Post # 1
So I just found out that FI’s grandma just died. It was pretty anticipated – she’s been in the hospital for a while now. Still, it’s a really sad situation for everyone. I’ve never had a chance to meet her, but I feel a connection with her through FI (does that even make sense?). I’m very close to his family and so I feel so sad for everyone.
My question is: what is the proper etiquette for me in this situation? I’m planning on bringing a card and a box of chocolates to his family, and then going to comfort FI in the evening (we’re in a LDR, so it’s quite a treck to see him on such short notice). Is there anything else you can suggest? I really want to be there for him and his family, I’m just not sure of what else I could do. I’ve (thankfully) never been in this situation before, so I’m quite dazed and not sure what to do to make it easier for everyone involved. Any help would be so appreciated! Thank you!
Post # 3
maybe send some flowers to the funeral too? I think a card and just being there to comfort them will be enough.
Sorry for your loss.
Post # 4
I don’t think that there is much else to do. Let them know that you can help out and leave it at that. When my mom died, I actually was kind of sick of everyone bothering me over and over with bringing things and asking if I was okay. I know that you are going to be in the family soon but it’s a time when his parents might not be as accepting of you being around (depends on your relationship with them).
Post # 5
hmm.. you bring up a really good point MissAsB, I never thought of the possibility of being overbearing. Thank you – I’ll really keep that in mind. I’m afraid I can’t actually make it to the funeral, but I’ll definitely look into sending flowers.
Post # 6
Sorry for your loss! Just a suggestion, my grandma died one month ago and it was extremely helpful that people brought food. It might be a regional thing but where I live, we had probably at least 5 people that dropped off entire meals throughout the week. It was so appreciated and I know that my family probably would have eaten take out the entire week if it were not for that. Flowers are nice but it was a little depressing to have the house filled with funeral flowers. We felt bad that we had to throw them away. If you do want to do flowers, what a couple people did, that was just as beautiful and appreciated, was to send potted type plants instead of cut flowers. For example, someone sent a yellow rose bush that we will have planted at our house. Another person sent a floral arrangement made with potted flowers that we planted lining out walkway. I think that those are a bit more practical and the same cost.
Post # 7
Sorry to hear about your loss.
Something similar happened to me last year, FI grandmother passed away. The difference was, not only had I never met her, nobody liked her. It was a really sad situation.
Even though I didn’t have to (and nobody expected me to), I went to the funeral in a show of support for FMIL. Afterwards she told me how much she appreciated me coming even though I couldn’t follow the service very well (it was in dutch with a lot of bible passages in very old dutch) and I didn’t know many people.
So if you can’t make it to the funeral, I agree with simply asking if there’s anything you can do to help and leave it at that.
Post # 8
FI’s grandfather passed away about 1.5 years ago before we were engaged (2 years in) and his grandmother died just a few months ago.
When his grandfather passed, I was in the room with his whole family at the moment he passed. We weren’t engaged but I was already kind of “part of the family.” At the funeral, I sat with the family but didn’t participate in any of the funeral rituals (Catholic church).
For his grandmothers passing, we had already given her our STD, she was “looking forward to it” and while she wasn’t feeling well it was in the middle of the night, she was alone, and it was un-expected. When FI called I was at home, I had just had some wine, and pretty much sobered up ASAP so I could drive over. This time, his family asked me to be a part of the rituals and I was very much “part of the family.”
The biggest advice I can give, is be at his side. If he needs you, be there. If he doesn’t, just be quiet and stay by him. If his mom needs you, be there for a hug. Be his rock, and read what it is he needs. It was the first time I had seen my FI cry when his grandfather died. It was the first time I saw his parents be affectionate with each other and I saw a whole new side to my new family.
Also be prepared, you may be about to meet a ton of people. They will tell you their sympathies and just be gracious, say thank you, and let the family do their thing.
Post # 9
Aw, I’m sorry for the family. I think just going there to show your support is a really nice thing to do. There’s never much you can do aside from just being there. I would bring food to your FI, since he might not have the energy/desire to cook or get food. A flower arrangement for the funeral would be nice too, if you can. But ultimately, you’re already doing what you should do.
Post # 10
When my husband’s grandfather passed last year I went with him to the service and during the service his 2 year old niece was acting up so I took her outside with me and we played. That way the family could do their thing without having to worry with the baby. His uncle had a small lunch after the service and I helped put food out and clean-up. Then we all went back to where he lived to pack his things. I helped them pack boxes and run errands.
My husband says that my being there and helping when I saw things needed done meant a lot to him and his family.
Post # 11
I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Expecting to lose someone never makes it any easier when it happens. I second the suggestion of bringing food. No one ever feels like cooking when something like this happens, and it’s a nice gesture to help out around the house and cook meals for them. Otherwise, just being there for them will help as well.