Ex spouse Funeral etiquette - ProTeacher Community


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Ex spouse Funeral etiquette
Old 01-11-2006, 11:17 AM
 
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I need advice immediately. Death was 1/10 and funeral is approaching.
My dtr's dad passed and his current wife expressed her discomfort at my presence at the hospital in his last hours to my dtr. They have been married for over 19 years. We did not have anything to do with each others previous lives in any way. No affairs were going on. I have never considered myself to be a threat to her and I've always respected their marriage. Being considerate when my dtr was young (she's now 30) and I needed to consult the dad. The new wife was always polite. So I'm not sure why she's bothered by my presence which is really a support to my daughter.
So my question is... after the funeral my dtr expects and wants me to be with her at the funeral reception. I told her in light of her step-mother's request at the hospital, I don't feel comfortable being in her home. My dtr says that her comments were stupid and I should ignore them. I don't know what to do.



Last edited by aidenabet; 01-11-2006 at 11:37 AM..
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Old 01-11-2006, 11:22 AM
 
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That's a pretty tough situation to be in. On one hand you want to be there for your daughter, but on the other hand I'm sure you don't want to make his wife feel uncomfortable.

My gut tells me that you should be there for your daughter. I would also be sympathetic towards her dad's wife for her loss, and I'd maybe give her space while at the funeral reception.

Maybe it'll be different at the funeral rather than at the hospital. There will be more people at the funeral for the wife to talk to. I'm sure it was quieter with much fewer people at the hospital.
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hmmm
Old 01-11-2006, 11:34 AM
 
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I agree with AD - as long as you are not "in the limelight", I feel that it is appropriate to support your daughter as she sees fit. Ultimately, your allegiance is to her. Just stay in the wings, being as supportive as possible. She will need you most right now!
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Call or Ltr?
Old 01-11-2006, 11:44 AM
 
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Do you think I should extend myself to her personally before the funeral in the hopes that 1) I can feel her our and 2) put her at some ease.
I was afraid to approach her at the hospital. It was all too tense.
She was not alone at the hospital. She has a rather large family and her two sisters were acting as guards to the ICU - refusing entry to non immediate family members. It was rather intimidating. I hung in the wings and tried to be as quiet and out of sight as I could. So that accounts for all my trepidation now. My gut is what you both suggest. So the question, extend or not extend and just go through it all as though there was never anything said?
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re
Old 01-11-2006, 05:39 PM
 
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I wouldn't go to thr reception. Its at her house. You can support your daughter by going out together somewhere else afterwards. She is obviously bothered. Your daughter is grown and can understand that you will still be able to offer your support without making waves.


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Old 01-11-2006, 05:44 PM
 
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I think it's appropriate that you go to the funeral and even the visitation if you want to. I don't know about visiting in your ex's home though. Won't your ex be supportive of your daughter? She is 30 after all. Maybe she can handle being at her dad's for a little while even in a sad situation. Does she have a spouse or child of her own to accompany her? If your daughter is all alone, it might be appropriate that you accompany her to these gatherings. Your presence is appropriate in the formal setting of a funeral or the public setting of the funeral home for visitation, but maybe pushing it some at your ex's home if the wife has stated that she's uncomfortable. The wife may not be right, but it is her house.
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ex spouses etiquette
Old 01-11-2006, 09:31 PM
 
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I think you should go to the funeral & the reception to support your daughter. I agree about giving the current wife her space. You don't have to talk to the current wife much at the reception. Just stay near your daughter and be there for her. Now my parents are still living, but divorced. Now my stepmother is not the nicest person and we get into arguments. She avoided my mother for years. They didn't meet until I was 22 and my dad & SM got married when I was 12. But now that I am grown, my mom has been in my dad's house, and my stepmom hasn't had a problem with it. My dad and stepmom have invited her over on a few occasions. However, a funeral I can see is a touchy situation. But I think you also have to take into consideration that you also had a history with your ex-husband. You have every right to mourn as anybody else. I don't think its right to ban anyone from a funeral reception. Maybe call the stepmom & explain to her that you want to be there to support your daughter. The current wife of course is going through a lot of grief & probably wouldn't be able to be supportive of your daughter because of all the grief she's going through. So I think its important for your daughter to have someone there who can support her and help her through her dad's funeral.

Funerals are a tough time and I do think it is extremely important for you to be there for your daughter. I wish my mother had gone to my paternal grandfather's funeral. I can still remember the reception at the church afterwards. I was crying and very upset and what did my dad and stepmom do, sat with my stepmom's family. My dad got upset at me for sitting with my grandmother at my grandfather's funeral. He was more concerned about his wife and her family. I really could have used my mother's support that day, but at the time she didn't think it was appropriate to go. Now that my mom and dad get along fine, I think she would have no problem attending a funeral on his side. My mom and my paternal grandmother never got along, but my mother has said that she will go to her funeral when the time comes to be supportive of me.
 
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Old 01-12-2006, 12:37 PM
 
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If your daughter was a child, I would say to be there. Since she is a 30 yr old adult, my advice would be to attend the funeral and skip the reception. Arrange to meet your daughter again immediately following the reception.

I think it is wonderful that you a such a strong support for your daughter. But at 30 she should be able to understand that her father's widows feelings are important and be able to make it through a short period of time without you at her side.
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