Go Back   Friends and Family Forum > The Family Forum > Step-families

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old June 13th, 2018, 06:50 PM
PeeWeeMomOf3's Avatar
PeeWeeMomOf3 PeeWeeMomOf3 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SouthEasternUSA
Posts: 192
PeeWeeMomOf3 will become famous soon enough
Unhappy Were We Snubbed at StepFiL's Funeral?

Our family recently experienced the death of my husband’s step-father. When they married, my Step-Father-in-Law (SFIL) had 3 adult children, all adult/independent, and one dependent pre-teen child. My Mother-in-Law (MiL), also had 4 children, all of whom were independent adults when they married. MiL adopted SFiL’s minor child, and they had a typical, loving mother-child relationship. They had been married for over 28 years when MiL died in 2016. Overall, the big, blended family did well. I believe my MiL was very instrumental in being the ambassador of blending 😊and it became apparent that FiL could sometimes show favoritism toward certain biological children and grandchildren (and be somewhat excluding toward others, even of his bio-children and grands). MiL seemed to try to be very fair toward all. I felt like we were particularly close to MiL & FiL because they were in pastoral ministry and so are we – in fact, when we were young and had not been married very long, and first felt some kind of ministry “calling”, we did relocate (to their state) to help FiL with a “church plant” for 2.5 years, where we worked under his guidance in various positions in the church, before we moved back (to our home state) again for my husband to go thru ministry training and education. They taught us so much. Years later FiL asked my husband to take his pastoral position at his church when he began to prepare for retirement, but that was not the direction we felt led to go in and so we graciously declined. For years whenever FiL visited us and we visited them, each man would guest preach in the other’s church, including doing special services. FiL’s 2nd son, who became his caregiver when MiL died, was with them at our ministry graduation, and I had always felt there was a mutual support, affection, and respect among us all. It seemed like it.

FiL had a long slow decline in health over the years; MiL was his caregiver when she died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 2016. FiL had some episodes of dementia and confusion, mainly due prescribed medicine interacting and causing mental disorientation, which included him making some unfounded claims toward family and medical professionals, which were immediately debunked, and the medicines adjusted or stopped. One Thanksgiving he claimed that MiL was mistreating him; and this was escalated by a histrionic SiL who was visiting and clueless when it came to aging people, and dementia and drug interactions. Very soon this assertion was cleared up many relatives and friends that daily visited their home, another DiL lives across the street, and his 2nd Son lives nearby and visited almost daily to help. FiL claimed MiL was conspiring with my young adult son (their grandchild) against him, (our son had lived with them for a time), I think I even sought advice here for that situation. About a year ago, one relative called him during a hospital stay, and FiL was claiming that the staff had left him stuck on a portable toilet for 12 hours, which clearly was corrected by one of his children who was there visiting him at that time! They verified he was “on the pot” for a typical amount of time, they had left the room for 10-20 minutes while the staff assisted him. They had been visiting and talking together throughout that day and several others! There were other smaller instances of FiL having periodic episodes, maybe 2-3 per year, when there was a medicine change – he had many health problems and was hospitalized several times a year, he had lung disease, diabetes, and had several bypass surgeries over the years. His lung and diabetes problems resulted in mobility issues. He had a toe amputated.

I thought that we had always had an overall amicable relationship with the blended family. When MiL died and FiL’s 2nd son took over caregiving duties, we were as supportive as we could be from afar (we live in another state). When we visited my husband who is also a contractor would fix anything they needed – a porch, laid new carpet, minor bathroom and kitchen plumbing, things, and most often used our own money. We sent caregiving 2nd Son gift cards and thank you notes, offered to pitch in with other siblings to pay for a housekeeping service. After MiL died, one negative thing that did happen is that a rumor began to drift around the family that MiL had spent a large part of their inheritance on our son that had lived with them for a time. We put a stop to it, showing our own cancelled checks, where we had sent MiL and FiL money regularly for our son’s room & board, and how we reimbursed promptly when MiL put out money for large expenses, like when our son needed tires. During the time he lived with them, about a year, we sent them a little less than $10K. There was no money missing or spent by them other than what they spent on themselves.

