(Closed) Fiance's mother has passed away. Funeral while I'm away for work. Wtf do I do?!

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 61
1789 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - California

I am so sorry for your loss. For whatever it’s worth, my immediate thought on this was that if it would be possible to still make part of the trip, it does not seem like a bad idea to do so if your Fiance would be OK with it. You being there for him isn’t necessarily about being there on specific days following the funeral but about you just generally continuing to be a loving partner. Clearly, as others have mentioned, his grief will be ongoing and will likely never really end. It’s not crazy to think practically about work logistics while also thinking about your fiance. I have seen people go through the loss of in-laws at various jobs I have had and to be honest they have not dropped everything work-related for an entire week. I think it would be fine if they did, don’t get me wrong! But for many people it would not be necessary nor desired by their partner. I don’t think either choice means they were being insensitive or not being there for their loved ones.

Post # 62
13905 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I didn’t read any of the responses, but man, I would never miss my MIL’s funeral for work stuff.  There is always someone who can pinch-hit for you.  

Talk to your chain of command to see who can cover for you.  I guarantee your supervisors won’t fault you for wanting to attend the funeral instead of a work event. 

Post # 63
78 posts
Worker bee

Oh gosh I am so sorry for your loss. My step dad passed away shortly after a cancer diagnosis and those first couple weeks were horrible. I can’t even imagine how much worse it would be if my husband went on a business trip during that time. Personally it wouldn’t even cross my mind to go for even a second in your case. A situation like this is when your coworkers just need to step in and figure it out while you tend to more important matters. I needed my hisband by my side 100% and tbh I would seriously question our relationship if he had even asked about a business trip at that point. Work is never more important. Hard no from me.

Post # 64
772 posts
Busy bee

I honestly don’t even understand why this would even be a question, but I guess I prioritize family more than my job. 🙄

Post # 65
382 posts
Helper bee

Why is Crusty Old Bee being so crusty? Stop being so rude to the OP— she’s asking a ligit question and hoping for some mature and hopefully thoughtful responses. I understand that of course Mother-In-Law funeral and fiancé is and should be priority. Op never said they weren’t her priority. Op never said that her death is an incomvience. From my understanding she’s just trying to figure out how to literally balance her life and roles as a woman. 

To the people that are telling her that if she can’t take the week off to just quit her job— seriously? Are you ladies like 14 or something? Are you going to support her financially? You don’t know if this is her career and livlyhood on the line here. Just because a traumatic life event occurs doesn’t mean you should just throw away years of work. Yes, go to the funeral if you can and make every single effort to be there. If you can’t, then you did all you could.  Yes support fiancé. But I don’t think Mother-In-Law would want them to be financially struggling if she got fired or quit over this— no one knows their finances or who they have to support. 

Post # 68
5131 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
anonabus :  I think you’ve come up with a good plan, and I’m sorry that you have not only your MIL’s death to deal with, but a scheduling and logistical nightmare as well. 

Post # 69
382 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
anonabus :  you’re welcome! I’m glad you’re able to work it out and I’m so sorry for you loss and that your fiancé won’t physically have his mom at his wedding. She’ll always be with you in your heart. 

Post # 70
1272 posts
Bumble bee

I think the issue is that in the first post of this thread it sounds like OP is asking whether to go in the work trip or go to the funeral – which is why all the posts are saying it’s a no brainer – go to the funeral. It’s not until the updates that the OP mentions going on some of the trip, and that she definitely would not miss the funeral  

A lot of people only read the first post before replying so thats why there are so many harsh comments. If OP truly was debating missing the funeral due to work, it makes sense why the comments would be harsh. Family should come first. 

Anyway, sounds like you have a plan OP, so I dont really have any further advice. 

Post # 71
876 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
anonabus :  I typed a response earlier quickly, while traveling. But I had some follow up questions.

Is your Fiance responsible at all for helping make your MIL’s final arrangements? Did she have a plan in place, burial plots, or directives for when she passed? For me, the day of the funeral was hard, but the days immediately after were extraordinarily difficult. So the post-funeral days would be *my* preference. I really like your plan of flying out to get things started with your work obligations, and then flying home for the funeral and staying home after to work and troubleshoot your replacement’s needs. In my experience, the immediate aftermath between death and funeral feels like a whirlwind and you feel like you are in shock and go on ‘autopilot.’ Something to consider, though, is whether or not your Fiance as her son has funeral related duties leading up to the burial.

If your Fiance has to do things like select coffins, sign contracts, create posters and compile digital photos for viewings, greet guests at a viewing prior to the funeral, the “leading up to” the pre-funeral days might be harder for him. I’m not sure if viewings are something that the family would be planning, but those are hard hours, too. It sounds like that planning is taken care of by someone other than your Fiance, though.

Would you be able to carefully navigate a second conversation with him expressing the decision you made by saying something along the lines of, “I will be flying out for work, but only for a few days. I was planning to go during time “y” (y being whichever you feel is the best balance – “during the pre-funeral arrangements” or “during the period immediately after the funeral for a few days to make sure things are handled at work”), ‘would you prefer I be here during period x, instead?”

 I think making a decision FOR him verbally is a good idea when you two discuss the topic again, so that you can potentially read his reactions or trigger feedback from him.  As long as it is followed with, “would you like me to do __ instead?”  It will help him pretend everything is status quo if he wants to. And, by phrasing the conversation as a decision (“I decided to do x, would you prefer y?”) he might be able to give you a little feedback when you give him the opportunity to realize that something about that plan feels bad, or that everything is ok and that he doesn’t need you at that time *yet.*

My DH is facing his grandparent’s passing, soon, and I have been struggling with understanding just how will be best to support him. I have experienced several very close, painful losses but this will be the first, for him. So I empathize with your inner conflict. Hopefully, you will grow closer together through supporting him during this difficult time. Since you work in the nonprofit sector, I’m sure you have a big heart. It can be hard when that heart is pulled in so many directions, and you have a strong work ethic to make your decisions harder.


Post # 72
753 posts
Busy bee

Your first post makes it clear that you were actually considering not attending the funeral…that’s why everyone came down harshly on it. Then in your updates suddenly you wouldn’t consider missing it, you can go for part of the work trip, etc.

Post # 73
10358 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

Closing for review

The topic ‘Fiance's mother has passed away. Funeral while I'm away for work. Wtf do I do?!’ is closed to new replies.

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