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Attending her grave and what to do

(102 Posts)
Motherduck Tue 26-Apr-22 14:38:31

Hello, I’m really struggling with this issue, losing sleep, causing anxiety, I need to put it to bed and have some peace as it’s really troubling me. Can I explain how it’s come about..
My 28 year old daughter died last year leaving her husband and her baby son. She has expressed her wishes and planned her funeral and her wishes have been followed completely and respectfully. Her husband kept her ashes at home for 12 months and then the ashes were interned local to where my daughter lived.
My daughter lived some distance from me and I can’t visit and do her flowers as I would like because of the distance. My daughter wanted to be there because she worried about how her husband would cope with her dying, being without her and she chose to have her ashes locally there for that reason - so thst she would be close by. She was trying to make the decision. In his interests quite rightly.
Sadly it hasn’t turned out quite the way I think she envisaged. I found initially that when I visited her grave (no grave stone yet due to delays but it’s the way it is at the moment) her little plot and the ground itself was completely barren, no flowers, plants, nothing. I was already heartbroken but to see her grave neglected broke me. Subsequently I’ve been doing the journey once weekly to do her flowers and it gives me some comfort. I’ve asked my SIL would he help me and explained the journey factor, how it hurt me to see her grave empty and the fact that he lives locally there. He told me he struggled to do that as he wants to move on and forward and going to her grave sets him back.
He is in the process of making a final decision for her gravestone at the moment. My feelings are that if he doesn’t want to visit her grave (and has indeed moved on which is another story) then why oh why couldn’t my daughter ashes have been close to me where I live? I’ve more time to tend her grave and it gives me so much comfort. I worry snd I worry about what I’m going to do when I can no longer drive and I can’t go and tend her grave where she is now? Will her grave be barren and neglected forever more? This is my worry and my hurt part is the fact that he hasn’t been, although he did buy flowers for Mothers Day and asked a relative to take them.
I do realise it’s ok to move on, I get it. But I don’t understand how it can be ok to neglect his young wife’s grave.
I also understand I can have a plot local to me and we then have somewhere local to go and leave flowers and choose a lovely headstone, somewhere for family and friends to visit locally. However, my girls other resting place, her true resting place would still remain empty unless I can drive there and leave flowers. I could ask a relative on his side of the family to do it for me but it’s awkward.
I’ve turned it round and round in my head and I want with all my heart for her to be near me, where I know she’ll have flowers but how can I ask him? It would mean I’d have to ask csn I please have her ashes? Am I wrong to even think I could ask him? What can I do.

aggie Tue 26-Apr-22 14:45:08

I do understand your wish to have your Daughters grave near or at least well tended, but I never think of my dear ones there , they are near me and I think of them everywhere not jut at the grave
Pick your favourite photo and have it on the sideboard or mantelpiece with a flower
Your SIL is grieving , maybe he can’t bear to go to the grave

Blossoming Tue 26-Apr-22 14:49:37

Condolences on the loss of your daughter. We all react differently to these things and it’s possible he may just find it too difficult and painful at the moment. I don’t think I’d ask to disinter and move your daughter’s ashes. Is there anywhere near you where you could plant a tree in memory or similar?

Motherduck Tue 26-Apr-22 14:53:15

Hello Aggie, I do, photo frame and flowers. But her grave neglected haunts me I’m afraid. It’s a respect thing too, it’s hurtful. But my point you’ve touched on that my SIL struggles to go is why I’m asking my question, would it be wrong to ask him can I have her near me instead, put bluntly if he didn’t want to go at all surely she could have been near me where I can go and tend her grave

Motherduck Tue 26-Apr-22 14:55:36

Hi yes we can do that but I worry about her grave being neglected when I can no longer drive there, it haunts me

MissAdventure Tue 26-Apr-22 14:56:38

I would ask him.
He may welcome it, for now.

Perhaps you could have the ashes at yours until such time as your son in law feels better able to face what to do with them.

aggie Tue 26-Apr-22 14:57:27

Ooh dear , it isn’t that he doesn’t want to go to the grave , it is just too painful ! Your Dear Daughter asked that she be interred where she wanted to be near him , it would be awful to move her ashes !

Hithere Tue 26-Apr-22 14:58:41

Condolences for the loss of your dd

I understand both sides - yours and your sil's

Imho, we assign value to material things and a person assigns more value than others

I believe that as long as your dd is in your heart, her memory and tomb will never be neglected

You executed her wishes and I am sure she is thankful for it.

