My father recently passed. He was married to my Mom, his present wife, for over 50 years; however, they were both previously married and had children from those marriages. How, if at all, should those children be included since the relationships have been strained for many years. I do not want to make it confusing as if my parents had more children together than they actually did.
We are very sorry for the loss of your father – and we fully understand how strained family relationships can certainly be challenging for funerals. It is not necessary to list survivors such as children in a funeral program, as that is typically an order or service. However, you certainly can list children and if you do, here is what we recommend: Since this is your father’s funeral, we suggest that you simply stick to the order of oldest to youngest. List your father’s children from his 1st marriage, then the children from your parent’s 50-year marriage next, followed by his stepchildren from your mother’s first marriage. You could group them by “children” and “stepchildren” to be clear which people are your father’s children by birth and which were his children by marriage. If you want to further make it clear which children he had with your mother, you could preface the groups of names with “his children with XX”.