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Questions to SM's, How would you feel?

Dippitydo's picture

My kids SM's dad passed away a few days ago. My kids are kinda close to her and her parents. My youngest and oldest child will be going to his funeral. My middle child can't, he is in the military half way across the country.

I was actually thinking about going to family night or maybe the funeral with my youngest BS. Then I started thinking about it and thought I may be imposing. I am not best friends with the SM or anything but we have been cordial to each other for years. She has been in my kids life for about 16 years. Yes, we did have our ups and downs. She was the other woman but all that is water under the bridge now. We had about a year of bitterness between us. She has always been really good to my kids (NO, I am not a troll lol and Yes, I would admit it)

I am just at a loss as to what to do. I even thought that maybe I would just get her a sympathy card and just skip the funeral or visitation night.

I even thought about what I would think if BM showed up at my parents funeral or visitation. My parents passed away many years ago and I can't put myself in those shoes. BM isn't crazy or anything and I am semi cordial with her but I am not so sure I would want her there.

What do you think I should do? I am having a hard time with this one trying to determine MY place.

1.Go to the funeral

2.Skip the funeral and go to visitation

3.Skip both the funeral and visitation and get a card

4.Skip funeral, visitation and card just casually inform her sorry for your loss.


Dippitydo's picture

My X would just tell me to do whatever I want and she wouldn't care because technically, he wouldn't care. He wouldn't really think she would have a problem with it.

ChiefGrownup's picture

I don't think a condolence card ever goes amiss. Brief and kind, it will be appreciated.

You are a very big person to put that origin story aside. You don't have to do anything. But if you are feeling some compassion and would really like to do something, I would say a card is both enough and can't cross any boundaries that shouldn't be crossed.

BethAnne's picture

Just a card is perfect, if you want to do more send a small bouquet or if the family are asking for donations to charity donate in her fathers name. Letting her know you are thinking of her and being kind and thoughtful enough to recognize that your presence may be more of a distraction than a comfort is the best way to help.

Maxwell09's picture

Why don't you ask her what she would like: Hey SM, Sorry for your lose, do you want me to bring BS to the visitation or funeral or would you prefer to bring them? Let me know which ever you prefer and is easier for you, I will help in whatever way you need.

Put the ball in her court instead of assuming anything. People act strange/badly when relatives die, now isn't the time or place to accidentally start something. If she doesn't want you there then this is a good opportunity to set up arrangements to get your kids there; if she doesn't mind you coming along then let her know what time you'll bring the kids by, make yourself scarce (there's usually a room with coffee/vending machines) until it's time to go.

Peridwen's picture

At most I'd send a sympathy card. As cordial as you may be, you don't know if there is hidden resentment or if she's just putting on a good face. The funeral for a loved one, especially a parent, will be hard enough - no need to add extra drama.

Edit to add: you are a better person than me for getting over the origins. I don't think I'd be able to move on and forgive something like that, even if I was able to hide it from the kids in public.

sunshinex's picture

As other posters have mentioned, ask her what she'd like you to do, and maybe even offer to take the kids for a week or so. I don't know if SM and dad have the kids every weekend or what but if you can offer to keep them next visitation that might be nice. I'm sure she could use a break.

I know when I was dealing with a loss I was so glad BM was able to take SD for two weeks. She didn't offer, my DH asked but it really really helped me because all I wanted was to be alone and have my husbands support for a little bit without worrying about feeding her, taking care of her, etc.

2true's picture

A card and ask which she would prefer and mentioning you won't be offended if she'd prefer you not to go.

PS I wish you were my stepkids BM. When my wonderful father passed away she was horrible.

Acratopotes's picture

I would not impose - you are not family.....

simply get her a nice Sympathy card and nice white St Joseph Lillies

Livingoutloud's picture

I'd go to the funeral (we don't do visitations). DDs SM is very nice. We do live far away so I maybe couldn't do it but if I could, I certainly would be there. My ex attended funerals for my family (grandparents etc). We are amicable so it is normal for us

Oh never mind. I thought SM passed away. Thanks G-d she is ok. If it's her dad I probably wouldn't go to dads funeral. I would send a card or whatever else like flowers. It depends if I knew him. I don't know SM's dad.

SM12's picture

I just lost my father a month ago....And I can tell you if BM would have stepped foot in the funeral home, I would have been pissed.
But, we don't have a cordial relationship. We don't battle it out, she is just dismissive and likes to pretend I don't exist. Losing a parent is a very difficult and personal experience. I would rather not have to be reminded of Stephell during that time.

My YSS came to the funeral....MSS and OSS didn't even send a message or text to say I'm sorry.

But if you have a cordial relationship, send a card. Or make a donation to a charity if they have designated one.
I wouldn't recommend flowers. Having just gone through this very thing, I can tell you we were overwhelmed with flowers and plants.
My father was very loved and knew everyone so there were hundreds of people at the funeral. And although the flowers were a kind gesture, it was a huge task she had to deal with after it was all over.