Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: QueenofAllThings on October 02, 2012, 12:10:58 PM

Title: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: QueenofAllThings on October 02, 2012, 12:10:58 PM
I'll try to keep this short, and will refer to everyone by their relationship to my grandmother (not me) for simplicity. If it helps, the daughter referred to here is my mother.

B/G: Grandmother is 99. She is slowing down physically and has someone at home with her during the day, but she is living independently and sharp as a tack. She can walk from, say, door to car, but often uses a wheelchair for bigger distances and loves the freedom it gives her. She is pretty spectacular, but she is also imperious, demanding and self-centered. She had four children - her son is deceased and, of her three daughters, my mother is the only one who will deal with her. Yep, she's that difficult. End B/G

Grandmother's son passed away last year and, as he was a vet with MS and cancer, decided to donate himself to the local teaching hospital. Fast forward to now. The hospital has released his ashes to his wife, Daughter in Law.

Here's the issue: Grandmother has insisted that either a) the ashes be shipped down to her or b) she be flown up (from FL to MA) for the service. Flying is a Major Production for Grandmother - it involves two plane tickets (her aide has to come), limos, the 'appropriate' accommodations and food choices at Daughter's house, etc. It is expensive and positively exhausting for Daughter, who is now caught in the middle between Grandmother and Daughter-In-Law. Naturally, Grandmother has put Daughter in the middle of all this. Daughter is down to her last nerve.

So - what would you do? Tell Grandmother that it's Daughter-in-Law's decision and she has no say? Tell Daughter-in-Law to suck it up and send the ashes down? Fly Grandmother? Pull a King Solomon?

I've told Daughter (my mother) to stay out of it - but she really can't without completely ignoring her mother which she can't/won't do.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: scansons on October 02, 2012, 12:31:08 PM
I think your mother has to pull herself out of it.  Yes, it is the Daughter-in-laws decision what happens.  It would be nice if DIL would fly down and spread the ashes with Grandma.  But I'm guessing that's not an option. They're adults, if your mother wants out she needs to tell Grandma that it's DIL's choice what to do, and she's not going to get in the middle.  And that unless she gets a green light from DIL she's not hosting Grandma for this event either.  Then she needs to suggest to DIL that it would be nice to fly down and include Grandma, but that she(Daughter) is not going to host Grandma without DIL's green light, and that the decision of what to do is totally up to DIL.  There will be no hard feelings from Daughter.  If that's what she feels.   

I personally think the King Solomon this is a little over the top.  If it were me, I'd fly down and let my MIL help with the spreading of the ashes.  Her son after all.  But then I have a great MIL.

Still in the end it is DIL's choice.  She needs to make it, and let the chips fall where they may.  Stalling isn't helping. 
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Sharnita on October 02, 2012, 12:34:21 PM
Could your mom travel to Grandma and have a memorial service without the ashes?
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: JeanFromBNA on October 02, 2012, 01:00:11 PM
DIL gets to decide what to do with her husband's cremains, if BIL hasn't already made his wishes known.  If she wants to have them interred locally or keep them with her, she should.  (I'm presuming that they were still married when he passed).  Sorry, but Grandmother doesn't get to decide. 

I do have sympathy for Grandmother, though.  This is a memorial service for her only son.  Would your SIL consider shipping some cremains to Grandmother?  She could have someone handle this for her if it's too difficult.  If that's not possible, then could your Mother arrange to have a service for your Uncle with Grandmother in Florida?  If that's not acceptable, then pleading financial hardship is legitimate, if your Mother would be paying for all of this. 
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Texas Mom on October 02, 2012, 01:03:10 PM
A lot of it depends on who will pay Grandma's travel expenses.

OP?
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2012, 01:04:47 PM
I say find someone with a fireplace.  Fill a bag with ashes.  Put them in a lovely urn.  Send them to grandma.  And then let Daughter in law keep the northern services quiet.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Sharnita on October 02, 2012, 01:06:16 PM
If there are no remains to bury a memorial service could be whatever mom and grandma want. It can be free. Two or three people in a public park sharing memories and maybe a few prayers. Perhaps recorded music or scripture if that is something they'd like. A small chapel for more people. Clergy could be involvef or not.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: O'Dell on October 02, 2012, 01:07:59 PM
I say find someone with a fireplace.  Fill a bag with ashes.  Put them in a lovely urn.  Send them to grandma.  And then let Daughter in law keep the northern services quiet.

LOL you beat me to it. What grandma doesn't know won't hurt her.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: hobish on October 02, 2012, 01:15:59 PM
DIL gets to decide what to do with her husband's cremains, if BIL hasn't already made his wishes known.  If she wants to have them interred locally or keep them with her, she should.  (I'm presuming that they were still married when he passed).  Sorry, but Grandmother doesn't get to decide. 

I do have sympathy for Grandmother, though.  This is a memorial service for her only son.  Would your SIL consider shipping some cremains to Grandmother?  She could have someone handle this for her if it's too difficult.  If that's not possible, then could your Mother arrange to have a service for your Uncle with Grandmother in Florida?  If that's not acceptable, then pleading financial hardship is legitimate, if your Mother would be paying for all of this.

I was thinking that, too. I thought that was supposed to be one of the nice things about having ashes, you can divvy them up if you want to.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: HonorH on October 02, 2012, 01:17:38 PM
I agree with the others who suggest splitting the cremains. If DIL would agree to do so, it would save a lot of hassle all around. But it is her decision.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: QueenofAllThings on October 02, 2012, 01:22:28 PM
Willy Nilly, don't think it hasn't been suggested!

To the PP who asked, my parents are responsible for all my grandmother's expenses. She was a wealthy woman whose husband died young; she didn't expect to live long (ha!) and spent like a mad woman. Her other children don't help out in any way.

And yes - my folks are in the same town as Grandmother from January - April and would happily have a small memorial with her. BUT. She wants the ashes. Of course, Daughter-in-Law (and Son's daughter) want the ashes up north - which is why I suggested the King Solomon thing (split the ashes), but I thought that might offend.

For what it's worth, her son didn't like her much either - he had to be prevented from writing a farewell letter on his death bed, telling her what he really thought  ::)  So, as far as his wishes, I doubt he'd want to be in his mother's yard - but you can't tell her that.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Sharnita on October 02, 2012, 01:26:05 PM
What would she wany to do with the ashes? If they wete interred that would be a significant additional cost for your parents.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: ClaireC79 on October 02, 2012, 01:36:34 PM
rather than saying he wouldn't want his ashes with his mother could you say that he requested his ashes be X (which just happens to be up north)
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: BeagleMommy on October 02, 2012, 01:41:09 PM
The DIL, as the surviving spouse, gets to decide what is to be done with her husband's cremains.  Queen, I thiink your mom needs to stay out of it.  It doesn't sound like Grandma had a relationship with her son and his family so she is not entitled to anything.  If someone wanted to ask DIL if Grandman could have some of the cremains it would be fine, but she has the right to refuse.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: lowspark on October 02, 2012, 01:45:33 PM
I say find someone with a fireplace.  Fill a bag with ashes.  Put them in a lovely urn.  Send them to grandma.  And then let Daughter in law keep the northern services quiet.

I love this. You might have said it tongue-in-cheek (and I did laugh when I read it) but it's the perfect solution! It sounds like grandma has created her own misery by apparently alienating most of her kids (except OP's mom). And it also really sounds like it would be against deceased son's wishes for his ashes to go to grandma. That alone puts me on the side of Daughter in law, regardless of Mom's wishes in this matter.

Look, grandma is 99. I don't think it's the right thing to do to send the real ashes but at this point in her (and eveyrone else's) life, sending her some fake ashes seems to me like a pretty harmless solution, assuming of course, that she never finds out.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: doodlemor on October 02, 2012, 01:47:46 PM
Perhaps she could view the services via skype. 

I like Claire's idea of saying that son had made a request about his ashes.  It is DIL's choice of what to do with the ashes.  It would be nice if she would split them up, but she has the right to refuse.

The human ashes that I have dealt with were much heavier than wood ashes.  If Grandma has handled ashes before she may not fall for that one.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Jaelle on October 02, 2012, 01:48:23 PM
Especially with the update on what the son thought of his mother, I'd say it's completely, positively not her decision. His wife and child get the ashes. If they want to split them, that would be nice ... but it's their decision.

I'd also be leery of flying Grandma there, too. It sounds like she expects the red carpet treatment, but also expects others to pay for it and deal with it.  ::)  I can say I wouldn't be willing to deal with that at all, but that's easy for me to say. Not so easy for your mother.  :-\

I guess my advice comes down to stay out of it, and say that it's just not possible to fly her up there. Then bean-dip away. I'm sure it wouldn't be pretty, though.

