Author Topic: My Grandmother, Her Son, Her Daughter, & Her Daughter-in-Law (Funeral stuff)  (Read 11973 times)

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Ticia

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Stop the fighting and the snark, please. This thread will be closed if it continues.
Utah

Iris

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<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...
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

girlysprite

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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?

scansons

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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? 

Winterlight

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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.

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To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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O'Dell

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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.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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Hmmmmm

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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. 

MasterofSquirrels

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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.