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AIBU

AIBU to expect my stepsons to be allocated a place at my Father’s funeral

(28 Posts)
Mamma66 Sat 10-Oct-20 16:33:01

I have been married for ten years and we have been together for eleven years. My husband has four children, all adult. Two of the boys have lived with us off and on and I have a good relationship, especially with the youngest, although we have had our ups and downs over the years. My lovely father died yesterday and my brothers and I are trying to sort out the funeral arrangements. Currently 30 people are allowed. We have discussed it so far and said the three of us children and our partners (ex partner in the case of my younger brother). The six grandchildren, a representative or two from my Dad’s side of the family, the same from my late Mum’s side of the family and Dad’s closest friends. My husband has asked if the two of his sons who have lived with us can come. I think this quite reasonable but my younger brother has vetoed this and said cousins etc should be given priority. I feel a bit miffed. I appreciate that we are going through a hard time, but feel my younger brother is being unfair (especially as his ex wife will be attending - which I don’t mind at all). AIBU?

Mamardoit Sat 10-Oct-20 16:55:14

That's a really difficult one. If I'm honest I would say blood relatives in the same generation as you and your brothers do come before step grandchildren.

Spinnaker Sat 10-Oct-20 16:58:19

I was just tapping out the same as Marmardoit when the post popped up. Agree blood relatives should take precedence.

Smileless2012 Sat 10-Oct-20 16:58:55

I think Mamardoit is right Mamma, perhaps your step sons could send flowers.

Corryanna Sat 10-Oct-20 17:01:32

Firstly Mama66, sorry to hear that your father died yesterday, it’s difficult and sad anytime, but more so right now.
This is an awkward situation but if I had to decide I’d agree with you. Did your Dad see much of his step-grandson and how often did the cousins see your Dad? I’m presuming you have more than one brother - could you ask what they thought? I’m sure this can be sorted out, maybe when your younger brother has a think about this, he will be go along with your wishes, he is grieving right now and hitting out. HTH.

lemsip Sat 10-Oct-20 17:08:54

hard as it is for you, I'm with your brother, cousins come first as they are blood line to your father...... Sadly it's a numbers thing ..... Your stepsons are adults so will understand, so don't feel bad for them!

LauraNorder Sat 10-Oct-20 17:10:39

Mamma66 I'm sorry for your sad loss. What awful decisions have to be made at the moment.
I think I'd base the decision on how close the stepsons were to your father compared to how close the cousins were.
Who would your father have chosen?
If your stepsons have to miss out perhaps you could offer them a little gathering in the garden at home later as a memorial, maybe scatter some poppy seeds.

Summerlove Sat 10-Oct-20 17:11:31

I hate “blood comes first” stuff. As someone who was adopted I’d be left out everything

Mamardoit Sat 10-Oct-20 17:18:44

Of course I wasn't saying adopted children etc are not the same as blood relatives. But step relatives are not as close. The father will have known his nephews and nieces since their birth. It is unlikely the same is true of his step grandchildren.

Bibbity Sat 10-Oct-20 17:20:19

How close were they?
How often did they visit or call?

Callistemon Sat 10-Oct-20 17:22:16

I'm sorry for your loss, Mamma66

An adopted child is rather different to a step child, unless they have been brought up from a very young age.

That being said, how close were your step sons to your father?
If they regarded him as their grandfather and were very close then they could be closer than cousins were.

DH went to a funeral of a friend a couple of weeks ago and only 30 were allowed in a church which is the size of a cathedral. About five people, including him, had to stand outside and two-thirds of the church remained empty.

I can understand the need for rules but sometimes some discretion is needed.
That wasnt much help, sorry, but I do feel for you.

Callistemon Sat 10-Oct-20 17:24:19

The father will have known his nephews and nieces since their birth.

I think they are cousins - so I'm wondering whose cousins?

PECS Sat 10-Oct-20 17:26:40

Condolences on the death of your father. If the "blood" relatives were close to your father then I agree in they should be able to attend. If your stepsons had developed a close relationship with your dad I can appreciate how hard it is. But tough times atm.
My DH could not attend his brother in.law's funeral..at the time still 15 only..DH was only 6 when his sister married and so BiL was a key figure in his life.. but 4 children, partners & DGC & DHs sister made 12 so SiL decided that was it as once she went to next layer it got complicated. We understood. The funeral was live streamed so we sat with a glass of wine and toasted a long life well lived.

