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Should he come to the funeral?

(30 Posts)
Mealybug Wed 30-Dec-20 11:02:23

My H has had two brain tumours and now has Lewy Body Dementia, he is bedridden and on an end of life care plan. After the second tumour in 2008 his younger brother never visited the hospital, called or asked how he was (he was given a 50/50 chance due to the first tumour). I find myself harbouring a grudge and haven't spoken to or even seen sight nor sound of him and his wife since, not for my benefit but for hubby's, they used to be close. I feel he would be a hypocrite attending the funeral when the time comes, but is it up to me to say no? I just don't want him there.

TrendyNannie6 Wed 30-Dec-20 11:17:54

Firstly I’m really sorry to hear what you are both going through, must be incredibly hard, I can totally understand where you are coming from when you say how you feel, I know lots of people find it incredibly hard to visit a loved one when they are ill, but I personally think there is no reason why they can’t call and ask about them, or send a card , it’s really sad for all as you say they were once close, if you don’t want him there, then that’s your decision, sending you a virtual hug, we went through something quite similar, and until you are in that position yourself it’s very hard to say, I couldn’t go by your post without commenting, wishing you well mealybug x

PurpleStar Wed 30-Dec-20 11:18:14

Can I start by saying how truly sorry I am for you,going through such a hard time with your DH,and for so many years.What a fighter your DH is. I know how the bitterness creeps in when family members just dont show they care.There are so many easy ways to keep in touch so there is no excuse for the brother and his wife to have not reached out to you or you DH.It is unforgivable! It has to be your choice if you want them at the inevitable funeral,would guilt eat away at you if you denied them,or would you feel ok if you didnt allow them.At the end of the day the brother has to live with his conscience and guilt! Its a hard one but only you know how you feel.It is truly an unimaginable time for anyone to be going through.I wish you well flowers

Smileless2012 Wed 30-Dec-20 12:20:03

I'm so very sorry that your DH is now receiving end of life care Mealybug, I can't begin to imagine how difficult this must be for you.

It's perfectly understandable that you bear a grudge toward your b.i.l. and in your position I too would feel it hypocritical for him to attend the funeral when the time comes.

You cannot prevent him from attending but if you still feel this way when arrangements are being made, in your position I would contact him and tell him you'd prefer it if he didn't go as you don't feel it would be appropriate, and hope that he respects your wishes.


Nonogran Wed 30-Dec-20 12:41:37

Dear Mealybug, I am so sorry to know what you & your beloved are going through at present. It's unimaginable to those of us who have never encountered such circumstances but I hope you feel Gransnet opinions can be helpful and that you have other loving support at this distressing time.
When my dad passed away many years ago, he wasn't exactly estranged from his siblings but they'd shown little interest in him during various incarcerations in hospital. I therefore didn't bother to tell them until after the cremation had taken place. Only one cousin still brings it up occasionally but I just change the subject. It has not caused estrangement in the wider family at all.
I suppose you have to ask yourself how bothered will you be if you never see or hear from the brother again if you don't tell him of your Dear One's demise? It doesn't sound as if they will bother with you if they can't be in touch with your Beloved in his hour of need so what have you got to lose? On the other hand I suppose you could let him know but be very very circumspect with him at the funeral. If it sadly transpires in the time of Covid I doubt you'll have a wake (?) so just give him a wide berth & monosyllabic if he speaks to you. He'll get the message.
I hope you'll find a way forward which will emotionally sit easy with you.

sodapop Wed 30-Dec-20 12:50:31

So sorry to hear about your husband's illness Mealybug you have my sympathy.
I understand exactly how you feel about your brother in law and his wife, its sad they didn't support your husband when he needed them.
Having said that I wouldn't make big issue about them attending the funeral I really don't think it will help you in the long term. You have given your husband love and support throughout his illness and that is the important thing. Take care.

Septimia Wed 30-Dec-20 12:59:39

As things stand at the moment, numbers attending a funeral are likely to be limited. You might want to make sure that all the people you would like to attend are included first, then if there's room your BiL could attend.

Granny23 Wed 30-Dec-20 13:18:20

If your DH dies while the Covid restrictions are in place, you will only be allowed 20 people at the funeral. DDs and I had a terrible time deciding who should be invited after 1 wife, 2 daughters, 2 SILs and 3 DGC had been counted. My sister, + Nephew, her family brought the total to 12 leaving only 8 spaces for his closest friends. We had no contact from DH's cousins while he was ill, so ignored them. In the event 2 life long friends could not come but they did attend the internment of ashes.

Perhaps you could compile a list of the 20 you would wish to be there, plus a couple of extras in case a couple cannot come, then see how far down the list BIL is. Take your time informing him of the death and tell him that the funeral will be private due to Covid restrictions. If you don't tell him where and when it is he cannot just turn up.

