Anonymous asked in Family & RelationshipsMarriage & Divorce · 1 month ago

Do I need to attend an in-law’s memorial service when I attended the funeral?

My wife’s mother recently passed away. We had a beautiful funeral service for her. At the funeral my wife’s father said that next summer, he would like to do a remembrance/memorial service in the town where his wife grew up so that his late wife’s sisters and other family members can attend. It is a very large family. COVID-19 and the fact that it is a six hour drive for them to come were the reasons that my wife’s mother’s family did not come and are the reasons that my wife’s father wants to do the service in my wife’s hometown next summer. This will be at least a two-day affair. My wife, her brothers, and sisters  privately complained a bit that their dad is perhaps being too accommodating to their mom’s family who haven’t exactly made the best efforts to do things for my wife’s mother if it meant having to leave the state. In other words, you have to go to them, they don’t come to you. My question is, since I have already attended the funeral, and I wouldn’t have missed it, do I have to attend the memorial service next summer too? I am planning on giving my wife the option of leaving our kids home with me when she goes. Odds  are she will want to take the kids, but is my attendance required?

5 Answers

  • Merry
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    Give them all time and wait and see if the memorial service actually takes place.

    In the moment her husband has made a loose statement & plan for next summer. 

    It's one thing to suggest it.... another to actually make it happen. 

    IF it does take place the person you really need to check in with is your wife. 

    You attended the funeral so unless your wife really wants you to attend, there is a bit of leeway to get out of attending the memorial.... give it time & step gently. 

  • 1 month ago

    Probably not REQUIRED but go anyway. If your wife desires to attend. This is your wife's family. That makes them your family too. Next summer we might not be so in the grip of this disease and times could be, socially distanced, much better by then. Also, hotel rooms can be cancelled within 48 hours in even the most strict hotels. If you're going to fly, you've 5 months yet to book it. Please get used to the idea that you're attending a family reunion of your wife's matronage family. You can change your mind about NOT going later. In the meantime, plan to attend with your spouse and family. Your wife's siblings sound bitter... which happens a lot after a death in the family and a funeral but those bitter feelings usually dissipate with a little time and distance. Grief becomes a personal feeling and less a blame and finger pointing exercise. Your children and your wife might not see much of their family anymore after the death of THEIR sibling. It's good for kids to feel they belong to a tribe. How often have you all gone and visited this side of her family?  If it might be the last time? Go. My siblings and I are all in our senior years and we still talk and laugh and muse over family reunions we all attended 50 years ago and which neither of my brothers have ever attended again. But we did all share those childhood experiences of aunts and uncles and cousins and linage. 

  • Joy
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    This is about honoring your mother-in-law's memory and how she made a difference to your lives and brought joy to her family.  If she is not worth, at least, that, then stick to all your excuses of not wanting to go.

  • drip
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Dad may change his mind by next year. 

    No need for you to decide now either. And who knows what the virus situation will be.

    Your wife may need your support. It can bring back all the emotions of her mom just dying all over again.  I think you should go.  But wait until next year to talk about it with your wife. I would at least offer to go with her, let her decide. 

    My good friend’s husband died earlier this year. They did a private family service.  And planned a public service in November.  There is no talk of it now. I personally think they won’t do one at any time in the future. 

    Her dad just needs to grieve now. Not make plans for next year. Don’t discuss it now with him. 

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  • T J
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Your wife, and siblings, need to talk dad out of this, but give him time to get over her lose first. There is no real reason for him to do this at all. If they could not come when she died, they did not want to. I have had family come from the other side of the country for a funeral, they all made it from many states, because they wanted to. tell that to your wife, she needs to talk this over with her siblings, and talk dad out of this...but no, you do not have to go. Do not do what you do not want to do. Its a waste of time and money for what?

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