Summerlove Sat 10-Oct-20 17:27:19

Mamardoit

Of course I wasn't saying adopted children etc are not the same as blood relatives. But step relatives are not as close. The father will have known his nephews and nieces since their birth. It is unlikely the same is true of his step grandchildren.

Blood doesn’t mean a relationship is closer though.

My uncle remarried, I’m far closer to “step” aunt than I ever was to his first wife, who was my aunt until I was in my 20s.

Relationships aren’t built on where you sit on a family tree

Mamardoit Sat 10-Oct-20 17:45:02

Summerlove......I just gave my opinion in reply to the OP. If your opinion is different that's fine.

In the end the three adult children will have to decide.

BlueBelle Sat 10-Oct-20 17:50:07

I m so sorry for the death of your Dad 💐
I think a lot depends on the relationship of your Dad with the grandchildren My first thought was blood relatives but thinking a bit deeper if your dad was very close with the step boys and not with the cousins that wouldn’t seem right All I would say it’s not worth a family rift over it and if they don’t go can you think of an innovative way that they could be part of it video or zoom or something

Nannarose Sat 10-Oct-20 17:56:09

I am so sorry you are in this situation. Some people feel more strongly about 'official' relations than others. However, in such strange times, we have to make allowances.
You are not being unreasonable, I don't know if your brother is.
But I do know, in the long run, that you will feel better if you step back. Say to your stepsons that you are so sorry, but you brother's grief may be making him less thoughtful. Ask them to understand, and send some token, letter or something to mark their relationship.
If you get upset about this, you will focus on it instead of grieving properly (this may be what your brother is doing). I hope, that whatever is decided, you can lay your father to rest in a way that helps you and your family through this.

fevertree Sat 10-Oct-20 19:27:08

Mamma66 condolences on the death of your father. We recently attended a cremation service which was live-streamed so that more than 30 people could participate. I thought it worked really well, the pastor who led the service welcomed those who were watching, and made a point of speaking directly to them more than once during the service.

Is this perhaps a possibility and a way around this problem?

Kind regards and flowers

fevertree Sat 10-Oct-20 19:29:33

I meant to add, a link with joining instructions was sent out beforehand by the Chapel.

Cabbie21 Sat 10-Oct-20 19:48:41

Callistemon, there are very strict rules about funerals, both in crematoria and in churches. Discretion is only possible as far as the grouping of seats is concerned.
To the OP. There will always be people who want to come but can’t. Maybe some of the invitees won’t be able to get there and their places could become free?

Mamma66 Sat 10-Oct-20 19:53:07

Thank you for your comments. I deliberately didn’t respond to my brother until I had time to reflect.

My stepsons saw my Dad regularly and the youngest saw him as a grandfather as he has no relationship with his biological mother or her family. Perhaps the compromise may be to ask if one of the boys could attend. The cousins my brother is prioritising are actually the children of my late Mother’s cousins. Now is the time to be kind I guess

Chardy Sat 10-Oct-20 20:00:57

I only have 3 cousins, and I'm not sure I'd recognise any of them. So it's those who were closest to the deceased regardless of blood gets my vote.
The tough bit is someone who's not known them a lifetime, but who's been very supportive in the last year or so (eg visiting an older person since they've been incapacitated or not been going out, or helping with shopping, dr's visits etc)

BlueBelle Sat 10-Oct-20 20:05:04

So the cousins aren’t related to your Dad at all, am I right ?
Well in that case I would prioritise your step kids but if it would cause trouble maybe not worth it ....only you know that
Good luck which ever way it goes don’t let it spoil your Dads funeral

Callistemon Sat 10-Oct-20 20:14:36

Cabbie21

*Callistemon*, there are very strict rules about funerals, both in crematoria and in churches. Discretion is only possible as far as the grouping of seats is concerned.
To the OP. There will always be people who want to come but can’t. Maybe some of the invitees won’t be able to get there and their places could become free?

I do know that, Cabbie, of course.

I am questioning the rules that would allow 30 people into a tiny chapel but not 35 in a cathedral sized church.

The funeral directors are professionals with common sense and discretion - perhaps allowing 5 elderly people to sit in the last 5 rows of the church, 10 metres apart and 15 metres from those distances at the front is not against the rules of common sense.

Callistemon Sat 10-Oct-20 20:17:49

What a dilemma.
After your subsequent post, I think your stepsons should have priority unless your mother's 1st cousins once removed were exceptionally close to your father, eg, a godchild.