She sounds like a nightmare.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: gramma dishes on October 02, 2012, 01:55:47 PM
...   he was a vet with MS and cancer, decided to donate himself to the local teaching hospital.  ...

Am I the only one horribly confused?  I thought that when you donate yourself to a teaching hospital, the body remains 'intact'.  So how are their ashes?  Or did the hospital use the body for its intended purpose and THEN have it cremated?
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 01:58:19 PM
...   he was a vet with MS and cancer, decided to donate himself to the local teaching hospital.  ...

Am I the only one horribly confused?  I thought that when you donate yourself to a teaching hospital, the body remains 'intact'.  So how are their ashes?  Or did the hospital use the body for its intended purpose and THEN have it cremated?

i think in this case, it's the second.

when my SIL's body was donated to a teaching hospital, the remains of all donated bodies were cremated together after a certain amount of time (i think it was two years), and were interred together with all names listed.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: gramma dishes on October 02, 2012, 01:58:59 PM

The human ashes that I have dealt with were much heavier than wood ashes.  If Grandma has handled ashes before she may not fall for that one.

I've only seen human ashes twice.  I was quite surprised the first time.   They looked more like tiny itsy bitsy pebbles than 'wood' ashes.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2012, 01:59:13 PM
...   he was a vet with MS and cancer, decided to donate himself to the local teaching hospital.  ...

Am I the only one horribly confused?  I thought that when you donate yourself to a teaching hospital, the body remains 'intact'.  So how are their ashes?  Or did the hospital use the body for its intended purpose and THEN have it cremated?

Usually after a body has been, well used for teaching, there's not much nice left to look at as its been a year dead and operated on and dissected, etc.  Cremation is a good choice at that point.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: gramma dishes on October 02, 2012, 02:00:29 PM
...   he was a vet with MS and cancer, decided to donate himself to the local teaching hospital.  ...

Am I the only one horribly confused?  I thought that when you donate yourself to a teaching hospital, the body remains 'intact'.  So how are their ashes?  Or did the hospital use the body for its intended purpose and THEN have it cremated?

i think in this case, it's the second.

when my SIL's body was donated to a teaching hospital, the remains of all donated bodies were cremated together after a certain amount of time (i think it was two years), and were interred together with all names listed.

So the ashes would have been from multiple people?  Sort of "homogenized" ashes?   ???
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 02, 2012, 02:05:26 PM
Without the back story, this is a perfect opportunity for a 'King Solomon' solution.  Take out a small amount of ashes, place in a pretty little urn, ship them to Grandma.  She and her close living daughter and family can have their own little memorial service.  DIL gets to do what she wants to do.  As niece to DIL, I would have no problem gently encouraging her to do this.

With the back story?  Not so much.  I quite like WillyNilly's fireplace ash suggestion.  Just make sure to sift it well enough that there are no charcoal bits.   :)  And DIL can quietly gloat to herself about pulling one over on Grandma, in memory of her husband and his feelings toward Grandma.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 02:06:22 PM
...   he was a vet with MS and cancer, decided to donate himself to the local teaching hospital.  ...

Am I the only one horribly confused?  I thought that when you donate yourself to a teaching hospital, the body remains 'intact'.  So how are their ashes?  Or did the hospital use the body for its intended purpose and THEN have it cremated?

i think in this case, it's the second.

when my SIL's body was donated to a teaching hospital, the remains of all donated bodies were cremated together after a certain amount of time (i think it was two years), and were interred together with all names listed.

So the ashes would have been from multiple people?  Sort of "homogenized" ashes?   ???

pretty much, and probably for the reasons that WillyNilly cited.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Salvage3 on October 02, 2012, 02:14:25 PM
I'm also a little confused.  You said either have ashes sent or fly to memorial service.  Is there even going to be a memorial, or would the DIL even want her MIL present --particularly, with your background on son and mother relationship?  Is your grandmother also demanding that a memorial service be held? 

I really think your mother simply needs to say "no".  There might be some verbal fallout, but what is your grandmother actually going to do.  If your mom and dad are supposting her, I am sure she is not going to cut that off.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: gramma dishes on October 02, 2012, 02:20:35 PM

...   I really think your mother simply needs to say "no".  There might be some verbal fallout, but what is your grandmother actually going to do?  If your mom and dad are supporting her, I am sure she is not going to cut that off.

Good point!
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: MindsEye on October 02, 2012, 02:26:48 PM
...   he was a vet with MS and cancer, decided to donate himself to the local teaching hospital.  ...

Am I the only one horribly confused?  I thought that when you donate yourself to a teaching hospital, the body remains 'intact'.  So how are their ashes?  Or did the hospital use the body for its intended purpose and THEN have it cremated?

i think in this case, it's the second.

when my SIL's body was donated to a teaching hospital, the remains of all donated bodies were cremated together after a certain amount of time (i think it was two years), and were interred together with all names listed.

I don't want to derail, but I have a family member who works at a teaching hospital and who deals with body donations...

Regardless of what is done with the donated remains (dissections, etc) the hospital has the duty to keep all of the "parts" together and to keep them from getting mixed up with other parts from other donations..

When the donated remains have been used for their purpose, it is up to the family to determine how they are disposed of (this is usually decided on at the time of donation) so some options might be to return all of the "parts" for a closed coffin ceremony, to cremate the "parts" and return the ashes, or to cremate/inter the parts of several donations together (usually this option is if there is no family who is willing or able to receive the "parts" when the hospital is done with them).

I hope that my quick explanation makes sense!
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 02:32:11 PM
...   he was a vet with MS and cancer, decided to donate himself to the local teaching hospital.  ...

Am I the only one horribly confused?  I thought that when you donate yourself to a teaching hospital, the body remains 'intact'.  So how are their ashes?  Or did the hospital use the body for its intended purpose and THEN have it cremated?

i think in this case, it's the second.

when my SIL's body was donated to a teaching hospital, the remains of all donated bodies were cremated together after a certain amount of time (i think it was two years), and were interred together with all names listed.

I don't want to derail, but I have a family member who works at a teaching hospital and who deals with body donations...

Regardless of what is done with the donated remains (dissections, etc) the hospital has the duty to keep all of the "parts" together and to keep them from getting mixed up with other parts from other donations..

When the donated remains have been used for their purpose, it is up to the family to determine how they are disposed of (this is usually decided on at the time of donation) so some options might be to return all of the "parts" for a closed coffin ceremony, to cremate the "parts" and return the ashes, or to cremate/inter the parts of several donations together (usually this option is if there is no family who is willing or able to receive the "parts" when the hospital is done with them).

I hope that my quick explanation makes sense!

makes perfect sense, thank you for your explanation.  i believe in my SIL's case, the families were given the option.  but it's been over 15 years, and i'm not that clear on all of the details.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: QueenofAllThings on October 02, 2012, 02:54:43 PM
Thanks, all, for your input. He did indeed choose to be cremated and returned to his family for disposal. He's not an internment kind of guy - would prefer to be scattered (preferably all over Yankee Stadium).

His wife is planning a memorial service. Grandmother, if she cannot go, would like to have a memorial service of her own - WITH the cremains, thank you very much.

The solution, to me, is obvious. The cremains belong to DIL. My mother doesn't have a good relationship with her mother either, but has enough sense of filial duty (and guilt) to take care of her mother. Saying 'No' to Grandmother doesn't go well and, as my mother rarely says no to her, I can't imagine she'll start now. My mother will probably have some major stress-induced health crisis, if my father doesn't knock her off first (her mother makes her VERY grouchy).
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: TootsNYC on October 02, 2012, 02:59:27 PM
I don't know why there's any 'middle' to be in, in a way.

The man's wife is his next of kin--she can do what he wants.

If I were the DIL--the widow--here's what I'd do. I'd schedule a memorial service to be followed by an interment (or disposition of ashes, whatever it is). And then I'd announce this to all the family.

Whether Grandma travels or not is GRANDMA's problem. And then, of course, it's your mom's problem, but that's your mom's business. It's between her and her own mother.

And that's what I'd advise my mom to do. Say to Grandma, "We can't exactly boss your DIL around--it's not like we can MAKE her send you the ashes. This was her husband. So you and I will figure out how to deal with the memorial service once we know the date."

The problem of the daughter (your mother) having to deal with Grandma traveling or not traveling is NOT the daughter-in-law's (your aunt's) problem. It's your mom's, and she needs to own it.

