Abide by deceased’s last wishes–not your relatives’

When are people going to learn to abide by the final wishes of the deceased despite disapproval of some family members?

My friend’s daughter-in-law’s mother died recently and was cremated according to the directions in her will. She also designated the cremation should be followed by a ¬†memorial service in the cemetery chapel, followed by burial of the cremation vessel. She also asked the family to dine together afterward and spend some time comforting each other afterward.

Unfortunately, there was little comfort because my friend’s daughter and her family belong to a religion that disapproves of cremation and were very vocal about it.

“We didn’t tell them about the cremation until it was all over,” said my friend, “So when they learned about it at the service, they behaved very, very badly.”

She added, “My son-in-law sat with a disapproving frown on his face the rest of the day, and later kept saying you’re supposed to go back into the earth as you came into this earth, or something like that. It just made everyone uncomfortable and my daughter-in-law was devastated.”

My friend also bemoaned the fact that her husband, who died five years ago, would have stopped that son-in-law.

“I know Richard would have told him it was none of his business, that woman chose cremation in her will, and it was up to HER, not HIM!!” she continued.

I told her that since Richard couldn’t do that, she should have.

“I don’t like to make trouble in the family,” she answered.

“But HE¬†was making trouble in the family,” I told her, “and unless you stand up for that family and tell him to but out, he’ll keep doing it.”

Afterward, I wondered why so many widows forget they can and should do and say what must be said and done for the good of our families.

That son-in-law’s bad behavior won’t end until she ends it, and THAT’S what will be for good for the family–not her silence.

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