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Funeral "etiquette" in divorce situation - Quick help needed!

My dad (70) passed away & is being buried tomorrow. My mom & he were married for 21 years, then divorced 22 years ago. Since then my mom remarried (20 years ago) & my dad remarried (18 years ago). Our families have been more than friendly to each other the last 2 decades attending bday parties, weddings, funerals, etc. However, my mom feels that it's inappopriate for her to attend this funeral out of respect for my step-mom. I'm having a hard time with this. My mom's mother, sister, brother & SIL (from out of town) will be attending, and my step-mom asked my mom's sister's son (dad's nephew by marriage & also from out of town) to be a pall bearer in addition to her sons, son-in-laws. My dad's bro, SIL & grown kids (out of town & haven't seen in 20 yrs) are coming.

If you were my mom, what would you do? Would it be wrong or awkward? How to we explain to the grandkids that Granny didn't come to Grandpa's funeral?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 11:08 AM on Apr. 2, 2010 in Relationships

Answers (22)
  • My mom and dad had been divorced for almost 10 years when he died and they we're not very friendly but mom still attended his funeral. She said it was more to be there for her kids because we needed her. Maybe there is an underlying reason your mom doesn't want to attend. Sorry to hear about your father.

    Answer by Jjoneslagrange at 11:13 AM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • In many situations it wouldn't be appropriate for an ex-spouse to attend the funeral, but in the situation you have described it sounds like everyone is being an adult and your mom's presence would not disrupt anything. In fact, it might look really odd for your mom to not attend. If you feel comfortable ask your step-mom what she would prefer and let her know your mom will follow her wishes.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:14 AM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • i am sure you step mother will be okay with that i mean you mom was such a big part of his life to i think your mom shoud go im sure she is griving too!!!! i hope she goes and i am sorry for you loss

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:14 AM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • I think your mom should go even though they were divorced longer than married they still were together for a long time! And I think a reason not to go would be if the families didn't get along but they do! My parents have been divorced longer than they were married and my dad went to my moms moms funeral and same with my mom she went to my dads grandmas funeral! So IMO I think she should definitely go!

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:15 AM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • I would do what I am comfortable with. I might call the current wife/widow and ask how she feels, because you describe that everyone gets along. I would probably want to go as long as the widow is okay with me being there.

    Answer by kjrn79 at 11:17 AM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • If you are on very good terms with your step mom I think you should ask her if it would be ok for you to have your mother come. It sounds as if your mom has a good sense of things and will hold back and let the grieving widow be front and center. But it sure would be nice if your mom could pay her last respects and give her condolences to your fathers family.


    Answer by Anonymous at 11:29 AM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • Your parents were married long enough and were friendly for so long that it wouldn't be a problem for her to attend his funeral. Maybe your step-mother needs to contact her and give her a personal invite. If your mother and step-mother are friendly your mom should go to support her!! I hope everything works out tho. My thoughts are with you and your family!!

    Answer by SlapHappi at 11:44 AM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • I think your mother should go. Obviously she wouldn't sit in the "family" section up front, but she should at least be there.

    Answer by missanc at 11:55 AM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • I definitely think your mom should go. Your dad was a huge part of her life for many years and if I were the new wife, I would have NO issues with her being there. It's after all, to pay respecs to your dad and not about anyone else. I'm so sorry you lost him.

    Answer by rio_burb at 12:04 PM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • My parents were divorced & Dad had remarried for about 12 years when my Dad died. My Mom still went to the wake and funeral. She went for us, but she was also sad that my Dad passed - he was the father of her kids, then had a life together for 11 years, he was someone she still cared for on some level. If your family gets along all the better. She should go for sure, just not stand in front with his currant wife!! Sorry your Dad passed, I know how that feels!! (((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))))))


    Answer by Morgain at 12:11 PM on Apr. 2, 2010

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