It sounds like your mom's hassle with Grandma is the only thing creating the problem here. And I don't have a lot of sympathy for your mom. She wants her sister-in-law to give up all or part of her husband's remains in order to keep HER from having to deal with Grandma traveling? Not cool.

Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: JeanFromBNA on October 02, 2012, 03:47:01 PM
What would you SIL think of giving Grandmother a small amount of the cremains?  Say, about enough to fit in a perfume bottle, or about 2 oz?  Then your Mother could tell your Grandmother that your BIL wanted to be scattered where he lived.  End of story.  Your Mother and Grandmother could have a service the next time your Mother was in town.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: TootsNYC on October 02, 2012, 03:52:06 PM
If I were the SIL, I'd be sort of pissed off that anybody would suggest I should break up the cremains.
And especially if it were suggested as a way to placate a really annoying and demanding person.

Dividing them up is NOT the only reason for cremation.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: BarensMom on October 02, 2012, 04:01:59 PM
Having read the whole thread, the fireplace ash in the urn idea sounds like the one to run with.  OP, do you have a relationship with DIL that you two could set it up on the QT?
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2012, 04:03:46 PM
I've been trying to find a way to express this...

I, and many others, for all sorts of reasons, find the idea of dividing up the ashes to be so abhorrent its hard to even come up with a polite way to say "please stop suggesting that folks".  Its been suggested.  The OP gets the idea, there is no need for people to keep suggesting it.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Judah on October 02, 2012, 04:04:58 PM
If I were the SIL, I'd be sort of pissed off that anybody would suggest I should break up the cremains.
And especially if it were suggested as a way to placate a really annoying and demanding person.

Dividing them up is NOT the only reason for cremation.

It  might be the fact that splitting up cremains is against my religion that is coloring my response, but I could never do this. And the suggestion that I do it to placate someone who is acting like a spoiled child would really tick me off.  Grandmother needs to deal with the fact that she is not the decision maker and I would encourage her to hold her own memorial service without the cremains.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Judah on October 02, 2012, 04:05:42 PM
I've been trying to find a way to express this...

I, and many others, for all sorts of reasons, find the idea of dividing up the ashes to be so abhorrent its hard to even come up with a polite way to say "please stop suggesting that folks".  Its been suggested.  The OP gets the idea, there is no need for people to keep suggesting it.

Yes.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: LeveeWoman on October 02, 2012, 04:14:41 PM
If I were the daughter-in-law, any fit my mother-in-law pitched over this just might push me over the edge to a cut-off.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 02, 2012, 04:16:42 PM
I've been trying to find a way to express this...

I, and many others, for all sorts of reasons, find the idea of dividing up the ashes to be so abhorrent its hard to even come up with a polite way to say "please stop suggesting that folks".  Its been suggested.  The OP gets the idea, there is no need for people to keep suggesting it.

Yes.

I'm saying this the nicest way possible.  Since the OP was the first to suggest as an option, it must not be against her beliefs.  Therefore, this might not be the best thread for you to participate in.

I dislike the idea of fake ashes.  If your mother refuses to stay out of it, which she should, then I'm not sure what advice to give.  If I were your mom, I'd ask her SIL if she would be willing to travel to GM bringing the ashes, attend a local service, and then return home to permenantly intur the ashes as she wishes.  If she says no them your mom needs to make her mom understand that she will not be hiring someone to go still the ashes and that she is not traveling.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: LeveeWoman on October 02, 2012, 04:19:22 PM
People with certain beliefs shouldn't participate in certain threads?
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Judah on October 02, 2012, 04:20:07 PM
I've been trying to find a way to express this...

I, and many others, for all sorts of reasons, find the idea of dividing up the ashes to be so abhorrent its hard to even come up with a polite way to say "please stop suggesting that folks".  Its been suggested.  The OP gets the idea, there is no need for people to keep suggesting it.

Yes.

I'm saying this the nicest way possible.  Since the OP was the first to suggest as an option, it must not be against her beliefs.  Therefore, this might not be the best thread for you to participate in.

But it's not the OP's decision; it's the daughter-in-law's decision to make and I'm just saying that the DIL might find the idea as abhorrent as I do.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2012, 04:22:00 PM
I've been trying to find a way to express this...

I, and many others, for all sorts of reasons, find the idea of dividing up the ashes to be so abhorrent its hard to even come up with a polite way to say "please stop suggesting that folks".  Its been suggested.  The OP gets the idea, there is no need for people to keep suggesting it.

Yes.

I'm saying this the nicest way possible.  Since the OP was the first to suggest as an option, it must not be against her beliefs.  Therefore, this might not be the best thread for you to participate in.

I dislike the idea of fake ashes.  If your mother refuses to stay out of it, which she should, then I'm not sure what advice to give.  If I were your mom, I'd ask her SIL if she would be willing to travel to GM bringing the ashes, attend a local service, and then return home to permenantly intur the ashes as she wishes.  If she says no them your mom needs to make her mom understand that she will not be hiring someone to go still the ashes and that she is not traveling.

And the way the OP suggested it, by referencing King Soloman, suggests to me she sees it as a very extreme solution and not one to be considered lightly and rather one that might greatly upset at least one half of the dueling parties (the daughter in law and the grandmother).  Remember the outcome in the King Soloman case was that the baby was not in fact cut in half, and the one refusing to allow that to happen even at the cost of their own heart breaking was seen as the true loving parent.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Judah on October 02, 2012, 04:22:43 PM
People with certain beliefs shouldn't participate in certain threads?

So giving a different perspective isn't allowed?  If the decision was OPs to make and she wanted to split the ashes, then that's what she should do, but it's not her decision to make and all I'm saying is that the DIL might find the idea as abhorrent as I do.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: jemma on October 02, 2012, 04:24:38 PM
Nobody should ask DIL to spit up her husband's remains or send them to her mil.  Whether your grandmother gets an all expense paid trip to the memorial service on your mother's dime is a relationship issue not an etiquette issue.  Either way is perfectly polite.  I'd stay out of it if I were you, and if your mom pushes just tell her whatever you believe.  For example, "Mom, you have to learn to stand up to Granny.  Telling her 'no' is the only reasonable option given your financial situation." Or "Mom, you can afford to send Granny to the memorial service, and it isn't worth the fight with her for your own mental health.  Just plan it and get it over with." 
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: zyrs on October 02, 2012, 04:24:51 PM
No fake ashes, but no real ashes either.

It needs to be reiterated to Grandma that it is the DIL's decision.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: SPuck on October 02, 2012, 04:25:54 PM
I think in the end, no one should guilt or even politely suggest the grieving DIL into any action she does not want to do nor would her husband want to do. In the end it is going to be the OP's mother who has to deal with her own lack of spine in the relationship she has with her mother, no one else.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Sharnita on October 02, 2012, 04:26:04 PM
OP might be has considered dividing up the ashes but that doesn't mean she has actually come to the conclusion that she'd feel OK about doing that.  It also doesn't mean SIL would be OK with it, especially if it is being done to placate  somebody who is being unpleasant. I am not sure from OP's wording that she is completely at ease with splitting the ashes, at least for the reason of giving in to a tyranical woman the deceased didn't really like that much to begin with and I definitely don't think that we know how SIL feels so it could be helpful to point out theat evn the suggestion might be offensive to some.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: TootsNYC on October 02, 2012, 04:32:50 PM
OP might be has considered dividing up the ashes but that doesn't mean she has actually come to the conclusion that she'd feel OK about doing suggesting that. 

Just wanted to point out--the OP has no standing here. It wasn't her husband.

And I think it would be awfully damned cheeky for ANYBODY to suggest to the DIL that she split up her husband's ashes for ANY reason.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: JenJay on October 02, 2012, 04:37:35 PM
I would not expect daughter-in-law to send her husband's ashes. I also would not expect daughter to go all-out trying to accommodate grandma in the lifestyle to which she is accustomed. If daughter does not want to be responsible for grandma she should make it clear to DIL and Gran that this is between them. If she's willing to have gran stay with her she should let Gran know "I can pick you up at the airport in my car or you can hire a car at your expense. You can stay in my guest room as-is or you can book a room at your expense. I will prepare extra servings of the meals I have planned or you can dine at the place of your choosing at your expense. Let me know what you'd like to do."
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: mj on October 02, 2012, 05:14:24 PM
I think in the end, no one should guilt or even politely suggest the grieving DIL into any action she does not want to do nor would her husband want to do. In the end it is going to be the OP's mother who has to deal with her own lack of spine in the relationship she has with her mother, no one else.

This. 