When it came time for the funeral neither my husband nor our young adult son was asked to participate in any way. Not as a pall-bearer, not to read a scripture. All of the bio siblings were noticeably chilly, but at first I attributed to sadness, they lost their Dad, you know? But now I am not sure. All of my FiL’s other children and step-children had some kind of representation and participation – for example our one nephew sang a song, our other nephews, and brothers and step-brothers were pall-bearers, so that each of the children and step children had someone representing, EXCEPT my husband. FiL’s biological children were in charge as well as his pastor, who also knows my husband and all the family well.

I am trying to understand that their grieving may have contributed to an oversight, but this feels like more than an oversight, it feels like an intentional exclusion. I explained the things about the false claims and the rumor about our son, here to "you" because they are the only thing that I can think of that may have caused them to exclude our part of the family, and we thought that was settled a year ago, perhaps they believe the rumors and the dementia inspired claims.

Do you think I should speak to the my FiL’s pastor to ask why? Do you think I should ask caregiving 2nd son/BiL, who is “in charge” about this? I don’t want to add to his grief, or make this about us when he/they are closer to the pain, so to speak, but this hurts.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old June 13th, 2018, 07:09 PM
KayKay's Avatar
KayKay KayKay is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 16,172
KayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Were We Snubbed at StepFiL's Funeral?

I'm sorry for your loss.

My thought is that death and funerals bring out so much unintentionally poor behavior from people. Nobody is really thinking clearly at the time, and it is very easy to make plans ("we need eight pallbearers" "SFIL loved Johnny's voice so he should sing") without doing an inventory of who was asked and who wasn't asked. At my father's funeral, my brother and oldest sister gave eulogies while my other sister and I were excluded for who-knows-what reason.

So my first question would be - how does your DH feel about it? Was he hurt?
My second question would be - is everyone being treated fairly under the will?

If your DH was not hurt, and everyone is being treated fairly, it would be harmful to start launching accusations.

If your DH was hurt, I'd have HIM go to the pastor and ask if he knew of any reason he'd be excluded. You don't want to approach in an angry or hurt way (because you can't change what happened) but rather in a "have we done something wrong that we can fix" way, since the family has a history of starting harmful rumors.
__________________
Expecto Patronum!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old June 13th, 2018, 07:54 PM
PeeWeeMomOf3's Avatar
PeeWeeMomOf3 PeeWeeMomOf3 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SouthEasternUSA
Posts: 192
PeeWeeMomOf3 will become famous soon enough
Re: Were We Snubbed at StepFiL's Funeral?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayKay View Post
I'm sorry for your loss.

My thought is that death and funerals bring out so much unintentionally poor behavior from people. Nobody is really thinking clearly at the time, and it is very easy to make plans ("we need eight pallbearers" "SFIL loved Johnny's voice so he should sing") without doing an inventory of who was asked and who wasn't asked. At my father's funeral, my brother and oldest sister gave eulogies while my other sister and I were excluded for who-knows-what reason.

So my first question would be - how does your DH feel about it? Was he hurt?
My second question would be - is everyone being treated fairly under the will?

If your DH was not hurt, and everyone is being treated fairly, it would be harmful to start launching accusations.

If your DH was hurt, I'd have HIM go to the pastor and ask if he knew of any reason he'd be excluded. You don't want to approach in an angry or hurt way (because you can't change what happened) but rather in a "have we done something wrong that we can fix" way, since the family has a history of starting harmful rumors.
My DH is VERY hurt. I am in 100% agreement with you on the approach, of being like 'have we done something.' And I don't want to do anything rashly.

And thank you.

The will is supposed to be fair - sell everything and divide equally among 8 kids. But already there are rumors and even factual comments like this going thru the family: SFiL's 1st son was given his 'like new' Harley Davidson motorcycle a year ago (true), SFiL's youngest child and their spouse (the one MiL adopted) were given ?thoudsand$ to start their business 4 years ago (unproven, but likely); SFiL gave his daughter MiL's mink coat recently (the coat is gone and nobody is saying anything). 2nd Son/caregiver has a troubled son who was actually caught stealing and pawning MiL's jewelry on 2 occasions, and after she died in 2016 none of it was ever located, some of it was recovered, some was not. There was also a woman form their church, a homeless addict they were trying to help, that stole jewelry from her. She had hid the recovered jewelry and kept it hidden, and while in the hospital, right before she died, she told my DH and his older sis where to find it, but it was gone. The funny thing about my MiL was that she loved wearing CZ jewelry, though they were set in 14k gold, therefore many people thought she had many diamonds, but she only had a few genuine diamond pieces, she really thought that real diamonds were not a wise way to spend her and her FiL's money. Wow, this sounds like a soap opera when I write it all out. But it does not sound fair, because the scales are clearly tipped toward SFiL's bio family. Neither my husband, nor his siblings have received anything of value comparable to those items which are several thousand - 10K in range. :-( We have love and memories and those are priceless.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old June 28th, 2018, 07:22 PM
snafu's Avatar
snafu snafu is offline
future crazy cat lady
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mid-west
Posts: 9,879
snafu has a reputation beyond reputesnafu has a reputation beyond reputesnafu has a reputation beyond reputesnafu has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Were We Snubbed at StepFiL's Funeral?

