Going to funerals

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Going to funerals
9
Thu, 09-13-2012 - 11:07pm

I'm divorce and right now my exH is down in Fla seeing to some rental property he has there.  I live near Boston w/ 17 yr old DS.  So tonight while I was out exH called DS to tell him that ex's aunt died & he should go to the funeral on Sat. to "represent" him.  I assume the wake is tomorrow night but I am taking DS & his friend to a concert.  Son says "I should feel bad but I really don't since I don't even know this aunt."  I actually liked her a lot--she was the youngest of my ex MIL's sisters.  Ironically she lived very close to me but even when we were married, we might have seen my ex's extended family on Christmas and then maybe on some big occsion like a wedding.  I feel like if he cared about his aunt so much, why didn't we ever visit her or invite her over?  And if my son showed up at the funeral by himself, his dad's cousins literally would not know who he was since my ex really never even hangs out w/ his cousins--so I kind of think it's odd that he wants our son to go to the funeral.  I actually wouldn't mind going since I did know the aunt and know his cousins.  But again, I think it's more important to be visiting people when they are alive and I don't really get the point of making son go to a funeral of someone he might have met once in his life.

He also wants son to go to ex's brother & SIL's 25th anniv. party.  I can see that more since he does know his uncle & aunt.  I can also see son's side of the story of not wanting to go too.  He has no cousins his age.  He has one cousin (girl) a couple of years older who is very odd--no one has ever explained her behavior but I'd guess that she has Asperger's.  Other than that, he has a boy cousin who's 25 and who probably won't go anyway.  My DD lives out of state so she won't be around and I don't even know if his father will be back by then--I feel like if he thinks it's so important, maybe he should come home from Florida & go himself.  The party is in a hall & I don't really know what they are going to do other than have food.  I'm sure he would rather be doing things w/ his friends so personally I wouldn't make him go but it's not my family.  I am going even though I"m an ex. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Sun, 09-16-2012 - 1:12am

I know funerals are less fun than parties, but I think they are more important to the family.  And worth more than just the one point of the two points; more like 1½ of the two points. 

I also think you will have fun at the anniversary party. Please let us know. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 09-15-2012 - 7:30pm

Well we all did go to the funeral, incl. my DD who is here for the weekend.  I am glad I went because I really liked this aunt--she was the kind of person who was always smiling and friendly to everyone.  She had 5 kids and for some reason I know the oldest DD the most--maybe she's close to my age?  Like I remember running into her in the grocery store after I got divorced & having a nice chat--the youngest one, who is the only boy, wouldn't know me at all.  She seemed surprised but happy to see me.  Of course none of them know my kids at all, but whatever..they can tell their dad that they went, so it will make him happy.  But both my kids mentioned something about "if we have all these cousins, why don't we ever see them?"  Their stepmother also sat w/ us in church cause otherwise she would have sat alone--the rest of his sibs went to the funeral home first so they all came in with the processiion while we just went to the church.  They were going to the cemetery & probably the lunch later but we just went home. 

I will go to the anniv. party myself.  I mentioned to my son that he could go for a while & leave to go to a friend's house (since he can drive) but it depends if he will have other plans cause he does have to work in the day time that day.  I guess his father gave him one of those guilt speeches "well, you're 17 & you can make your own decision" where if I really wanted him to go to something that had to do with my family, I would just tell him that it was important to me for him to go.  I wouldn't pretend it was his decision if I'd be upset if he didn't make the decision I wanted him to make.  But I figure since he went to the funeral, he'll at least get 1 point out of 2.  lol  I just hope the party isn't totally boring for me if everybody else is married--with my own family I never think about that at all but somehow when I go other places where it's all couples I feel like I stick out.

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Fri, 09-14-2012 - 3:08pm
I would say go to the funeral part, but skip anything afterward. It is good to let the family know that you are still praying for their peace with the situation. As, to the other party, if his dad goes, tell him to go for a bit and you can get him later if he wants to leave.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Fri, 09-14-2012 - 1:51pm

They don’t let us use the computer at work for personal stuff, so after thinking about what you said last night I dropped into the library at lunch to drop a few lines.  Hope they help somewhat and make sense. 

When I think of funerals, I think of that old sticker on the back of the hearse that says “I’d rather be sailing!” And when they open the door to remove the casket there is a sticker on the casket that says “So would I!”

Funerals are for the living because the guest of honor is deceased.  It’s a time when the family looks at the register to see who cared enough about the family to show up.  It comforts the family of the deceased.  His dad is one of those who will be looking and be comforted.  How often does a kid get to do something for the old man that costs nothing and takes only a couple of hours? 

Funerals remind us of the brevity of life and the importance of sending ours well.  It reminds us to give “bouquets of love” while the nose of the person can still smell them . . . “cause we’re only here for a little while.” (That last quote comes from a country and western song—not sure if that is music.)

Because it’s half of your son’s family, I would also go to the anniversary gig with him.  We have these large family reunions where the SILs know nobody, but they have a good time meeting the Jerry Springer branch of the family tree.  What I don’t share with them is that there was a time when Hubby and I were charter members of that branch.  LOL.  Besides you and sonny can have a good time together.  Maybe together you can figure out the “aspe.”  Their easy to love when you get to know them.

Thank you for your kind words about my family and Rose’s family a few days ago in another thread.  We’re giving “bouquets of love” when the kids need them most . . . cause we're only here for a little while. 

Got to run!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 09-14-2012 - 11:14am

Well since the family (kids) of the woman who died do not even know my son, I doubt it will make any impact on them one way or the other.  I will probably take him to the funeral Mass since going to church for one hour will not kill him (sorry for the pun), the church is in our town, and maybe if he does this then his dad won't give him a hard time about not wanting to go to the anniv. party.  I don't know why some times he just doesn't get it that a 17 yr old might not want to hang out with a bunch of old people.  lol

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 09-14-2012 - 11:01am

It's the kind of party where we got formal invitations in the mail, so it's not like he could just bring a friend.  If it was a family party at someone's home I'm sure they wouldn't mind--he did go to his cousin's high school grad party in the summer even though he was bored at that, but it was just hanging around in his aunt & uncle's house, cookout in the yard kind of thing.

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Fri, 09-14-2012 - 9:44am
My $.02 - if it wouldn't be too uncomfortable and if your ds is entertaining it at all, maybe both of you go to the funeral, but not any lunch/dinner afterwards, thus making your son feel more comfortable, and you get to attend as well. Could be short and sweet.

The anniv party is weird to me since he has no one to hang out with, unless he could bring a gf or a friend so he'd have someone to hang out with. Otherwise I'd say no, he isn't obligated if he has no one else to hang out with.

This reminds me of ds being asked to go to Chicago over Memorial Day to go with his gf and her 2 sibs to her dad's marriage to the woman who broke up the marriage between her parents... DS didn't really want to go but neither did his gf or her sibs and gf wanted him there for moral support, so they all went together and just had fun on their own, and talked to some relatives. Awkward.