No offense at all, OP, but I think the problem is really Grandma and Daughter.  Sons cremains wouldn't/shouldn't be involved as a talking point at all.  It would be off limits discussion, for me.  And I would say so to my mother if this did indeed come up.  Because no one is really going to go to the Daughter In Law and suggest this, right? 

So, the actual problem is Grandma wanting an all expense paid trip from Daughter with luxurious accomodations.  Daughter is perfectly within etiquette to say no, or offer what she is willing to do/not do.

Anything more, like going to the Daughter In Law with what she thinks could help with the solution to her problem is an etiquette no-no, IMO.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: QueenofAllThings on October 02, 2012, 05:23:25 PM
My.

Toots, I in no way suggested to anyone that the remains be divided; I put it out there as a possible solution (suspecting that it might be an issue for some - which is why I asked) on this board to get opinions. There are lots of opinions, and I thank you all for them. Additionally, no one has suggested to the widow that remains be divided either. The facts are that Grandmother wants them OR wants to be flown up, at great fuss and expense.

And yes, it's not my issue, it's my mother's. I'm not involved - I just wanted to know what EHellions thought. As to it not being my mother's problem either, my Grandmother made it her problem. My mother could just say "Not my problem, Mom" but Mom is a 99 year-old woman who lost her son, and I imagine my mother is trying to broker a compromise.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Jaelle on October 02, 2012, 05:42:16 PM
I sympathize with your mom, OP, sounds like a rough position.  :-\

That said, it doesn't sound like your Grandmother would be at all amenable to a compromise ... am I correct? So the only thing to do is go through the fuss and expense ... or say "Not my problem, Mom," albeit hopefully more tactfully.

Or is there wiggle room here I'm not seeing?
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: artk2002 on October 02, 2012, 05:51:10 PM
People with certain beliefs shouldn't participate in certain threads?

So giving a different perspective isn't allowed?  If the decision was OPs to make and she wanted to split the ashes, then that's what she should do, but it's not her decision to make and all I'm saying is that the DIL might find the idea as abhorrent as I do.

Saying that the DIL might find it abhorrent is not the same thing as saying that it can't be discussed in this thread. WillyNilly is the one who said that it should not continue to be brought up because she found it offensive.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: TootsNYC on October 02, 2012, 05:56:33 PM
My.

Toots, I in no way suggested to anyone that the remains be divided; I put it out there as a possible solution (suspecting that it might be an issue for some - which is why I asked) on this board to get opinions. There are lots of opinions, and I thank you all for them. Additionally, no one has suggested to the widow that remains be divided either. The facts are that Grandmother wants them OR wants to be flown up, at great fuss and expense.

And yes, it's not my issue, it's my mother's. I'm not involved - I just wanted to know what EHellions thought. As to it not being my mother's problem either, my Grandmother made it her problem. My mother could just say "Not my problem, Mom" but Mom is a 99 year-old woman who lost her son, and I imagine my mother is trying to broker a compromise.

But I would say, it is absolutely not her place to broker a compromise. It would be really awful for your Mom to go to her grieving sister-in-law and say, "My mother, your MIL, wants you to send her the cremains so she can have them for a memorial service."

If I were the sister-in-law, that would piss me off bigtime.
And my automatic response would be, "absolutely not! Of course she would be coming for the memorial service, no?"

And if the answer was, "it's too hard for me to deal with," then BOY would I be mad.

So I don't think there IS any compromise that your mother should be "brokering." Or, the compromise would be ONLY between her and Grandma, and should involve ONLY what your mom is able or willing to do in assisting her own mother to travel to the memorial service of her son, your mom's brother.

To me this is an absolute. The remains belong to the widow. (Maybe to the child--but apparently not an issue in this case, and still, the widow trumps. Spouses are legally, socially, morally more important than anyone else.)

Anything else is extremely over the top and out of line.

So I don't think it would be proper in any way for your mother to approach her SIL with any of these suggestions. At all. Period.

Her only role is to say, "Mom, here's what I'm willing to do to help you if you want to come to the memorial service." That's all. Period.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2012, 06:00:11 PM
People with certain beliefs shouldn't participate in certain threads?

So giving a different perspective isn't allowed?  If the decision was OPs to make and she wanted to split the ashes, then that's what she should do, but it's not her decision to make and all I'm saying is that the DIL might find the idea as abhorrent as I do.

Saying that the DIL might find it abhorrent is not the same thing as saying that it can't be discussed in this thread. WillyNilly is the one who said that it should not continue to be brought up because she found it offensive.

Actually what I said was it has been brought up enough. "Its been suggested.  The OP gets the idea, there is no need for people to keep suggesting it."

I didn't mind it was suggested at all but how many times does it have to be put out there as a not new idea?  Its a strong enough idea that after 1, 2, 3 times its been suggested enough times.  A few variations on the theme is helpful, multiple times its worth pointing out that what seems innocent to some seems terrible to others. 
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: jemma on October 02, 2012, 06:09:11 PM
And yes, it's not my issue, it's my mother's. I'm not involved - I just wanted to know what EHellions thought. As to it not being my mother's problem either, my Grandmother made it her problem. My mother could just say "Not my problem, Mom" but Mom is a 99 year-old woman who lost her son, and I imagine my mother is trying to broker a compromise.

I think the compromise has to be a money spent getting your grandma to the memorial service versus an unhappy grandmother, not your uncle's final resting place.  I think etiquette precludes criticizing a widow's plans for what to do with her husband's remains.  If I were your mother I would offer to pay for the cheapest effective accommodations.  In other words, if a taxi of her car would be as safe as a limo, then offer those.  If her guest room would be as safe, offer that, otherwise go for a two star rather than four star hotel.  Your Aunt should be left out of this unless your mother's solution is to leave it up to Grandma and aunt and to disengage herself.

Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: BarensMom on October 02, 2012, 06:28:34 PM
OP, it sounds like the only thing you can do is to bolster your mother's spine when/if she tells the grandmother that using the funeral as an excuse for a luxury vacation at your parents' expense is not possible.  I apologize if the last sentence is offensive.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: CakeEater on October 02, 2012, 06:32:21 PM
What I find interesting in thiskind of situation is that Mom and DIL can't be very young themselves. If grandma is 99, then these two ladies are probably in their 70s, elderly, or heading towards it themselves. I think once people get into their nineties, they are used to thinking of their children as 'the young ones' and able to deal with paying for flights, organising limos etc, when the children are dealing with aging issues, and perhaps money issues, themselves.

The remains belong to DIL, and should be left with her. Your Mom needs to gently explain to grandma that that is the case, and that if she wants to travel north for the memorial, that she shouldn't be staying at the grieving widow's home. If she doesn't like that, well, that's her problem to deal with.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 07:33:45 PM
What I find interesting in thiskind of situation is that Mom and DIL can't be very young themselves. If grandma is 99, then these two ladies are probably in their 70s, elderly, or heading towards it themselves. I think once people get into their nineties, they are used to thinking of their children as 'the young ones' and able to deal with paying for flights, organising limos etc, when the children are dealing with aging issues, and perhaps money issues, themselves.

in the case of one of my grandmothers, as she aged, she sort of rewrote history in her head.  the SIL she loathed, despised, and hated while she was in her 60's?  by the time Grammie reached the age of 90, her SIL was closer to her than her own sister, and Aunt SIL's death was one of the worst things that ever happened to her (Grandma, not SIL). 

ditto with the supporting her thing.  Grammie had always been somewhat jealous of anyone else's good fortune.  she was furious that my stepfather didn't buy her a bigger TV when hers went out.  he could afford it, cuss it all to tarnation, and no amount of explaining that a bigger TV wouldn't have fit into her apartment would appease her.  never mind that he stroked a check and carted a new TV into her apartment literally the day after hers went on the fritz.  it wasn't good enough, he could afford more, and she deserved it.  i loved my grandmother, but she could be...trying at times.

i share this only because i could completely see my own grandmother rewriting the relationship with her son (using what's going on in Queen's family) to where in her mind, she and her son were very close and of course he would have wanted HER to receive his ashes, and not his wife and daughter.  after all, she was his MOTHER!  no relationship is closer than that of a mother and son. 

again, these are not my thoughts.  i have a grown son who i love dearly, and he loves his mama right back.  but his wife and son come before me, rightly so, and always will.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: JeanFromBNA on October 02, 2012, 07:52:11 PM
I find the idea of sending fake cremains to anyone to be dishonest and highly offensive.  I can't believe that it was seriously suggested on this board.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Sharnita on October 02, 2012, 07:59:08 PM
I find the idea of sending fake cremains to anyone to be dishonest and highly offensive.  I can't believe that it was seriously suggested on this board.