I got nothin' other than ((((hugs))))
__________________
once burned, twice shy

He who ignores history is condemed to repeat it!
(it also means you weren't smart enough to learn from your mistakes )
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old July 4th, 2018, 09:09 AM
PeeWeeMomOf3's Avatar
PeeWeeMomOf3 PeeWeeMomOf3 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SouthEasternUSA
Posts: 192
PeeWeeMomOf3 will become famous soon enough
Re: Were We Snubbed at StepFiL's Funeral?

Well, it's been a few weeks and I have to say, airing my concerns here and your feedback help. I don't feel such a fresh hurt over it all anymore. I feel like just letting it all go, and realizing that it may be best to let these ties quietly unravel and let go of them.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old July 28th, 2018, 05:15 PM
PeeWeeMomOf3's Avatar
PeeWeeMomOf3 PeeWeeMomOf3 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SouthEasternUSA
Posts: 192
PeeWeeMomOf3 will become famous soon enough
Re: Were We Snubbed at StepFiL's Funeral?

I find myself thinking about our family (DH's step sibs), and wondering how they are getting on, keeping them in prayer and so forth. I no longer feel hurt or stung by the "snubbing" I first described, and my DH does not either. I think we all realize it was raw emotions. I know when my own Dad passed many years back, how emotional and challenging it was, I appreciated the folks who checked up on me from time to time.

What I am sort of confused about now is whether or not I should reach out to them, or just quietly let things like contact just drift down to nothing? A "thinking of you" text to one went unanswered, so probably not good to persist, you think?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old July 29th, 2018, 12:10 AM
KayKay's Avatar
KayKay KayKay is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 16,172
KayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Were We Snubbed at StepFiL's Funeral?

Well, how would you feel about reaching out to them and not expecting a response? That's what I'd do. I frequently send "thinking of you" texts hoping to brighten someone's day and leave it there, not expecting a response. (Of course, it brightens my day when I get one, but I never expect one).

"Thinking of you" texts and Christmas cards, etc. with no whining about "we miss you, we want to see you" or reciprocity will, imo, bring them warm thoughts about you.
__________________
Expecto Patronum!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old October 20th, 2018, 12:22 PM
chissus's Avatar
chissus chissus is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Washington State
Posts: 43
chissus is on a distinguished road
Re: Were We Snubbed at StepFiL's Funeral?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeeWeeMomOf3 View Post
I find myself thinking about our family (DH's step sibs), and wondering how they are getting on, keeping them in prayer and so forth. I no longer feel hurt or stung by the "snubbing" I first described, and my DH does not either. I think we all realize it was raw emotions. I know when my own Dad passed many years back, how emotional and challenging it was, I appreciated the folks who checked up on me from time to time.

What I am sort of confused about now is whether or not I should reach out to them, or just quietly let things like contact just drift down to nothing? A "thinking of you" text to one went unanswered, so probably not good to persist, you think?
You are a very kind forgiving person. I wish you were in my family.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old October 20th, 2018, 12:23 PM
chissus's Avatar
chissus chissus is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Washington State
Posts: 43
chissus is on a distinguished road
Re: Were We Snubbed at StepFiL's Funeral?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayKay View Post
Well, how would you feel about reaching out to them and not expecting a response? That's what I'd do. I frequently send "thinking of you" texts hoping to brighten someone's day and leave it there, not expecting a response. (Of course, it brightens my day when I get one, but I never expect one).

"Thinking of you" texts and Christmas cards, etc. with no whining about "we miss you, we want to see you" or reciprocity will, imo, bring them warm thoughts about you.
This is excellent advice!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2007, The BlueSparks Network