Gransnet forums


Buried with first wife

(31 Posts)
Cherrytree59 Tue 25-Jun-19 13:18:41

I have just deleted a longer post as I realised it would outing and could cause upset.
So edited version....

My friend's father would have been married to his first wife (who I knew and liked) for about 30 years and was with his partner (who I know and like) for just over 30 years.
I had a feeling that he would be buried with his first wife and recently I was proven to be right as my friend's father has now sadly died .

I understand that for the adult children their mother and father are now together and from a financial point of view they already had plot but....
I feel so sorry for his long term partner who has nursed him through his long term illness.
She has been part of the family and a grandmother to his eight grandchildren.

The grandchildren were not even born when the first wife passed away.

The grave is close to my parents grave, so I see it when I visit and for some reason I feel really uncomfortable.

I would be interested to
read other GNers thoughts.

paddyann Tue 25-Jun-19 13:21:07

can his 2nd wife arrange to be cremated and her ashes buried in his grave?

Jane10 Tue 25-Jun-19 13:21:26

Gosh. That's a really difficult one. No easy answers there. I wonder what the children and grandchildren think?

Gonegirl Tue 25-Jun-19 13:27:16

I would leave it up to her to be honest. No reason for you to feel uncomfortable when you visit your parents' grave.

paddyann's suggestion is probably the best solution but I'm sure she will decide for herself and leave her wishes.

Poppyred Tue 25-Jun-19 13:27:34

I think they would have discussed it beforehand and decided between them. Nothing for you to worry about.

Urmstongran Tue 25-Jun-19 13:30:15

Similar to our situation. My parents just missed their silver wedding as dad died from cancer aged 47y. He was cremated. Mum remarried 15y later to a lovely man. She was then 60y.

Mum died last year and her ashes are with dad’s. Her wish. And her dear second husband was fine about it.

My 2nd dad had already told mum that he wants his ashes in the family plot up in the Highlands!

Anniebach Tue 25-Jun-19 13:33:55

My mother in law is to be buried next week, her second husband was interred with his first wife , she will be interred with her first husband.

Paddyann, do you mean both women interred with the same man ?

EllanVannin Tue 25-Jun-19 13:35:51

From a financial point of view it's sometimes whatever the family can realistically afford as a separate burial is quite expensive.
As for the present situation and because my late husband had been previously married, I'd have found it quite difficult to comprehend that they be buried together. No doubt my vindictive step-son would have arranged that had he been given the chance but that never happened.

newnanny Tue 25-Jun-19 13:58:46

In the days when many woman died during childbirth a wife died and the husband often remarried quite quickly to give a mother to the children. When husband died he was added to grave of first wife and when second wife died she was also added to same grave. On holiday in Scotland when we were making our way to Orkney isle we saw a very old grave yard and all of the graves had enormous head stones on very old graves we saw several men buried with two wives and one was buried with three wives two of whom had died in childbirth. I think if you make a promise to your first partner you should keep that promise. If you are a second wife or husband and you know your spouse was married to a person who died you should discuss these things in advance so no shocks on death. If divorced from a previous spouse I can't imagine why they would be buried together.

Dinahmo Tue 25-Jun-19 14:14:06

We always remember our first love don't we? That may or not be our husband. Surely there are many differences between the love that we first feel and the love that we feel for later partners.

As I understand it, men often remarry after a relatively short interval of becoming a widower and this is because they have had a happy marriage and liked that situation. I could be wrong of course.

As regards the O/P her friend's father's widow has probably had a lovely life with her husband and has good memories to look back on.

Nannyxthree Tue 25-Jun-19 15:08:18

If a first marriage was happy, but ended prematurely through illness or accident, I think the first partner would have been pleased for the other one to have found happiness again. Therefore no reason why new partner shouldn't be with them, but I agree that is something which ought to be discussed.

trisher Tue 25-Jun-19 15:11:33

Possibly just an economic decision as he probably owned the grave where his first wife was buried and presumably then his second wife would have known this. She may already have plans to be buried there. Same would apply if this was a family grave. The only issue then would be the number already buried as there are restrictions on numbers allowed. Second wife maybe planning to be cremated and add her ashes.

Daisymae Tue 25-Jun-19 15:13:58

Reading the op it seems that they were not married, which maybe is a clue to why this has happened. However it certainly is nothing to feel uncomfortable about. It's how you live that's important.