Yeah, I hope it was meant as a joke. 

Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 07:59:55 PM
I find the idea of sending fake cremains to anyone to be dishonest and highly offensive.  I can't believe that it was seriously suggested on this board.

Jean, i really do think it was meant as more of a joke.  and the Queen took it as such.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: gramma dishes on October 02, 2012, 08:12:24 PM
QueenofAllThings ~~  If I remember correctly, somewhere in the thread you said that Grandmother had spent all her considerable amount of money in virtually record time which leaves your own mother (and Dad I presume) to pay for virtually all her expenses.  I think it's time for the other sisters to step up to the plate here.

Maybe they don't want to deal with her (and that's okay), but that doesn't mean the TOTAL burden should be on your mother.  If the family thinks it's important enough for Grandma to go to her son's memorial service, then they should be the ones footing the bill, or at least providing two thirds of the costs. 

Grandma, with her past spending habits, is responsible for this dilemma.  Maybe it's time someone just told her the truth.  "Yes, we know you want to go.  But you don't have the money to go and we don't have the money to send you!  So it's just not going to be possible."
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: TootsNYC on October 02, 2012, 08:16:21 PM
Well, the Queen's mom is apparently that someone.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: gramma dishes on October 02, 2012, 08:23:56 PM
Yep.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Jape on October 02, 2012, 08:44:36 PM
I apologise that I haven't read all of the responses as this may have already been suggested.  I only have a couple of minutes and I knew if I didn't get it down now I'd forget by the time I read everything!

Is it possible for the cremains to be flown down to where your grandmother is for a memorial service ONLY?  As in, the ashes don't get scattered, it's just a service with the urn at the front of the room.  Then the ashes are flown back to the wife to have her service and scattering of the ashes.

I realise this might be completely impractical, and may not meet either woman's preference, but it was the best idea I had!

Ultimately, it is up to the wife and the grandmother will just have to live with the decision she makes.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: scansons on October 02, 2012, 08:53:22 PM
I apologise that I haven't read all of the responses as this may have already been suggested.  I only have a couple of minutes and I knew if I didn't get it down now I'd forget by the time I read everything!

Is it possible for the cremains to be flown down to where your grandmother is for a memorial service ONLY?  As in, the ashes don't get scattered, it's just a service with the urn at the front of the room.  Then the ashes are flown back to the wife to have her service and scattering of the ashes.

I realise this might be completely impractical, and may not meet either woman's preference, but it was the best idea I had!

Ultimately, it is up to the wife and the grandmother will just have to live with the decision she makes.
 

It is a nice idea.  However, in this case, I think the chances are pretty high that Grandmother would either 1) scatter the ashes because she wanted to or 2) send back something other than the remains because she didn't want them scattered at all.  When you have the attitude that you are going to do what you are going to do and not apologize for appalling behavior, you get a reputation for not being trustworthy.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 09:04:31 PM
I apologise that I haven't read all of the responses as this may have already been suggested.  I only have a couple of minutes and I knew if I didn't get it down now I'd forget by the time I read everything!

Is it possible for the cremains to be flown down to where your grandmother is for a memorial service ONLY?  As in, the ashes don't get scattered, it's just a service with the urn at the front of the room.  Then the ashes are flown back to the wife to have her service and scattering of the ashes.

I realise this might be completely impractical, and may not meet either woman's preference, but it was the best idea I had!

Ultimately, it is up to the wife and the grandmother will just have to live with the decision she makes.
 

It is a nice idea.  However, in this case, I think the chances are pretty high that Grandmother would either 1) scatter the ashes because she wanted to or 2) send back something other than the remains because she didn't want them scattered at all.  When you have the attitude that you are going to do what you are going to do and not apologize for appalling behavior, you get a reputation for not being trustworthy.

this was my feeling as well.  once Grandma gets her mitts on Son's cremains, she's going to do whatever she wants with them.  Son lived, with his family, up North.  that's where he belongs, where he wanted to be, and where his wife and daughter want him.  Grandma will just have to deal. 
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: gramma dishes on October 02, 2012, 09:10:28 PM

It is a nice idea.  However, in this case, I think the chances are pretty high that Grandmother would either 1) scatter the ashes because she wanted to or 2) send back something other than the remains because she didn't want them scattered at all.  When you have the attitude that you are going to do what you are going to do and not apologize for appalling behavior, you get a reputation for not being trustworthy.

this was my feeling as well.  Once Grandma gets her mitts on Son's cremains, she's going to do whatever she wants with them.  Son lived, with his family, up North.  that's where he belongs, where he wanted to be, and where his wife and daughter want him.  Grandma will just have to deal.

I think so too.  I wouldn't trust Grandma with those ashes for one second.  I'm quite confident SIL would never get them back.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: sourwolf on October 02, 2012, 09:13:15 PM
I've been trying to find a way to express this...

I, and many others, for all sorts of reasons, find the idea of dividing up the ashes to be so abhorrent its hard to even come up with a polite way to say "please stop suggesting that folks".  Its been suggested.  The OP gets the idea, there is no need for people to keep suggesting it.

Personally I find your suggestion that the grandmother be sent fake ashes abhorrent but I don't think that means I'm allowed to tell you how to post.  I notice you didn't take issue with the continued repetition of this suggestion? Anyway I was under the impression that the only people who could tell others not to post things were the mods?

Not to mention that human ashes and wood ashes look and feel nothing alike.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: TheBardess on October 02, 2012, 09:13:46 PM
I've been trying to find a way to express this...

I, and many others, for all sorts of reasons, find the idea of dividing up the ashes to be so abhorrent its hard to even come up with a polite way to say "please stop suggesting that folks".  Its been suggested.  The OP gets the idea, there is no need for people to keep suggesting it.

That's...well, frankly, that's rich coming from someone who suggested sending the grieving mother an urn full of someone's old fireplace ashes.

I'm not big on the idea of dividing the cremains, but frankly, I find the idea of sending a grieving relative- no matter how toxic or difficult to deal with- fake cremains to be far more abhorrent, and I'm rather disturbed at how enthusiastically that suggestion has been received here. And yes, even if the suggestion was made in jest (which is not how I read it), I still find it incredibly crass and tasteless.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Jovismom on October 02, 2012, 09:26:26 PM
I think a good compromise would be for your mom to help your grandmother plan some way to honor her son's memory.  Perhaps arranging for special flower arrangements for their church one sunday along with an announcement in the program.  Perhaps a full memorial. 

Cremains are different than when you're dealing with a body.  My father was cremated and we had a memorial service up in Maine, at the church my parents attended during the summer.  When the summer was over, there was another memorial at their home church in Savannah so that all of his friends there would be able to attend.  It wasn't a "big thing", it was more getting together and sharing stories with some well chosen words by their minister.

ETA:  I forgot to say that my father's cremains were not in attendance at either memorial service.  They were home in my mother's room....and they still are.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 09:35:00 PM
oh fer Pete's sake people, the suggestion of sending Grandma ashes from someone's fireplace was a joke.  that's how it was meant, and that's how it was taken by the only person who counts, which would be the Queen.  the Queen even replied that it had been considered. 

it's called Gallow's humor.  if the Queen, wasn't offended, and the cremains in question are her uncle, and the person being difficult is her grandmother, i can't see why anyone else here would be offended.  it's certainly not worthy of snarky comments about other E-Hellions. 

but apparently i don't "see" much.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: sourwolf on October 02, 2012, 09:40:54 PM
oh fer Pete's sake people, the suggestion of sending Grandma ashes from someone's fireplace was a joke.  that's how it was meant, and that's how it was taken by the only person who counts, which would be the Queen.  the Queen even replied that it had been considered. 

it's called Gallow's humor.  if the Queen, wasn't offended, and the cremains in question are her uncle, and the person being difficult is her grandmother, i can't see why anyone else here would be offended.  it's certainly not worthy of snarky comments about other E-Hellions. 

but apparently i don't "see" much.

You must not have seen these posts where the posters specifically stated they were not kidding.


I love this. You might have said it tongue-in-cheek (and I did laugh when I read it) but it's the perfect solution!

Having read the whole thread, the fireplace ash in the urn idea sounds like the one to run with.  OP, do you have a relationship with DIL that you two could set it up on the QT?

Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 09:46:02 PM
oh fer Pete's sake people, the suggestion of sending Grandma ashes from someone's fireplace was a joke.  that's how it was meant, and that's how it was taken by the only person who counts, which would be the Queen.  the Queen even replied that it had been considered. 

it's called Gallow's humor.  if the Queen, wasn't offended, and the cremains in question are her uncle, and the person being difficult is her grandmother, i can't see why anyone else here would be offended.  it's certainly not worthy of snarky comments about other E-Hellions. 

but apparently i don't "see" much.

