To think that DSis should have acknowledged the death of DH's mum? :(

(42 Posts)
Jinsei Tue 20-Aug-13 19:03:44

DH lost his mum a while ago. Very sad but not unexpected. DH told my parents, and DM said that she would let my DSis know when she spoke to her the following day.

I thought I would hear something back from DSis some time during the following week. When DBIL's father died last year, we sent a nice card and flowers for the funeral. We didn't hear anything though, so I thought perhaps DM had forgotten to mention it.

I rarely talk to DSis myself as she doesn't answer her phone and always forgets to return calls. She is usually terribly apologetic about this, but I've concluded that she can't really be bothered, so now I don't hassle her. However, DH rang DBIL the other day with some info about some possible work for him (he is self employed and desperately needs the business). At the very end of the conversation, DH told DBIL that his mother had passed away (several weeks ago now), and DBIL said "oh yeah, we were sorry to hear that, DMIL told us at the time." hmm

AIBU to have expected some acknowledgement from them if they knew what had happened? They knew that DH was incredibly close to his mum, and I feel quite embarrassed at the fact that they appear to have just ignored it. Is it not normal to send a sympathy card or something in circumstances like this?

Jinsei Tue 20-Aug-13 23:09:49

Thanks lurker, I'm sorry about your loss too, and I'm glad that you have found some supportive people around you, even if not those who you might have expected.

lurkerspeaks Tue 20-Aug-13 22:48:16

I am 8 months into my grief journey now (my Mum died) and the way people react is really different.

Some of the people who I thought would be fab havne't been and some of the most surprising people have been amazingly supportive.

My relationship with some of the wider family is irrevocably damaged as they have been very unsupportive during the long drawn out dying phase. I thought we were close and have been supportive to them during shit times in the past so have found the lack of contact/support very difficult esp. as really struggled (off work. on ADs etc) and they know that.

I'm sorry your family are being shit but there is nothing like death to bring out the best/ worst in people.

Jinsei Tue 20-Aug-13 21:41:01

YY, sky, I remember when my grandfather died, a representative of my uncle's employer in Dublin travelled over to England for the funeral. We were very touched.

skylerwhite Tue 20-Aug-13 21:17:53

<Disclaimer: I am Irish, so the English way of dealing with death is utterly alien to me, and perhaps my expectations are unrealistic>

Jinsei Tue 20-Aug-13 21:15:26

I agree that a card isn't necessary at all, but a card or a text or a phone call or something would have been nice. That's all.

skylerwhite Tue 20-Aug-13 21:14:23

Apologies - misread your post Forthelove. You're right - message is what counts, not the medium

I agree with an earlier poster though, that sending a sympathy card is not buying into some Hallmark marketing ploy.

ForTheLoveOfSocks Tue 20-Aug-13 21:04:30

It's not a lack of sympathy, I did say I would offer support and acknowledge the passing. Please read what I said before passing judgement skyler

But I don't understand by how not sending a card I am some horrible person? Surely the intention that's what is important, not how the message is delivered?

skylerwhite Tue 20-Aug-13 20:59:43

Forthelove - you're free, of course, to do what you think appropriate. Others are free to think that your lack of acknowledgement or sympathy is strange, remiss, or ill-mannered.

Shenanagins Tue 20-Aug-13 20:57:52

I am a little shocked at some of the responses as i would have thought that as someone you are close to has suffered a bereavement it is pretty standard to send a card to offer your condolences.

I don't know if this is like your sister but I have a friend who simply cannot cope with this sort of thing. We lost a colleague recently and she agonised about the RSVP to the wake, to the point of almost not going. About what she should say/wear/do. She is just no good at it, wants to do the right thing and does nothing for fear of doing the wrong thing.

ForTheLoveOfSocks Tue 20-Aug-13 20:45:30

Ali - it's not about 'knowing stuff', it's about doing what I feel is appropriate, not what everyone else thinks.

Jinsei Tue 20-Aug-13 20:38:28

Yes Yoni, that would have been nice. And more than enough actually - even without the offer of help.

Yonionekanobe Tue 20-Aug-13 20:33:48

Text just saying 'Mum told me the sad news. So sorry - anything we can do?' would be the least a sister could do even if not particularly close.

Jinsei Tue 20-Aug-13 20:31:12

Yes, alibaba, that's what I thought. Neither DSis nor DBIL knew my MIL, but it hadn't occurred to me that this would make a difference to their response. They do know my DH and my DD, who have lost someone important from their lives, and I kind of expected some acknowledgement for their sakes, rather than for MIL. But clearly, people have different ideas about how important this stuff is.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 20-Aug-13 20:18:56

It is nothing to do with knowing the ILs. It is to do with it being your sister's husband who has suffered a bereavement.

Do people really not know this stuff?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 20-Aug-13 20:17:09

ForTheLove

There are many occasions where a card is OTT, but to offer condolences is not one of them.

Thecurlywurlymum Tue 20-Aug-13 20:09:38

Sorry to hear about your loss. No I don't think your YABU. I lost my own mum last christmas and not one of dh's family even acknowledged it, not my mil or any of them. But then again they all send each other anniversary cards birthday cards etc but not to me or my dd from a previous marriage. They do send b'day cards to my dh and ds. Should I take the hint? Only joking as I'm past caring. Just ignore would be my advise.

Yonionekanobe Tue 20-Aug-13 20:03:41

So sorry for your loss OP 💐

I believe that in this day an age there is no excuse not to acknowledge these things. A simple text message takes moments and is better than nothing of the tone is right.

I'm not sure really, I know that if one of Sils lost a parent I would be on the phone every day and supporting her as much as possible. If my Bil lost a parent I would probably send a card, and if my other Sil lost a parent I probably wouldn't do anything. I think it depends on how close you are and whether you knew the parent really, tbh. I'm sorry to hear about your loss as a family, but I don't think you can expect everyone to feel the same way as you do. I wouldn't actually expect my siblings to send a card if anything happened to my Mil and probably just as well, as none of them did when my Fil passed away.

4yoniD Tue 20-Aug-13 20:00:09

I must admit I wouldn't know the social etiquette for what to do in such a situation. I also never know what to say, so tend to say as little as possible asides from "sorry to hear that, hope your OK, such a shame" etc if confronted with a relative.

Doesn't mean it's the right thing to do, but it isn't taught at school - and these things don't seem to come naturally to me.

Luckily I don't know many people who have died. One day I imagine I'll figure it all out sad

Jinsei Tue 20-Aug-13 19:59:29

Yes, that's probably the case, MrsWilberforce. She may have just not got round to it.

I will try not to read too much into it!!

MrsWilberforce Tue 20-Aug-13 19:57:11

Some people are very good at these conventions but many more struggle with the detail of what is the right thing to do and when.

If she's quite disorganised she might have been meaning to do something and kept forgetting until it had got to that embarrassing point where it is so far past the time that whatever you do or say is going to be too late.

Backtobedlam Tue 20-Aug-13 19:54:05

I think a text, email or just saying something when you meet up would be enough for me. My siblings have only ever met inlaws a handful of times, so whilst a card/flowers would be appreciated, it wouldn't be expected. I'd let it go tbh, it's thoughtless rather than malicious I think.

Jinsei Tue 20-Aug-13 19:52:18

Yes, we are in the UK, but DH's mum was overseas. Didn't expect flowers or anything, the customs and traditions are obviously different. As someone else said, just a text would have been nice. Anything really, other than complete silence.

Jinsei Tue 20-Aug-13 19:49:23

You're right tertle, it isn't worth getting worked up over this. I won't mention it to DSis when I next see her, I wouldn't know what to say. I think I will just try to let it go.

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