OP here ..... still processing stuff ...
funeral took place on Thursday, DH knows since Friday evening, DD1 knows since Saturday afternoon (with quite a few details about how SIL and i feel about having to deal with the difficult behavior of the ILs ....) , was waiting for after DS and DD2 birthdays to break the news of the death to them but i need to become a little bit less angry about stuff before i can offer a more "stable" and composed view of the events ( being younger than DD1, they don't need a wealth of details about the whole issue .....)
Spiderpig, thanks you for sharing your experience & what form of grief counselling are you able to get ?
(+ any useful UK website you could direct me to ? TIA )
+ i suppose there's the cultural divide too .... my ILs are in the UK,
i speak their language ... but i tend to react as i would in my own culture
& most posters on MDC are from the US ...
so that makes for a rather diverse range of "normal behaviors" to take into account ....
I have attended many funerals in my life. The first one I can remember was for the young father of a friend when we were both around 8 or 9. It was freezing, that's what I remember most, standing on that hard frozen ground in January in front of the open grave, wishing it would be over because I was so cold.
There can be a lot of weird behavior around things like weddings and funerals. My father died a month before my wedding, and there was a bit of drama mostly related to my mom who saw herself as a Widow, and wanted her Widow status acknowledged. She had all these expectations and she was very angry when they weren't met. She felt like losing a father wasn't a big deal, but losing a husband was, even though she was much older than we were when her father died. However, some people elected not to attend the funeral as they were already planning on coming to the wedding, and there was negativity later on when they realized they weren't getting what they wanted from the wedding in relation to closure with the relationship with my dad.
When my grandmother (step-grandmother, actually) died, she had apparently changed sibling allegiances. All the time I knew my grandmother, I knew her sister Ruth. They would come to visit together sometimes, and Ruth and my mother were friends. But by the time my grandmother died, she had cut Ruth out of her life in favor of her older sister. I had no idea she even had an older sister. It was just the oddest thing. Who does that? But that's how it was. She wanted each of her grandchildren to get a special teacup, but the sister basically took the keys from the stepchildren and never let them back in the house, so things were not distributed according to my grandmother's will.
I still attend funerals, and they can be such interesting things. You find out things about people that you never knew, and you get to see them in a retrospective viewpoint, which can be a richer view than what you see from them in current life. I became a Deacon in my church around the time we got a new pastor, and our congregation had a lot of older people in it. Our pastor had to perform 17 memorial services that year, and the Deacons catered quite a few of them.
Funerals can be so awsome in a way, though, when people come together and talk and share, and you see people you haven't seen in years. My mother died 2 years ago, and my college roommate, whom I had not seen in 20 years, read about it on facebook and drove up. My MIL was on her way out of town from Pennsylvania to Florida, so she stopped in for it too. It was just amazing to see all these people I hadn't been able to see in so long. And the Deacons at that church did all the food, and did a fantastic job. My mother paid for cremation services ahead of time with a Forethought account, because she no longer had life insurance. The memorial was more about coming together and sharing memories.
They aren't always positive, and there is a lot of stress and emotion that becomes anger. Or there is pure unadulterated grief. The last funeral I went to was for a kindergartener from my daughter's school who had been murdered. My daughter wanted to go because she knew the older brother. They played the Smile, Smile, Smile song from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I cannot hear that song without thinking of that little girl.
This is truly a wonderful discussion. I forgot that funerals can be a time of incredible healing when we re-connect with family members who have not forgotten us although we may have been out of touch. There is such potential for old wounds to be healed, even as we navigate the rocky shoals of raw emotion, mystery and fear.
received a reply from MIL ... am now even more than ever convinced that it's not "just" the grieving process that we have to face with those family present issues, but also unresolved issues that would need a whole team of psychiatrist to work out ... so it's even more complicated ...
in any case, thanks to all who have posted, i read ... and somehow, it helps ....