You must have missed these posts where the posters specifically stated they were not kidding.


I love this. You might have said it tongue-in-cheek (and I did laugh when I read it) but it's the perfect solution!

Having read the whole thread, the fireplace ash in the urn idea sounds like the one to run with.  OP, do you have a relationship with DIL that you two could set it up on the QT?

you can read it however you want to, but i read it as continuing the joke. 

but the fact remains that i don't understand what has offended you so much about this when the Queen wasn't olffended.  the Queen is a very capable communicator here.  if that offended her, she could, and would, have shut that down forthwith. 
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: thedudeabides on October 02, 2012, 09:48:31 PM
oh fer Pete's sake people, the suggestion of sending Grandma ashes from someone's fireplace was a joke.  that's how it was meant, and that's how it was taken by the only person who counts, which would be the Queen.  the Queen even replied that it had been considered. 

it's called Gallow's humor.  if the Queen, wasn't offended, and the cremains in question are her uncle, and the person being difficult is her grandmother, i can't see why anyone else here would be offended.  it's certainly not worthy of snarky comments about other E-Hellions. 

but apparently i don't "see" much.

You must have missed these posts where the posters specifically stated they were not kidding.


I love this. You might have said it tongue-in-cheek (and I did laugh when I read it) but it's the perfect solution!

Having read the whole thread, the fireplace ash in the urn idea sounds like the one to run with.  OP, do you have a relationship with DIL that you two could set it up on the QT?

you can read it however you want to, but i read it as continuing the joke. 

but the fact remains that i don't understand what has offended you so much about this when the Queen wasn't olffended.  the Queen is a very capable communicator here.  if that offended her, she could, and would, have shut that down forthwith.

Wait, so now no one is allowed to be offended by something unless they're the original poster in a thread?  An offensive suggestion can be offensive to people who read it, just by virtue of being offensive.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: sourwolf on October 02, 2012, 09:50:06 PM
oh fer Pete's sake people, the suggestion of sending Grandma ashes from someone's fireplace was a joke.  that's how it was meant, and that's how it was taken by the only person who counts, which would be the Queen.  the Queen even replied that it had been considered. 

it's called Gallow's humor.  if the Queen, wasn't offended, and the cremains in question are her uncle, and the person being difficult is her grandmother, i can't see why anyone else here would be offended.  it's certainly not worthy of snarky comments about other E-Hellions. 

but apparently i don't "see" much.

You must have missed these posts where the posters specifically stated they were not kidding.


I love this. You might have said it tongue-in-cheek (and I did laugh when I read it) but it's the perfect solution!

Having read the whole thread, the fireplace ash in the urn idea sounds like the one to run with.  OP, do you have a relationship with DIL that you two could set it up on the QT?

you can read it however you want to, but i read it as continuing the joke. 

but the fact remains that i don't understand what has offended you so much about this when the Queen wasn't olffended.  the Queen is a very capable communicator here.  if that offended her, she could, and would, have shut that down forthwith.

 I'm not really sure how else you can take it when posters say they are not joking?

I'm not sure why my distaste of an idea means that I "can't take a joke" but WillyNilly's telling other posters what they can post is not at all a problem?
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Sterling on October 02, 2012, 09:53:37 PM
We did divide my fathers ashes.

As for the debate here I find it hypocritical that it is being bantered that discussing splitting the ashes is somehow offensive but a "joke" about giving a mother fireplaces ashes and LYING about it is somehow not frowned upon on an etiquette board.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 09:56:19 PM
oh fer Pete's sake people, the suggestion of sending Grandma ashes from someone's fireplace was a joke.  that's how it was meant, and that's how it was taken by the only person who counts, which would be the Queen.  the Queen even replied that it had been considered. 

it's called Gallow's humor.  if the Queen, wasn't offended, and the cremains in question are her uncle, and the person being difficult is her grandmother, i can't see why anyone else here would be offended.  it's certainly not worthy of snarky comments about other E-Hellions. 

but apparently i don't "see" much.

You must have missed these posts where the posters specifically stated they were not kidding.


I love this. You might have said it tongue-in-cheek (and I did laugh when I read it) but it's the perfect solution!

Having read the whole thread, the fireplace ash in the urn idea sounds like the one to run with.  OP, do you have a relationship with DIL that you two could set it up on the QT?

you can read it however you want to, but i read it as continuing the joke. 

but the fact remains that i don't understand what has offended you so much about this when the Queen wasn't olffended.  the Queen is a very capable communicator here.  if that offended her, she could, and would, have shut that down forthwith.

 I'm not really sure how else you can take it when posters say they are not joking?

I'm not sure why my distaste of an idea means that I "can't take a joke" but WillyNilly's telling other posters what they can post is not at all a problem?

you are completely missing my point.  i don't understand why this was so offensive to you when it was not offensive to the poster involved.  the Queen is very capable of letting us know if we have posted something that she finds offensive.  she did not. 

i'm not getting into your argument with WillyNilly.  that's between the two of you.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Sharnita on October 02, 2012, 10:02:04 PM
I think it can still be offensive to others - and was.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: sourwolf on October 02, 2012, 10:03:56 PM
oh fer Pete's sake people, the suggestion of sending Grandma ashes from someone's fireplace was a joke.  that's how it was meant, and that's how it was taken by the only person who counts, which would be the Queen.  the Queen even replied that it had been considered. 

it's called Gallow's humor.  if the Queen, wasn't offended, and the cremains in question are her uncle, and the person being difficult is her grandmother, i can't see why anyone else here would be offended.  it's certainly not worthy of snarky comments about other E-Hellions. 

but apparently i don't "see" much.

You must have missed these posts where the posters specifically stated they were not kidding.


I love this. You might have said it tongue-in-cheek (and I did laugh when I read it) but it's the perfect solution!

Having read the whole thread, the fireplace ash in the urn idea sounds like the one to run with.  OP, do you have a relationship with DIL that you two could set it up on the QT?

you can read it however you want to, but i read it as continuing the joke. 

but the fact remains that i don't understand what has offended you so much about this when the Queen wasn't olffended.  the Queen is a very capable communicator here.  if that offended her, she could, and would, have shut that down forthwith.

 I'm not really sure how else you can take it when posters say they are not joking?

I'm not sure why my distaste of an idea means that I "can't take a joke" but WillyNilly's telling other posters what they can post is not at all a problem?

you are completely missing my point.  i don't understand why this was so offensive to you when it was not offensive to the poster involved.  the Queen is very capable of letting us know if we have posted something that she finds offensive.  she did not. 

i'm not getting into your argument with WillyNilly.  that's between the two of you.

You are completely missing my point.  You don't get to decide if something is offensive to anyone but yourself. Conversely you don't get to tell someone else that you are not offended by something so they can't be either.  Never once did I say that I thought the OP should be offended.  I'm not trying to fight with WillyNilly I just find it hypocritical that you are getting on my case for doing the same thing she's doing.  As the OP is not offended by either suggestion the only difference that I can see between us is that I'm a fairly new poster and WillyNilly is not.  Not to mention the fact that I was able to back up my statements with actual quotes from previous posters.
Telling people that they "can't take a joke" when they disagree with you is classic bullying behavior and frankly I'm quite disappointed to see it on an etiquette board.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: kareng57 on October 02, 2012, 10:11:05 PM
oh fer Pete's sake people, the suggestion of sending Grandma ashes from someone's fireplace was a joke.  that's how it was meant, and that's how it was taken by the only person who counts, which would be the Queen.  the Queen even replied that it had been considered. 

it's called Gallow's humor.  if the Queen, wasn't offended, and the cremains in question are her uncle, and the person being difficult is her grandmother, i can't see why anyone else here would be offended.  it's certainly not worthy of snarky comments about other E-Hellions. 

but apparently i don't "see" much.


Quite honestly, I did not see any humour either, and I think people could indeed find it offensive.  My late Dh was cremated last year.

It's quite possible to have a memorial service without any remains at all present - that's what we did.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: TheBardess on October 02, 2012, 10:12:30 PM
We did divide my fathers ashes.

As for the debate here I find it hypocritical that it is being bantered that discussing splitting the ashes is somehow offensive but a "joke" about giving a mother fireplaces ashes and LYING about it is somehow not frowned upon on an etiquette board.

