Author Topic: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)  (Read 10338 times)

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Sharnita

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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.

TootsNYC

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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.

JenJay

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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."

mj

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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.

QueenofAllThings

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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.

elephantschild

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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?
"But there was one Elephant -- a new Elephant -- an Elephant's Child--who was full of 'satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions."
-- "Just So Stories," Rudyard Kipling

artk2002

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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.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

TootsNYC

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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.

WillyNilly

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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. 

jemma

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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.


BarensMom

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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.

CakeEater

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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.

still in va

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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.

JeanFromBNA

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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.

Sharnita

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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.