Floradora9 Tue 25-Jun-19 15:53:33

My mother was proud of the fact that she allowed my dad to be buried with his first wife . Mum had been a wonderful step mother to his children ( ( though they were teenagers when they married ) and was much loved by his family. On researching the graves I found there were still spaces in the two family graves and I went round all his previous family asking if anyone wanted them. Nobody did . My mother was cremated which saved wondering where she should be buried. Sad really as in the same cemetry as my father my two siblings who were still born were buried with no headstones and no names .

lemongrove Tue 25-Jun-19 16:15:58

Difficult one isn’t it?
If they had discussed it, then the second wife /partner must have been ok with the burial.She may in any case, prefer, when she dies, to be cremated.She may also think it doesn't really matter.

Cherrytree59 Tue 25-Jun-19 17:32:07

Thank you all for your sensible replies.
I am sure as many posters have said it would have been discussed in private by the family.

I still feel sad that the although the couple were not married the partner her gave all to the family and I wonder if when visiting his grave it would feel that he is now with first wife and no longer her partner.

The headstone has not been replaced as yet.

All my side of the family have had burials whereas on DH's side cremation is the norm.
I am now thinking that cremation may be the simplest option if there are family dynmics to navigated.

Cherrytree59 Tue 25-Jun-19 17:34:39

Gave her all!

sodapop Tue 25-Jun-19 17:35:45

I think trisher is quite probably right, an economic decision. The second partner may well have been aware of what would happen and is comfortable with it.
I definitely would not want to be with my first husband in perpetuity and I'm sure he feels the same way about me.

crazyH Tue 25-Jun-19 17:45:44

It's all so sad . I will be buried on my own, in my own grave.....I am divorced, parents' graves are abroad. I still haven't decided whether I want to be buried or have my ashes scattered. I know a couple of friends, who hardly visit their loved one's graves.

Nanabilly Tue 25-Jun-19 18:41:20

My mil was buried with her two husband's and a tiny baby who was born with cancer and also the cremated remains of a bil who committed suicide. Needless to say it is now closed for anymore.
I can't see any problem with it .

Tedber Tue 25-Jun-19 19:05:30

Very emotive subject and no right and wrong answers. I know you are upset Cherry Tree but is the second wife as upset?

People's 'beliefs' play a huge amount in burials. For instance some people don't believe the person is still 'there' in the ground but around them all the time. Some don't feel they are there at all. Some feel they simply HAVE to be buried with their loved ones and others feel cremation is their choice.

My wonderful 89 year old mum died this year and, on her wishes, she was cremated but I haven't been able to part with her ashes. I still have them on display in my lounge. Many people may find this very odd - even macabre? But it brings me comfort and every day I speak to her. I feel that having her here is what I need.

Sometimes you just have to go along with what people find comfort in rather than what you think is right.

Septimia Tue 25-Jun-19 19:11:33

Quite a few in our churchyard where the husband and wife are in separate graves some distance apart. In some cases the surviving spouse remarried and might therefore be joined by their second spouse in due course. It would seem that it's a matter of personal preference and as long as it's all agreed and aboveboard it's their decision.

My father always said he didn't like the churchyard - the trees made it dark. He was cremated and my mum kept his ashes. She and I talked about what she wanted - cremation and both sets of ashes in the churchyard. When I pointed out that Dad didn't want to be there, her response was "He'll be alright with me, dear!" So that's what we did.

Loislovesstewie Mon 01-Jul-19 18:48:20

My dad was buried with my mum, his first wife. The vicar of the church where the burial took place told his second wife, my stspmother, that she could be buried in the same grave when the time came. She was cremated and buried with them both. I think it was really sweet that they were all able to be together. And very sweet of the vicar to suggest it. I'm not religious but it just seemed a very understanding thought on his part.

fizzers Mon 01-Jul-19 19:27:26

my late father's mother was buried next to both of her husbands, seems it was and is, quite common

theretheredear Sat 12-Oct-19 16:14:43

When my dear mother died quite unexpectedly, we didn't really know what to do, dad died abroad & he was cremated, burials seem such a drama & graves very unnecessary, mum always said no one will know who i am in 60 yrs, i feel like that now!
We cremated mum, kept both parents ashes, not sure why..
Cremation for me, when your gone ,who cares..