SueDonim Wed 30-Dec-20 13:55:33

I’m so sorry for your pain, Mealybug. What a terrible thing to have to cope with. flowers

While Covid is restricting our lives, the only in-person funeral we’ve attended was strictly by invitation only. The family gave a list of names to the undertakers. Other people wanted to pay their respects (it was locally well-known person) but they were not allowed into the service so stood outside.

Hithere Wed 30-Dec-20 14:30:38

I am afraid it is up to his brother whether he wants to attend or not, it is not up to you.

silverlining48 Wed 30-Dec-20 14:46:58

Hithere Depends if he knows where and when it is to be held and In Covid times there is a limit on numbers.

Hithere Wed 30-Dec-20 14:53:17

Of course, I agree with you

sharon103 Wed 30-Dec-20 15:04:37


As things stand at the moment, numbers attending a funeral are likely to be limited. You might want to make sure that all the people you would like to attend are included first, then if there's room your BiL could attend.

I agree Septimia

As there will be limited numbers allowed make sure the nearest and dearest to your husband can attend first.
I would certainly let your husband's brother know when he passes.
Sending love as this sad time xxx

Toadinthehole Wed 30-Dec-20 16:43:03

I’m so sorry to read your post, and pray your husband is as comfortable as possible as he approaches the end of his life. I think I would wait to see if your BIL asks to come. If he does, then you could then ask him why he wants to, and maybe talk about it. There may be things he has struggled with that you simply don’t know about. However, if you’re not satisfied with what he says, I can’t see any reason why you shouldn’t say you don’t want him there. Then if he did just turn up, he shouldn’t expect to receive a warm welcome. Also, as has been pointed out, numbers may be restricted anyway. Of course, he may not want to come, and then you have no worries. God bless?

Sparkling Sat 02-Jan-21 06:30:32

So very sorry you are going through all this. How would his brother find out when the time comes? He doesn't have to know. The funeral is your way of saying goodbye and if it upsets you, don't have him there. I think in non Covid times you cannot stop anyone attending, but you could at the moment.

mumofmadboys Sat 02-Jan-21 07:25:45

I am sorry to hear your DH is dying. I would tell your BIL when your DH dies and leave it up to him whether he comes to the funeral. It will be a difficult time anyway. Don't add to the upset by falling out with your BIL. It is simply not worth it. It is sad he hasn't visited but don't dwell on it. Just let it go.

Liljan Sat 02-Jan-21 07:40:19

I am so sorry to read of your husband’s illness Mealybug, so cruel for both of you. I also sympathise with the situation you will find yourself in. I cannot understand how someone who could not be there in the life of a loved one should have the audacity to turn up in death. The funeral is for you and those close to your husband to say a goodbye, you should be allowed to have this final day without the intrusion of those who are likely to make you feel uncomfortable or awkward. Do what you feel is right for both you and your husband and I wish you well. Xxx

FindingNemo15 Sat 02-Jan-21 08:28:58

I am of the opinion if someone cannot be bothered with me or someone when they are alive, don't bother when I/they are dead. I hate hypocrites.

tiredoldwoman Sat 02-Jan-21 09:40:34

If he appears , acknowledge him quietly . Look after yourself x flowers

Smileless2012 Sat 02-Jan-21 09:42:39

I agree FindingNemo and also agree with what you've posted Liljan that the OP and anyone facing this dilemma should be able to say goodbye without the presence of someone who would make them "feel uncomfortable or awkward".

Shropshirelass Sat 02-Jan-21 09:49:00

My DH has health issues and I don’t get on with one of my siblings at all, he has told me that he doesn’t like my DH (jealousy as he is useless and my DH was very successful). If my DH passes then I have no intention of letting him know and certainly won’t want him at his funeral. He has caused a big rift in the family. The saying that you can choose your friends but not your family is very true.

Puddelchen Sat 02-Jan-21 12:15:57

I would tell him after the funeral has taken place.

Nana49 Fri 22-Jan-21 14:51:12

I definitely think he should be given the option to go but just don't give it any more energy than he deserves,

Randa Sat 23-Jan-21 09:52:25

I’m so sorry to hear you are having to deal with this feeling towards his brother I totally understand where you are coming from especially at this time in your lives you need support and love not people making a decision to cut you off ! Unfortunately you can’t as people have already said bar them from a funeral will be different in covid of course as limited numbers . My husband and myself have both experienced this so to save our children from this we have paid for a direct cremation. Then in our will we have told them they can arrange with the church we attend a memorial service or a private ceremony either way it’s not a funeral so you can control attendance.Again I’m so sorry for you and your brave , brave husband he is lucky to have someone who cares so much ???

Smileless2012 Sat 23-Jan-21 10:02:50

That's interesting Randa I didn't know that by having a direct cremation and then a memorial or private ceremony, you can control who attends.

It's an issue for anyone who has estrangement in their family and I would like to think that if someone is asked not to attend the funeral of someone they'd estranged so had no contact with, or someone who hadn't estranged but had virtually no contact with the deceased, that they wouldn't go.