17 April 2007

A Wee Bit of Anger

My in-laws went home today. For the most part, they were well behaved and even supportive. They were an immense help with the babies, and I was happy that they were able to truly enjoy some time with the twins rather than finding Maddie and Riley a painful reminder of GH.

They did manage to do one thing that really pissed me off before they left. Since GH got sick, I have used a Yahoo group as a way to keep far-flung friends and family informed about treatment, ups and downs, life in general. It's been so helpful to have that as a way to keep my sanity. One e-mail is much easier to send than hundreds.

Smartly, my brother-in-law decided to post a note to the Yahoo group about GH's funeral arrangements in Michigan. My in-laws have a visitation and burial planned there for the half of the ashes that they received. I'm not attending that for a number of reasons, the main one being that I don't want to go. It's too soon, and that kind of ceremony would not mean much to GH. His parents and sister and brother need that, and I respect that but I don't need to be there.

So my brother-in-law sends out this message to the group with information about the times and locations and all. Fine. Except that he a) does not mention that I won't be attending, causing a bunch of my local friends to go into a frenzy of travel planning so that they can be there to support me and b) mentions that GH will be "laid to rest" in Michigan. Um, no. Not that he needed to get into the details of the cremation and the ashes being divided and all that, but the message he sent made it sound like GH's body was going to be interred in Detroit.

This bothers me for a couple of reasons. First, if GH were really going to be buried there, I'd be at the service. Second, GH's primary wish was to be with me and the twins. His family needs to believe that his primary wish was to be with them. I get that, but felt like implying otherwise was very disrespectful to me, Maddie, and Riley. Not to mention to GH, who had made his wishes clear.

I didn't say anything as I didn't have the energy to argue. Instead, here I am, venting. I also sent a message to the Yahoo group explaining that I would not be in Michigan and that I would, in due time, have a memorial service here in Massachusetts that I hoped they could attend.

A wise commenter (there are so many!) said that my in-laws would likely not be able to respect my grief. I have found that to be true. This was the most glaring example. I'm trying to respect them and theirs, but I admit that it's hard.

12 comments:

winecat said...

Snick, I'm constantly in awe of you. You have more grace in your little finger than most people possess in their entire bodies.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Maybe venting here is best, anyway, if you're not going to change how they feel and what they think. And good for you for knowing and sticking to what is important and most meaningful for you.

Julia said...

I am so sorry.
We are dealing with in-laws disrespecting our grief as well, but I have my husband with me. I can't even imagine what it would be like if I had to face them alone.

Yankee T said...

Crap. Crap, crap, crap. Venting here is good. We've got your back.
I imagine you'll encounter more than a wee bit of anger as time wears on. Ride through it. It's your due. And I'm sorry.

a rae of sunshine said...

Snickollet-

I don't know how I found your blog..but I did and I think you are a beautiful writer. You and maddie and Riley are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. I am on the same page as you with in-laws right now. : ) Mine Suck. And I know they would be awful in a situation like yours.

Leggy said...

Vent away... BIL probably doesn't realize he's being insensitive, but it doesn't make it any less of a PITA.

Liza said...

You are an amazing person. I probably wouldn't be half as organized, or restrained, or sane, or...I second Rev Dr. Mom; plainly you aren't going to convince your in-laws of a damn thing, but even the fact that you recognize that and are saving your energy for more important and useful things right now makes you a better woman than I. My in-laws rarely respect my opinion of anything, and although I can't say I know what you're going through because I haven't had to deal with them and grief like yours at the same time, but I know what it is like to be sleighted and have my wishes ignored on a much smaller scale, and I've never handled even those comparatively minor situations with half the grace you are showing in the face of this one. I am sure that GH would be very proud of you for it, and I am so very impressed. Good on you, Snick.

Olivia said...

i can't say it better than winecat, so i'll just say, "here, here." so very sorry you have to deal with crap like that at a time like this.

Dorcasina said...

I wish I could say the in-law thing will get better, but I'd be lying. I am no longer so "angry" at mine, but all the differences that emerged during my husband's illness linger, of course, now that he is gone. I am frustrated that no one mentions him to me, except that occasionally his mother will make a little aside about something that reminded her of him.

I just keep telling my husband how frustrated I get, and apologizing for any times I may not have fully understood just *why* he wanted so little to do with that family, and why he was so thrilled about *ours*. I highly recommend venting to GH about them; it will help you remember that they have always been like this, and probably (sigh) always will be.

At least they live relatively (ha!!) far away...

Angela said...

Please keep venting, writing and sharing, you are amazing. I am so sorry that the info that was given out regarding the service in Michigan created more headaches and stress for you.

You are being very understanding in realizing that GH's parents need to have a funeral and all the other stuff. I know my parents are very traditional in that way, they believe in the very formal rituals especially concerning funerals, etc. I know they would be behaving exactly the same way in the same situation, don't know if it's a Korean thing or what, don't let me get started on the whole religion/hypocrisy situation that goes on in Korean churches....

Once again I truly admire how respectful you are trying to be to GH's parents during this extremely tough time, especially since they are just doing what they want to do regardless of your feelings or beliefs, not to mention GH's wishes. That is so wonderful that you are sticking to what you believe and staying strong. Please take care of yourself. Thinking of you and the babies.

Rachel said...

I think venting here on your blog is probably the best thing to do. Your in-laws cannot possible understand how your feeling if they've never lost a spouse, just as you don't know how they are feeling having lost their son. You know what your husband wanted and you know that he made it clear and you are doing what he asked. That is all that matters. Worry about you and your babies. They are what will help you during the roughest times.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I am amazed that in your time of grief and uncertainty you can take the time to be understanding of your in-laws' feelings. Too bad they couldn't do the same for you. I bet they're in shock right now. You saw GH daily and saw him drifting to the next life bit by bit. Being far away, they didn't Could it be that they're a bit resentful that you were the person closest to him? And isn't it sad if they are? All you can do is carry on as you and GH discussed.