General Etiquette > Family and Children

How to be polite to Step mother (Long, sorry)

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*inviteseller:
<BG>As I have said before, my father is terminally ill.  He has gone downhill very quickly in the last week and we are measuring his time in days now instead of weeks.  Today the funeral director came to the house to get everything set for after he passes.  My sister sat in the meeting with my dad (who is as mentally sharp today as he was 20 years ago) and my step mother (who has lost her marbles). <end BG>
 So my sister calls me after the meeting and is about ready to explode.  When they were setting up his obituary, the FD said "So we are going to list your kids first, then the step kids?"  My dad went 'umm well" and step mother said "No!  They are ALL HIS KIDS!" (she was yelling).  So her kids, 4 of 6 of them who have nothing to do with either their mother or my step mother, are going to be listed as his kids, and the 6th kid is (ready for this) a child she gave up for adoption at birth and she did not meet again until 10 years ago..this girl, while nice, doesn't call her mom and their only interaction is a call on my SM's birthday and Christmas!!!!  My 2 older step brothers have nothing to do with them and she has not seen one in over 15 years and has seen the other once in the last 18 years.  My 2 step sisters only show up if they are getting a meal paid for but they only do the obligatory birthday & Christmas calls.  My one step sister hasn't come to visit from out of state in 3 years since my SM quit cooking holiday meals , and the other one who lives an hour away hasn't come since Thanksgiving 3 years ago.  All have kids who do not keep in touch with the grandparents.  The only one who deserves to be listed is my step brother who is as much involved in taking care of them as my sister and I.  So, as it stands, 3 step siblings that do nothing, even call, will be listed before my brother and sister, and I am dead last past everyone because they are going by age.  And, it was decided they are going to just put a number for grand kids..my father is extremely close to both of my girls and they to him and have been with him through all these hard times.  He absolutely lights up when they walk in, but nope because if they are listed, the step grand kids, who do not ever speak to them, have to be listed.  And the kicker...he was not going to say predeceased by my mother, his parents, or his brother!  My sister made him put that in, along with where memorial donations could be made to (he didn't know what to do with that so my sister got him to put in the VFW and the local fire department.

So, thanks for making that through...here's the question.  We are spending a lot of time with him, of course and her.  How do I politely deflect or ignore anything that will be said (and it will be) about how the obituary is written????  I plan on just saying "Oh" and "uh huh" but she is like a dog with a bone and will keep hammering at it, in her martyr tone of how all the children should be together blah blah blah.  It is going to be hard to bite my tongue, with emotions running so high.  I have told her in the past that I have no respect for 2 of my step brothers and my 1 step sister, very little for other step sister and she pushed at me (including showing up at my house uninvited) the daughter she had given away.  These people  have made it very clear I am nothing to them (step brother told his co workers, who I know and I am friends with that, I was not his sister and I was nothing to him) and they are nothing to me.  There is no animosity between me and them, other than my step sisters husband who repeatedly tried to grope me when I was a teenager, but this has hurt my sister and I's feelings.  Help me come up with something to deflect her without upsetting my father. 
Oh, and the icing on the cake??  She told me on Monday when I was there that after my dad passes, she will need my sister and I more than ever and she knows that we are the only ones she can count on to help!!!!

cwm:
(((hugs)))

Is there any way you can have the funeral director mention "Stepchildren John, Jack, Ruth, David, and children Sally, Ellen, and inviteseller."? Separate them, in a way? Because unless he adopted them, they're not all his kids. Not in the least bit, regardless of what your SM has to say.

Grandkids it gets a bit iffy, IMO. My great grandpa was closest to my sister and me (great grandkids) and my niece (great great granddaughter), we visited him all the time, but because he had something on par with 20 grandkids and 30 great grandkids, it wouldn't have been possible to name them all.

If you want to deflect SM, just look at her calmly whenever she has some weird suggestion or something that's upsetting you and say, "Why don't we ask dad what he wants? Dad, how do you feel about this?" I mean, it is his memorial.

And as for after the passing whenever she calls you with her needing you and you being the only ones to help, just remember the phrase "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

WillyNilly:
Can't you just write your own obituary and submit it? Either to the same paper, or to another paper?

And why do the names have to be in age order? Is that a rule? I understand your stepmother wanting her kids listed too (regardless of the current relationships) but who set the rule about "age order"?

TurtleDove:

--- Quote from: *inviteseller on August 29, 2013, 03:12:11 PM ---My sister sat in the meeting with my dad (who is as mentally sharp today as he was 20 years ago) and my step mother (who has lost her marbles).
--- End quote ---

I would simply have your father decide how he wants his obituary to read and go happily with his decision.  I would ask him ASAP how he would like it to read, perhaps suggest some wording that would be okay with you.

Poppea:

--- Quote from: WillyNilly on August 29, 2013, 03:25:54 PM ---Can't you just write your own obituary and submit it? Either to the same paper, or to another paper?

And why do the names have to be in age order? Is that a rule? I understand your stepmother wanting her kids listed too (regardless of the current relationships) but who set the rule about "age order"?

--- End quote ---

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