Funeral Etiquette

Funeral Etiquette

by Dee
(New York)

My husband and I are second marriages.
He has adult children I never had any. I know his daughter is considered immediate family even if it's by marriage but she has not been acknowledged as part of the family by certain members.
With the recent passing of a close relative it was said she would not be welcomed to the services being held.
I told the family member like it or not my husband's daughter is part of this family. How do I respect the wishes of the bereaved if she is not welcomed to attend the service?

Aug 31, 2011
Funeral Etiquette
by: Wendy (Modern Manners and Etiquette)

Thank you for your question.

I am sorry to hear of the passing of your family member. It is a difficult time when a loved one passes.

I am also sorry to hear of your dilemma. It is hard to understand why family members are excluded during times of loss and difficulty.

Unfortunately there is not an easy answer for your question. There wasn't a reason given as to why she would not be welcomed other than she is your husband's daughter. I have to wonder if there is not something deeper that hasn't been verbalized. Is it that she may have not had a relationship with the family member that has passed?

It is a good thing that you stood up for her in the way that you did. Coming into a family is very difficult and having someone who wants you there helps, especially in situations like this.

As I see it, you have a few options here:
1. You respect their wishes and attend the services without her.
2. You speak to them and let them know that she is coming and that you do not want to cause problems, however she is a part of the family and would like to be there.

At the end of the day it is about communicating what is truly in your heart. Funerals are a time to honor the family member who has passed.

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