Post # 1
I just found out that my aunt-in-law (do people really use that term) has died and we’re trying to make arrangements for both of us to attend the funeral on Friday.
I feel like I’m still meeting the extended family and only know the closer ones, and I’m really nervous about going. I’m not incredibly comfortable going to a funeral of a woman I’ve only met once. it’s a lot of trouble, from my point of view, with airfare and time away from work, but then again this something we do now that we’re family. We’ve been married – oh my, Friday will be our 2-month anniversary.
Has anyone been in a similar situation? Any advice?
I know it’s not about me (duh) but I’m really nervous. I think this is one of those regional things, like so many things on these bards — I’ve never been to a funeral in this part of the country.
Post # 3
Aww, I’m sorry that you had a death in the family so close to your wedding. I understand that since you weren’t close to the deceased, you prolly are not feeling a great loss. But, I think it’s wonderful that you are able to go and support your husband and his family during what must be a difficult time for them. You’re right – you are family now, so it’s your job to be there for them when they need you.
I wouldn’t worry about doing or saying the wrong thing. Obviously the focus will be on your husband’s aunt and the life she lived. In my experience, funerals are not etiquette-obsessed events like weddings. Just go with the flow, stick close to your hubby, and you’ll be fine. In fact, I’m sure the extended family will appreciate the fact that you are there supporting the family.
In what region is the funeral? Maybe somebody on the boards could help you know what to expect…
Post # 4
I wish I could get my hubby to respond to your post since he would have a better perspective since we just went through this. My grandmother (age 93) passed away 2.5 weeks after our wedding. He had met her once before and since we had a small wedding hadn’t really met our extended family (since our hometown reception hasn’t occured yet). Added to that my family asked him to be a pallbearer.
I echo what linzella mentioned above about concerns over doing or saying the wrong thing. I know my family was all really excited to meet my husband, even in spite of the circumstances and weren’t the least bit offended that he had no hopes of keeping all their names straight. There will probably be people there that even your husband won’t know. Just stick close to him and the family members you know and feel comfortable around and greet the people they introduce you to.
There were over 300 people that came through the night of the visitation…it was a long night for both of us but honestly it meant so much to me just to have him there beside me. It didn’t matter what he said, or who he knew. I knew that even though it was an uncomfortable situation for him he was there purely to support me….and that’s why I love him so much. So, I’m sure your husband will be somewhat the same way.
What part of the country is it in?
Post # 5
Thanks guys. We’ll be going to Philadelphia and the family there is very Italian. All the funerals I’ve been to have been in the South, where all the church ladies bring food and everyone tells stories to remember the person. I’m a little worried that this won’t feel as celebratory and I know my MIL is really upset — essentially that’s why we’re going is to support her. But I could be proved wrong.
I was also nervous about asking for a day off work for my brand new aunt-in-law but thankfully my boss this morning is really supportive.
Post # 6
Bring food, that’s the safest way to be polite. I think thta’s a general rule of thumb. I wish I had some advice, so good luck. I’d have probably found a way to not go, knowing how much trouble I have at funerals in general, seeing as how we never had one for my younger brother. Just you being there says a lot, though.
Post # 7
@ mary-alice-me – you just cracked me up "All the funerals I’ve been to have been in the South, where all the church ladies bring food..". As a southerner I assumed this was "normal" until a few years ago when a tragedy struck one of our southern offices and we lost an entire family unit at once. All the executives flew down from "up north". They were floored by all the church ladies bringing food, even to our office. They still bring it up when we host an event in the South, "remember when all those nice ladies brought up glass dishses of food and containers of sweetened tea".
You’ll be just fine…we’ll be sending you prayers and good thoughts.
Post # 8
I would just remember you are there to support your husband first, and then the other members of his family you are close with. I have been to many (unfortunately) funerals with my fiance (then boyfriend) and they are never an easy thing to be a part of — just be sure you are supporting him in every way possible. I’m glad your boss was supportive – best wishes.