This. That is what bothered me the most. I really don't think (general) you get to go around talking about how "abhorrent" you find people's suggestions and asking that they not make those suggestions anymore when you yourself are making some (arguably) equally awful and tasteless suggestions. And if it was a joke? Well, unfortunately, being a joke does not preclude a remark from also being tasteless and/or offensive.

I also don't buy that it's somehow silly or ridiculous to find something in a thread offensive just because the OP doesn't find it offensive. If someone says something homophobic or anti-Semitic, I don't have to be homosexual or Jewish to be offended. Same thing here. So the OP doesn't find it offensive. That doesn't mean others of us can't be disturbed, offended, or, frankly, appalled at the suggestion of sending a grieving mother fake ashes or the enthusiastic manner in which that suggestion has been received.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: kareng57 on October 02, 2012, 10:15:26 PM
I say find someone with a fireplace.  Fill a bag with ashes.  Put them in a lovely urn.  Send them to grandma.  And then let Daughter in law keep the northern services quiet.


I simply cannot believe that you and some other posters would treat a situation like this so loftily.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 10:18:17 PM
oh fer Pete's sake people, the suggestion of sending Grandma ashes from someone's fireplace was a joke.  that's how it was meant, and that's how it was taken by the only person who counts, which would be the Queen.  the Queen even replied that it had been considered. 

it's called Gallow's humor.  if the Queen, wasn't offended, and the cremains in question are her uncle, and the person being difficult is her grandmother, i can't see why anyone else here would be offended.  it's certainly not worthy of snarky comments about other E-Hellions. 

but apparently i don't "see" much.

You must have missed these posts where the posters specifically stated they were not kidding.


I love this. You might have said it tongue-in-cheek (and I did laugh when I read it) but it's the perfect solution!

Having read the whole thread, the fireplace ash in the urn idea sounds like the one to run with.  OP, do you have a relationship with DIL that you two could set it up on the QT?

you can read it however you want to, but i read it as continuing the joke. 

but the fact remains that i don't understand what has offended you so much about this when the Queen wasn't olffended.  the Queen is a very capable communicator here.  if that offended her, she could, and would, have shut that down forthwith.

 I'm not really sure how else you can take it when posters say they are not joking?

I'm not sure why my distaste of an idea means that I "can't take a joke" but WillyNilly's telling other posters what they can post is not at all a problem?

you are completely missing my point.  i don't understand why this was so offensive to you when it was not offensive to the poster involved.  the Queen is very capable of letting us know if we have posted something that she finds offensive.  she did not. 

i'm not getting into your argument with WillyNilly.  that's between the two of you.

You are completely missing my point.  You don't get to decide if something is offensive to anyone but yourself. Conversely you don't get to tell someone else that you are not offended by something so they can't be either.  Never once did I say that I thought the OP should be offended.  I'm not trying to fight with WillyNilly I just find it hypocritical that you are getting on my case for doing the same thing she's doing.  As the OP is not offended by either suggestion the only difference that I can see between us is that I'm a fairly new poster and WillyNilly is not.  Not to mention the fact that I was able to back up my statements with actual quotes from previous posters.
Telling people that they "can't take a joke" when they disagree with you is classic bullying behavior and frankly I'm quite disappointed to see it on an etiquette board.

so noted.  i didn't think i was picking on you for disagreeing with me.  i was trying to make the point that the OP wasn't offended.  you are obviously entitled to your feelings, as am i. 

just so you know?  i have no idea how long you've been here in relation to how WillyNilly has been here.  i don't pay attention to such things when i respond to someone.  perhaps you've been made to feel that your opinion is not as important since you haven't been here as long as someone else.  that was not done by me, and i am not willing to take the hit for it. 

i promise i will be very aware of your posts from now on, and will leave you alone.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Sharnita on October 02, 2012, 10:21:09 PM
FWIW, I don't think the argument was that everyone should find splitting ashes offensive across the board but pointing out that some people do and since somebody else is in charge of the ashes it might be best not to suggest something that would be potentially offensive for the sake of appeasing somebody who had a bad relationship with the deceased and bereaved,  I think the intent was also to make clear that the case for splitting had been made and that to keep bringing it up might be overkill, as it were.

That being said, I don't think the idea of deceiving people with fake ashes is a good thing to introduce on an etiquette site - whether it is a joke or a serious suggestion.  This is an issue some people have genuine anxiety over when they do choose cremation, the idea of getting the wrong ashes or something along those lines.  I do think it is reasonable to point out that it is a joke/suggestion that people should pull back on. 
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 10:22:16 PM
oh fer Pete's sake people, the suggestion of sending Grandma ashes from someone's fireplace was a joke.  that's how it was meant, and that's how it was taken by the only person who counts, which would be the Queen.  the Queen even replied that it had been considered. 

it's called Gallow's humor.  if the Queen, wasn't offended, and the cremains in question are her uncle, and the person being difficult is her grandmother, i can't see why anyone else here would be offended.  it's certainly not worthy of snarky comments about other E-Hellions. 

but apparently i don't "see" much.


Quite honestly, I did not see any humour either, and I think people could indeed find it offensive.  My late Dh was cremated last year.

It's quite possible to have a memorial service without any remains at all present - that's what we did.

karen, i will tell you that i am sorry for your loss.  i don't doubt that some people could find the gallow's humor offensive.  i can understand why you do.  my point was, the OP didn't, and those remarks were directed at her, not at anyone else. 

to go back to the original topic, i'm not seeing Grandma being willing to have any kind of service without the cremains of her son present at the memorial service.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: sourwolf on October 02, 2012, 10:26:14 PM


so noted.  i didn't think i was picking on you for disagreeing with me.  i was trying to make the point that the OP wasn't offended.  you are obviously entitled to your feelings, as am i. 

just so you know?  i have no idea how long you've been here in relation to how WillyNilly has been here.  i don't pay attention to such things when i respond to someone.  perhaps you've been made to feel that your opinion is not as important since you haven't been here as long as someone else.  that was not done by me, and i am not willing to take the hit for it. 

i promise i will be very aware of your posts from now on, and will leave you alone.

If the OP is as capable of defending herself as you claim I'm not sure why you felt the need to white night for her?

And really? That last sentence is ridiculously snarky and uncalled for - I thought one of the major rules on this forum was to not announce when you were ignoring people/taking a coke break?

Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 10:27:35 PM
FWIW, I don't think the argument was that everyone should find splitting ashes offensive across the board but pointing out that some people do and since somebody else is in charge of the ashes it might be best not to suggest something that would be potentially offensive for the sake of appeasing somebody who had a bad relationship with the deceased and bereaved,  I think the intent was also to make clear that the case for splitting had been made and that to keep bringing it up might be overkill, as it were.

That being said, I don't think the idea of deceiving people with fake ashes is a good thing to introduce on an etiquette site - whether it is a joke or a serious suggestion.  This is an issue some people have genuine anxiety over when they do choose cremation, the idea of getting the wrong ashes or something along those lines.  I do think it is reasonable to point out that it is a joke/suggestion that people should pull back on.

you know something, Sharnita?  i've made it clear to my family that i prefer cremation when the time comes, and the bolded really never occurred to me.  i don't discount it in the least, the fear makes a lot of sense.  it just never occurred to me.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: still in va on October 02, 2012, 10:30:40 PM


so noted.  i didn't think i was picking on you for disagreeing with me.  i was trying to make the point that the OP wasn't offended.  you are obviously entitled to your feelings, as am i. 

just so you know?  i have no idea how long you've been here in relation to how WillyNilly has been here.  i don't pay attention to such things when i respond to someone.  perhaps you've been made to feel that your opinion is not as important since you haven't been here as long as someone else.  that was not done by me, and i am not willing to take the hit for it. 

i promise i will be very aware of your posts from now on, and will leave you alone.

If the OP is as capable of defending herself as you claim I'm not sure why you felt the need to white night for her?

And really? That last sentence is ridiculously snarky and uncalled for - I thought one of the major rules on this forum was to not announce when you were ignoring people/taking a coke break?

i didn't say i was going to ignore you.  i said that i was going to leave you alone.  there is a bit of a difference.  and i can't drink coke anymore, so i don't take coke breaks. 
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: doodlemor on October 02, 2012, 11:06:26 PM
If grandma is at all familiar with human ashes the wood ashes switch won't work.  I think that anyone who has dealt with human ashes would guess the fakes.

I've had to transport human ashes twice, and they were very heavy for the size of the box.  The first time a very kind man lifted the "person" into the overhead compartment on the plane for me.  He must have wondered what I had packed, but I didn't tell him.  I was very fit at that time, but couldn't lift the heavy box over my head.  The second time I needed to transport ashes I just left them in my car trunk, until I got to the cemetery.

