to your husband to be supported by the whole family, it's a family event, and it's not something that is likely to crop up all that often unless he has a really big, ageing/unwell family. Significant that you live near your family and presumably have a lot more contact with that side. I think there has to be a little balance in the interests of fairness, even if it means a child has to have a nap in the car on the way home. One late night makes very little difference.


SoleSource · 07/05/2013 12:01

Their Dad wants them to go, so they should..


SacreBlue · 07/05/2013 12:01

Like Freddie my DC took day off school to the funeral of his friends granda. They weren't as close since going to different schools but her younger brother seemed glad to see my boy. Their mum said it was lovely to be so supported by friends.

Deepred is spot on that funerals are for the living to say goodbye and if a child is mature enough to be asked their opinion then they should.

Not that it may affect your DC not knowing their aunt well, but it is important to point out that my DS school asked if he was close to the deceased as they would have kept special eye on him if that were the case. Not necessary for us but I was very pleased they offer support to kids who would need it after a funeral.


Branleuse · 07/05/2013 12:02

of course they should go


ExitPursuedByABear · 07/05/2013 12:06

Fence sitting here.


WilsonFrickett · 07/05/2013 12:06

All families are different. I come from a large Catholic family and in our culture funerals are incredibly important. I would move heaven and earth (and often have done) to attend funerals of 'minor' relatives which makes my DP go a bit Hmm because he doesn't think the funeral is that important, or that it's important to attend funerals of people you're not close to. I completely disagree with this. And so it seems does your DH.

If he feels its important for his children to attend his aunt's funeral, then I think they should attend.


SooticaTheWitchesCat · 07/05/2013 12:11

I wouldn't atke my children but then I don't think my husband would want to take them either so I don't think we would have any disagreement about it.

Do your children want to go?


rambososcar · 07/05/2013 12:13

If the children had been close to the aunt I'd have said give them the choice. As it is, they barely knew her and for the reasons you've given - seeing their grandmother and dad upset - it's perfectly reasonable of you to say no to this idea and to arrange for the children to be cared for so that you can be by your husband's side at this awful time.

I'm sorry for your loss.


Wishiwasanheiress · 07/05/2013 12:15

A funeral is not a learning or teaching experience. Others there may be very upset. I am rather surprised some think they should go for education??!

Were it a person they were very find of, absolutely YANBU. As it is someone the barely know then no they do not need to go. So again YANBU.

The 12 yr old could be asked their opinion though, they might wish to go for dad support. That's different and I would support that.


Wishiwasanheiress · 07/05/2013 12:17

If u want comfort at a funeral take a dog. Not a child.


BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack · 07/05/2013 12:19

It's a really personal choice and everyone is different.

I went to my first funeral when I was 10 - it was a massive shock and gave me a real morbid fear of death which to some extent I still have.

DH's brother died a couple of weeks ago and DS will not be going to the funeral - he is a sensitive soul and I think it will really effect him. He was close to his uncle and adored him but there are other ways to remember him/say goodbye to him - he will come to the wake after and can celebrate his life then.

Personally I don't think you are being U.


BlackeyedSusan · 07/05/2013 12:22

will school give them authoristion to leave?


Viviennemary · 07/05/2013 12:24

It is difficult for outsiders to say what should happen in any particular family. However, I for one don't think children should be duty bound to attend funerals unless they specifically request their desire to be there. I agree that it could give a child a massive phobia of death at an impressionable age.

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