My brother just passed away. My sister-in-law and her family made all the arrangements without any input from us. My mother and I live cross country from my deceased brother so it would have been helpful to give us a little time to make travel arrangements. We were not asked if we needed a little time instead we were told when the funeral was taking place so we had to book very expensive flights with very short notice. My other brother wanted to contribute photos to any presentation that would occur and he was rebuffed by their family. He asked if there was going to be a video stream and he was told no. They communicated to us that as per tradition there would be a luncheon after the cemetery service and had me communicate that to my relatives then they turned around and withdrew the invitation saying it was for immediate family only. At first they said all were welcome to the memorial service then they said it was also private but after my vehement protest they allowed my relatives to attend. At the service there were photos and video stream pretty much exclusively of her side of the family. The coffin was a very expensive one. My wife and I ended up taking all of my relatives to a separate eatery and treated them to lunch. Sorry to ramble but all this was necessary to help you to help me answer my question.
At the conclusion of the family only luncheon the boyfriend of my sister-in-law’s sister approached my uncle and said that our family should shoulder the some of the cost of the funeral. My sister-in-law’s father is a multi-millionaire who owns several lucrative properties in NYC as well as overseas. My mom is living on social security and with savings she and my dad penny pinched all their lives to save. We are outraged and feel like neither my mom or any of us should be obligated to pay. What do you think based on all that went on? Thank you very much.
A funeral can be a minefield of unexploded emotions that lead to demands over money and control. Your brother’s family made it clear that they didn’t want any help with the funeral, then disinvited your family to the luncheon, and now they want money to defray funeral costs. If your brother’s family had needed help to pay for his funeral, they should have mentioned it before making elaborate arrangements. Since you don’t think they really need help, tell them that your family will be honoring your brother’s memory in their own way and in their own time. In memory of your brother, find a school, charity or non-profit organization that, for instance, can arrange to plant a tree or install a park bench in his name in a park, nature reserve, or fishing location where he spent time as a child. Take as long as you like to create a heartfelt expression of your family’s feelings toward your brother, and then let his wife know the specifics after it is in place.
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Accepting A Compliment