I never opened the plastic and looked at the actual ashes.  Gramma dishes, who did see them, posted that they are rather like ".....tiny itsy bitsy pebbles....."  Wood stove ashes are like dust - at least at our house.

I think that I agree with SPuck, who said.....

I think in the end, no one should guilt or even politely suggest the grieving DIL into any action she does not want to do nor would her husband want to do. In the end it is going to be the OP's mother who has to deal with her own lack of spine in the relationship she has with her mother, no one else.

I feel very badly for OP's mother, who has this difficult parent to deal with.  Perhaps her health will be better if she learns to say - no - to her mother sometimes.

My mother will probably have some major stress-induced health crisis.....

is stated by the OP.  If grandma is 99, then mom is likely in her 60's, and doesn't need any more stress.

It would be difficult to change a lifetime pattern but perhaps even taking some small steps would help OP's mother.

Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Ticia on October 02, 2012, 11:51:38 PM
Stop the fighting and the snark, please. This thread will be closed if it continues.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Iris on October 03, 2012, 03:09:49 AM

<snip>

Here's the issue: Grandmother has insisted that either a) the ashes be shipped down to her or b) she be flown up (from FL to MA) for the service. Flying is a Major Production for Grandmother - it involves two plane tickets (her aide has to come), limos, the 'appropriate' accommodations and food choices at Daughter's house, etc. It is expensive and positively exhausting for Daughter, who is now caught in the middle between Grandmother and Daughter-In-Law. Naturally, Grandmother has put Daughter in the middle of all this. Daughter is down to her last nerve.


I know you said that Grandmother is difficult but I really can't get my head around this. I could 'insist' that you, QueenOfAllThings, fly to Australia at your own expense to take me out to dinner somewhere really nice, massage my feet, put me up in the Hlton and then give me your favourite pet, but it ain't gonna happen.

I know that you said that it makes it difficult for your mother if she refuses, but I can't see what would be more difficult than spending a fortune at someone else's insistence. How has it gone this far? I'm sorry to be so harsh, but no normal person just 'insists' that either someone gives up their spouse's ashes or someone else spends a fortune on providing accommodations that *they* dictate. And no normal person lets them get away with it. Really, in the end, what can Grandmother DO if your mother says "The whereabouts of Son's ashes is up to DIL. You want to fly up? Excellent, I'll give you the number of an excellent travel agent." If she lives that far away your mother can just not take her calls.

I think that as a daughter, your best course of action would be to push this line to your mother. My mother is in her 70s and if I thought she were going to be bullied to the point of health issues in her old age I'd be livid. I know you can't change things overnight, but you can plant a seed and tend it until it grows. I suspect your father would be willing to assist...
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: girlysprite on October 03, 2012, 04:11:08 AM
The problem is this: Grandma gave two options, either give the cremains or fly her to the memorial service at full expense. From what I read in the opening post and the followups, I get a very strong impression that grandma won't react well to a new plan, an alteration of her proposed plans or plain 'no, can't do'. And on top of that, your mother, while she has every right to say 'can't do' will actually never do so, no matter how much people here insist it's ok. Your mother is desperately looking for a way to placate grandma and keep her happy.
In that case, the solution is simple: Fly grandma over there, in the way she expects and wants to be flown and treated.

Of course, if you'd ask me 'what is the right and ok thing to do'? my answer would have been different, but to all the excellent suggestions here the reply has mostly been 'but grandma won't accept it and mother won't stand up against grandma'. And with the combination of grandma's stubborness and your mother's soft spine, that is the only solution left, isn't there?
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: scansons on October 03, 2012, 06:38:14 AM
The problem is this: Grandma gave two options, either give the cremains or fly her to the memorial service at full expense. From what I read in the opening post and the followups, I get a very strong impression that grandma won't react well to a new plan, an alteration of her proposed plans or plain 'no, can't do'. And on top of that, your mother, while she has every right to say 'can't do' will actually never do so, no matter how much people here insist it's ok. Your mother is desperately looking for a way to placate grandma and keep her happy.
In that case, the solution is simple: Fly grandma over there, in the way she expects and wants to be flown and treated.

Of course, if you'd ask me 'what is the right and ok thing to do'? my answer would have been different, but to all the excellent suggestions here the reply has mostly been 'but grandma won't accept it and mother won't stand up against grandma'. And with the combination of grandma's stubborness and your mother's soft spine, that is the only solution left, isn't there?

Short of getting Dad to steel Mom's cell phone, and kidnapp her to a fabulous spa on Fiji until after the memorial service.  You are probably right. 

No, there is no wish fulfillment in that senario for me.  Why do you ask? 
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Winterlight on October 03, 2012, 08:51:30 AM
The problem is this: Grandma gave two options, either give the cremains or fly her to the memorial service at full expense. From what I read in the opening post and the followups, I get a very strong impression that grandma won't react well to a new plan, an alteration of her proposed plans or plain 'no, can't do'. And on top of that, your mother, while she has every right to say 'can't do' will actually never do so, no matter how much people here insist it's ok. Your mother is desperately looking for a way to placate grandma and keep her happy.
In that case, the solution is simple: Fly grandma over there, in the way she expects and wants to be flown and treated.

Of course, if you'd ask me 'what is the right and ok thing to do'? my answer would have been different, but to all the excellent suggestions here the reply has mostly been 'but grandma won't accept it and mother won't stand up against grandma'. And with the combination of grandma's stubborness and your mother's soft spine, that is the only solution left, isn't there?

Agreed. Mom isn't going to stand up to Grandma. DIL isn't going to send the cremains south (and very sensibly so.) Bring Grandma up, take her to the memorial and prepare to remove her if she causes a scene. That's pretty much the only option left, unfortunately.

Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: O'Dell on October 03, 2012, 09:45:25 AM
To me the deciding factor in how to solve this is...how does grandma react when someone else puts their foot down? What consequences does that person face? And are they willing to face them?

Personally I advocate someone telling grandma how it's going to be and that it's not one of her 2 options. In my family that would work. With the few people that wouldn't accept a solution they didn't like, they'd be shut down by all the other family members. In fact, this situation would have never gotten so far in my family...DIL being next-of-kin and it being her decision would have been pointed out at the first comment from grandma. My family talks quite plainly about these matters.

Does that not happen in your family? I know some people who will not let something go if they don't get their way, and either those around them either go off on them and wash their hands of associating with them or just grin and bear it until their nerves are frayed. Is grandma one of those that won't accept anything she doesn't want and will take it out on those close to her? I can see why your family might not want to take on those consequences.

Honestly, if she's the kind of person who will not accept a no answer to her unreasonable demands and will harp on this and/or take her anger out on those around her, then I do find lying to her to be an acceptable solution. Being lied to, in the form of fake ashes, is one of the consequences that unreasonable and domineering people get.
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 03, 2012, 09:59:00 AM
I apologise that I haven't read all of the responses as this may have already been suggested.  I only have a couple of minutes and I knew if I didn't get it down now I'd forget by the time I read everything!

Is it possible for the cremains to be flown down to where your grandmother is for a memorial service ONLY?  As in, the ashes don't get scattered, it's just a service with the urn at the front of the room.  Then the ashes are flown back to the wife to have her service and scattering of the ashes.

I realise this might be completely impractical, and may not meet either woman's preference, but it was the best idea I had!

Ultimately, it is up to the wife and the grandmother will just have to live with the decision she makes.
 

It is a nice idea.  However, in this case, I think the chances are pretty high that Grandmother would either 1) scatter the ashes because she wanted to or 2) send back something other than the remains because she didn't want them scattered at all.  When you have the attitude that you are going to do what you are going to do and not apologize for appalling behavior, you get a reputation for not being trustworthy.

this was my feeling as well.  once Grandma gets her mitts on Son's cremains, she's going to do whatever she wants with them.  Son lived, with his family, up North.  that's where he belongs, where he wanted to be, and where his wife and daughter want him.  Grandma will just have to deal.

Probably should go in the inappropriate things to laugh at thread but I've been giggling all morning of with the mental image of a 60+ year old trying to pry an urn out of the hands of a 99 yr old. 
Title: Re: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)
Post by: MasterofSquirrels on October 03, 2012, 10:42:17 AM
Grandmother has a caretaker right? Is she computer savvy?

Why not do a memorial service and Skype it? Grandmother can still be there, in real time, without causing your mother the stress of her being in the room.

Obviously there would need to be some coordinating, but, I would guess, much less than flying a difficult woman and her entourage.