Dear Mary
Fighting at the Funeral

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Dear Mary,

My father-in-law has just died and the planning for the funeral is well underway. There is alot of tension between my sister-in-law and me that right now. Going to the funeral will only make things worse between us. I am sure we will get into a fight. Do I have to go to the funeral?

Lyn

Hi Lyn:

I would go to the funeral. The funeral is about honouring your mother-in-law. Your broken family needs to have a common goal to have a calm public event. It is not the time to exchange nasty glares, fight or say mean words.

You can however pick and choose the events surrounding the actual funeral. For example if there is a ‘viewing” at a Funeral Home, you do not have to attend that. You also do not have to attend any luncheon or post funeral event if that makes you uncomfortable.

Participate in the events prior and after the funeral that make you feel comfortable and welcomed. Saving and using all of your energy to be polite at the funeral is very acceptable. If limiting your exposure to your sister-in-law will help you, then do so. No one will fault you for focussing on the “Main Event.”

Take charge of your emotions and your energy. Being supportive of your husband at the funeral is very important. Fighting with your sister-in-law will only add to everyone’s stress.

Be proud of yourself by taking the high road and go to the funeral.

Mary

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Caregiving Matters

Mary is a daughter. She also Chairs our charity. Mary has also held Director roles on three other boards, most recently with The Palcare Network of York Region.

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