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    southview's Avatar
    southview Posts: 2, Reputation: 2
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    #1

    Nov 25, 2011, 03:44 PM
    Does ex wife of deceased sit with family at the funeral
    My ex husband just passed away this week. We have been divorced for 10 yrs and he has had a girlfriend for those 10 yrs . Is it appropriate for me to sit with my children at the funeral in front with my family even though she is sitting there also?
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,301, Reputation: 7691
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    #2

    Nov 25, 2011, 03:46 PM
    It all will also depend on how the family ( other part) feel and how you all get along, it has been done but with others they could not.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #3

    Nov 25, 2011, 04:05 PM
    This should be answered by the funeral director, who will act as intermediary for all of you, and advise.
    kcomissiong's Avatar
    kcomissiong Posts: 1,166, Reputation: 276
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    #4

    Nov 25, 2011, 09:14 PM
    How old are your children? Etiquette be darned, but if my babies were hurting, I would be right there. I think that it is appropriate for you to be near your children to support them, and in the pew directly behind them would be a more discrete place than on the front row with the family. You are still respecting his family and new partner while supporting your children during a difficult time.
    southview's Avatar
    southview Posts: 2, Reputation: 2
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    #5

    Nov 26, 2011, 07:21 AM
    My children are all over 30. Just feel like I'm being 'left out in the cold'. Was married for 30 yrs and feel that I should at least be allowed to sit where I want. My feeling at this point is that I do want to support them as we all try to get through this. I don't care what the 'other's think. I knew him for over 40 yrs. I've never met her and don't want to speak to her but will be there with my head up and do what I need to do for my family. Thanks everyone.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,301, Reputation: 7691
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    #6

    Nov 26, 2011, 07:57 AM
    Funerals can bring out the best and often the worst in people.
    I have instructions for my ex wife to be able to be at my funeral, we are still good friends and even speak on a regular basis.

    But also funeral bring out the worst, I have seen the ex come and sit a row behind the family, or come and sit in the back row and see if the family like her kids will invite her up to be with them. His current wife is "running" the show, so of course a call to her or to your children who will talk to her should be what is happening.

    Of course remember people in mourning and pain may say and do things they often regret latter. But I remember my aunts funeral, my mom and my aunts brother sat in the funeral home and argued over how to divide my aunts money up.

    When my mom died, she had left specific instructions as to who she did not want at her funeral, Even want to call and tell someone they are not invited to a funeral.
    mnerin's Avatar
    mnerin Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Dec 4, 2011, 10:45 AM
    Southview, this is not about YOU. Your ex obviously had a woman for the past 10 years that was his partner in life and love. It is very selfish of you to insert yourself. You are not related to your ex. You are not family. Your children are family, and obviously old enough to sit without "mommy" to support them. You can "support" them in many other ways short of trying to upstage your ex's partner's rightful place at the funeral.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #8

    Dec 5, 2011, 08:09 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by kcomissiong View Post
    How old are your children? Etiquette be darned, but if my babies were hurting, I would be right there. I think that it is appropriate for you to be near your children to support them, and in the pew directly behind them would be a more discrete place than on the front row with the family. You are still respecting his family and new partner while supporting your children during a difficult time.

    I was the second wife so I have a basis to disagree. You would be "right there" for a very brief period, and then you would be "outside."

    I knew what my husband wanted, we talked about it, it was in writing. His children sat with me, his "ex" sat a row or two back.

    It wasn't about her feelings - it was about respecting my late husband. OP needs to realize that this is not about her.

    Would I ask the girlfriend (if she is arranging the funeral) about seating? Of course. But in my world don't just barge your way in. You'll be asked to leave.
    mnerin's Avatar
    mnerin Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #9

    Dec 5, 2011, 10:08 AM
    JudyKay, her "babies" are all over 30! She stated plainly that because she was married to him for 30 years, she should sit where ever she wants. I found that extremely self-centered. That's why I think she is making this about HER.
    kcomissiong's Avatar
    kcomissiong Posts: 1,166, Reputation: 276
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    #10

    Dec 5, 2011, 10:21 AM
    I knew what my husband wanted, we talked about it, it was in writing. His children sat with me, his "ex" sat a row or two back.
    I agree Judy, which is why I suggested that she sit behind her children instead of on the front pew with them. She is still able to offer support to them without disrespecting the role of his partner. I'm sure that any parent would agree that they would want to support their children when they have lost someone and are hurting, regardless of their ages. The new partner is not the only person who lost someone. If his children have asked for the support of their mother, I see nothing wrong with her offering it from behind them during the funeral. (Of course, if the OP is not there in a role of support for her children, she should just find an empty pew.)