BlueBelle Tue 26-Apr-22 14:59:31

I can understand how you feel and would be like you want her near me if she wasn’t being cared for I don’t know much about interment of ashes are they kept in the container or left loose
Could you plant wild flowers on her actual grave which hopefully would come up every year and then have a place near you with your choice of headstone and tend that in her name When my daughters partner died he was buried in his country but she chose a small stone for the children to put flowers on or visit here near where they now live The children know he’s not actually there and now as young adults they don’t visit much but its there if they want to

crazyH Tue 26-Apr-22 15:04:17

Mother duck, how sad. So young too. Thankfully, they had no children. I don’t think your son-in-law would have coped at all. He is grieving, but life being what is, he is young and will move on. It will be so hard for you. I think it will be easier to write than to talk. Put it in writing, tell him it’s going to be very difficult to visit her grave. There is no love like a mother’s love….flowers

Redhead56 Tue 26-Apr-22 15:05:50

So very sorry about your loss. You could ask for your daughter's ashes but if your SIL says no you will have to accept it. Your SIL also has the responsibility of being both parents to your GC as well as grieving his wife.
Your daughter is in your heart you have not lost her she is not abandoned. She was loved by you and she loved you she would not want you to be ill with worry.

MissAdventure Tue 26-Apr-22 15:06:38

She left a baby son.
What a hard situation to be in.

Hithere Tue 26-Apr-22 15:07:47

No, I wouldnt ask for the relocation of the ashes - just in case it wasn't clear in my reply

Motherduck Tue 26-Apr-22 15:08:38

Oh Aggie I wish that was so, he has told me that he wants to move on and he has done having met someone. I wish him well and have no judgement to make, I do understand. I’ve really tried hard to stay neutral and I’m grieving for my daughter, she died aged only 28 years of age after shoving her first baby, it’s incredibly hard. I have tried very hard to put my feelings away and maintain the relationship so that I can see my little grandson. It works. I personally feel it would be respectful of him honour his wife and leave her some flowers. He can’t. My daughter wanted to be there - for him.. for him Aggie, but he doesn’t want to know. Yes it’s his way of dealing with it, I don’t doubt it. My question is whether I’m out of order to tentatively ask, in the nicest possible way I can find, to ask him to think about whether I could possibly have her near me? I would never demand and I wouldn’t want to offend him or upset him. I already understand it’s his way as I’m grieving myself, I know all the tips for keepsakes and trees planted and memory benches, but am I out of order to approach him and talk about whether he could see his way to letting my daughter be near us instead

Motherduck Tue 26-Apr-22 15:12:09

Thank you, my daughter passed away (cancer) 6 months after her first baby had been delivered x

MissAdventure Tue 26-Apr-22 15:14:43

I'd ask.
You couldn't feel more heartbroken I'd imagine, so I would pluck up courage and broach the subject.

Jodieb Tue 26-Apr-22 15:15:39

(And has indeed moved on but that's another story) Does that mean he has another partner, now?

BlueBelle Tue 26-Apr-22 15:15:50

Please reread crazyH she left a baby son
motherduck when you say he wants to “move on and that’s another story” are you implying he’s started or wanting to start dating again if this is the case perhaps there is a valid reason to move her near you Will the baby come and stay with you as he gets older so you would be able to show him and talk to him about his mum are you worried she will be erased from his life Hopefully I m not on the right track here
Isn’t life difficult ?

MissAdventure Tue 26-Apr-22 15:17:16

He is seeing somebody new.

Hithere Tue 26-Apr-22 15:18:05


Would you consider grief therapy?

busybeejay Tue 26-Apr-22 15:19:32

I think you have to respect their wishes.Why not plants bulbs?There are bulbs for all times of year.Perhaps some rose bushes as well.There may be one of her name.A very tricky situation for you.I do sympathise.

Kate1949 Tue 26-Apr-22 15:20:28

motherduck says her SIL has met someone else.

Antonia Tue 26-Apr-22 15:21:02

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I would echo what others have said, and make the journey to plant something permanent on your daughter's grave. Possibly some daffodils which will bloom in spring, some lupins and a rose which will bloom in summer, and some autumn crocuses.
Then you will know that the grave isn't neglected at all.
Your son-in-law is grieving and to go to his wife's grave will be too hard for him to bear just now.
I hope you can find peace one day. flowers

Kupari45 Tue 26-Apr-22 15:21:17

Motherduck, it seems to me the only thing you can do is to ask him about the ashes. If he does not agree then you can do no more.
Believe me I do understand. My lovely daughter died 5 years ago leaving three children. She was 40 yrs old.
Ever since I walk a tight rope being careful what I say and do, so that I can see the children. He met someone else 6 months after her death.
So you will have to be very careful how you approach the subject with him.

Kate1949 Tue 26-Apr-22 15:21:24

You have my sympathy motherduck flowers