Need advice re MIL’s Inurnment


8 years ago

I was very close to my MIL and she recently passed away. She was religious but not she did not raise her sons in the church as it did not agree with her husband’s beliefs. After her husband passed away, 20+ years ago, she resumed going to church regularly. Her son who is the executor but has spent very little time with her, wants to just drop off the cardboard box with her remains at the cemetery office and have them take care of putting her in the columbarium. I would like to have a priest say a few words and a prayer and place her in a proper container or urn. Am I wrong to show the respect I feel she deserves? I have spent the majority of the last 3 years caring for her in her home. I live 3000 miles away so this was a big decision and commitment. Her son that is the executor, has spent less than 40 hours with her in the last 12 months until she was hospitalized two weeks ago. My husband loved his mother as any son should, and did convince his brother to let me take care of the delivery but doesn’t want to cause a rift between he and his brother. It breaks my heart as she was a kind and generous woman. She was not wealthy but generous with her kindness and her happy disposition. I want to show her the respect she deserves. Several of her friends would like to attend. It has been very difficult for me, as we were so close. Trying to come up with a logical reason why there was no funeral or memorial service has been impossible to do politely. What should I do?

Jennifer Lane
8 years ago


I am very sorry for the loss of the mother-in-law you clearly cherished and loved. I know this is a difficult time for you and your husband.

I see no reason why you could not have a memorial or committal service with a priest to give your family and her friends the chance to honor her life and say goodbye. In fact, this is the right thing to do. I also see no reason why you could not purchase an urn for her. Your husband’s brother can certainly choose not to participate, and it sounds like you have no expectations of him to be involved with either the service or with helping pay for the urn.

I would hope this does not cause a rift between your husband and his brother, but I know family can be challenging certainly when there is the death of a parent. I think you should let him know once you have made plans so as to give him the opportunity to attend, but otherwise leave it at that.

No reasonable person should object to a person who was religious (as it sounds like your mother-in-law clearly was) having a priest say final and comforting words over her life. She deserves that.

We wish you the best in the days ahead as you work through this and grieve the loss of a lovely woman you were very close to.

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
View More Family Issues Questions Funerals and Family Issues

How Much Will Your Funeral Cost? Try Our QuickPlan to Find Out.