    As an aside, I don't know who reddied me, but my answer certainly wasn't factually incorrect or rude.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #11

    Dec 5, 2011, 10:30 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by mnerin View Post
    JudyKay, her "babies" are all over 30! She stated plainly that because she was married to him for 30 years, she should sit where ever she wants. I found that extremely self-centered. That's why I think she is making this about HER.

    Re-read what I posted. I ABSOLUTELY agreed with you, no question. I think she IS making it all about her.

    For that matter if the relationship with ex was the least bit contentious she should stay home.

    But, again - I AGREED with you.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #12

    Dec 5, 2011, 10:37 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by kcomissiong View Post
    I agree Judy, which is why i suggested that she sit behind her children instead of on the front pew with them. She is still able to offer support to them without disrespecting the role of his partner. I'm sure that any parent would agree that they would want to support their children when they have lost someone and are hurting, regardless of their ages. The new partner is not the only person who lost someone. If his children have asked for the support of their mother, I see nothing wrong with her offering it from behind them during the funeral. (Of course, if the OP is not there in a role of support for her children, she should just find an empty pew.)


    As an aside, I don't know who reddied me, but my answer certainly wasn't factually incorrect or rude.

    I did not reddie you, in the event you think it might be me.

    You can support your adult, hurting children in ways that do not involve being in the face of the woman in their father's life.

    I buried a husband. I don't know if you have. It gets complicated. You, as the widow, can't see straight. The "ex" is busy consoling the children, wondering where she should/can sit - and intruding on your grief. In my case the "children" were also adults. Yes, they lost their father. Yes, they had each other. No, they didn't need their mother wiping their tears and consoling them AT THE SERVICE.

    This "ex" will be dead a long time, time in which the mother can console them to her heart's content. The "ex's" "right" to console her children ends where the girlfriend/widow's right to grieve begins.

    The children (as adults) should console each other. I don't think the "ex" has any place there unless she is inconspicuous.

    I'm aware of a situation where the "ex" chose the funeral to renew old acquaintances with former/out of touch friends.

    - And I've worn the shoes of a widow.
    kcomissiong's Avatar
    kcomissiong Posts: 1,166, Reputation: 276
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    #13

    Dec 5, 2011, 11:29 AM
    Nothing to do with the OP's question, but Judy, I am very sorry for your loss. I also think you showed an amazing level of grace in an extremely difficult situation by having your husband's ex at the service but a couple of rows back. Clearly this is a contentious issue for many, but you handled it in a way that was very gracious.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #14

    Dec 5, 2011, 11:34 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by kcomissiong View Post
    Nothing to do with the OP's question, but Judy, I am very sorry for your loss. I also think you showed an amazing level of grace in an extremely difficult situation by having your husband's ex at the service but a couple of rows back. Clearly this is a contentious issue for many, but you handled it in a way that was very gracious.

    I very much appreciate your words - it was a very difficult time.

    Again, thank you.
    Ballerina64's Avatar
    Ballerina64 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #15

    Feb 4, 2013, 01:55 AM
    What if the children are 15 and 19?
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #16

    Feb 4, 2013, 05:21 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Ballerina64 View Post
    What if the children are 15 and 19?
    It would be best if you start a new post. And please say whose children they are, and other facts. (I stand by my response that the funeral director acts as the liaison between families.)
    adoptionator's Avatar
    adoptionator Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #17

    Jun 14, 2013, 10:19 AM
    I was married for 20 years and he lived with a girlfriend for 8. We were legally separated but never divorced for practical reasons. We had 7 kids together. We raised most of the kids the older kids together and the two younger ones did weekend visits at their house..

    He died very unexpectedly. His partner made all the decisions about the service but invited input from the kids and I believe would have accommodated. My suggestions too had I asked. I sat in the front row with the kids, especially the youngest with her permission. She acted like it was fine. I had never had any relationship with her but I told her she was part of our family now and how much my ex loved her. My two kids go over there for an overnight every few weeks and my youngest truly loves her and vice versa. I intend to support the relationship.

    I think wanting what was best for the kids allowed us to work things out and maybe more importantly she is a kind woman.

    I was however shocked at how much I hurt and was upset by his death on so many levels. I said I was grieving for my kids but I realized I had loved him too for a long time and we had deep history including the loss of our son while married. I'm still sorting it out but so glad we honored him with making it a peaceful and respectful event.

    I would like to think that this helped us all heal.
    Bornof2's Avatar
    Bornof2 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #18

    Sep 9, 2013, 12:27 PM
    I totally agree with the reply... that is extremely disrespectful to the family and one's involved that planned the funeral. A little bit of funeral etiquette is needed in this... it is not all about YOU.

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