The sad truth: Separate and not equal

Today the obituary for my husband’s dad was in the newspaper. The order of the kids goes from youngest to oldest. I must say, this was not a tactic that I ever thought would be used, but it was, and the grand kids were also listed youngest to oldest. This makes me so incredibly sad for my husband’s full siblings. His parents are divorced, his dad remarried and had two more kids. Now, these kids, my younger brother-in-law and sister-in-law are amazing people, I’m so proud of the adults they’ve become.

That said, that family is doing whatever they can to make sure that the older, first born kids, aren’t a part of the planning process. I don’t even see them being a part of the family grieving process. It’s like they are just floating out there, a separate entity. I’m pretty sure it’s coming from my step-mother-in-law, either on purpose or through ignorance, I don’t know.

I was called on Friday afternoon by my younger sister-in-law to ask if I would approve the flowers for the older siblings, which were to be separate from the younger siblings from the new marriage. I made it perfectly clear that I wasn’t the person to okay this decision. They five of them together should agree on the flowers and it should represent all of them. I suggested she call her older sister, but she didn’t. Instead a text was sent later with the flower plans. The older kids are left to get the flowers to represent them on their own. A flower shop name wasn’t even given so we can coordinate.

The funeral arrangements was told to me like this: it’s on Thursday and it’s near Highway 100 and Janesville Rd. I had to google funeral homes in that area to find it.

Sigh.

This makes me so sad. But I suppose after the flow of information the last two weeks — or really after they went to Mexico over Christmas and never bothered to even let us know there wouldn’t be the normal Christmas Eve celebration, I mean, we found out via text right before the holiday. I’m not surprised.

Over 19 years I’ve noticed that this relationship wasn’t your normal relationship, it took me a long time to accept it as it was, but now that my father-in-law has passed on, I’m really sad that there’s this lack of: oh you kids count too. The older kids weren’t even told their dad had had a stroke for 24 hours. And now it’s like they can’t even see that five people lost their dad, not just two.

I mean, this is the very last time that there’s a chance to include them. We are basically guests at my husband’s dad’s funeral. There’s been no request for a eulogy, or why not come early so we can all grieve in private, or how about we go through photos together and share memories?

Nothing.

And you know me, I am not good at just pretending that any of this is normal. It’s not. I don’t care if my step-mother-in-law doesn’t like me, or doesn’t want to deal with me, but [insert swear words here] do you not care about your husband’s older kids even a little bit that you can’t include them this one last time???

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One comment

  1. The idea of a “normal” family is overrated. My grandfather died in November and there have been many surprising moments. I now go and see my grandma on my own, and have the conversations that I know will make her happiest. Even if they aren’t exactly what I want to say. I’ll bring up my cousin who had her picture in the paper, even if I don’t agree with the things she does. Just because it makes grandma happy. Do what makes the people important to you happy. That is what counts.

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