Remind me when I plan to die to do so in the country I plan to be buried, will you?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SuZir, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    There is no way come off with this other than sounding bratty and unpleasant, so be it. But my husband's granny's funeral arrangements are really hoovering big time.

    First, she died at Spain and wanted to be buried at home, next to her husband. Getting her corpse home is frustrating, and costly, to say the least. I have been helping father in law with all the bureaucracy and that. Not fun! And apparently had she died in any other Mediterranean country, which she lived during past decades, the cost would had been half. Some reason getting a body out from Spain is much more costly than from elsewhere, we are looking for well over ten grands just for that. Of course I shouldn't complain about that (and it can be considered extremely entitled and bratty), because she certainly left enough property to cover her funeral costs and then some.

    Second, she had some quite exact wishes for her funeral. Again, we certainly will do as she wanted, but I have notice some of her wishes are quite a lot work for me. And I have been wearing thin as it is, with going back to school and having difficulties to adapt (while I knew it would be difficult first, I'm in totally new position in my life, where I'm not able to learn with the best of them. I'm feeling miserably dumb, which is something I'm not used to and wouldn't have wanted to be acquainted with. I mean, I have many faults, but being academically challenged has never been one of them), There are some minor issues at work and my most important mean for stress handling is currently gone. I can't run. Minor injury, not worth whining in itself, but I haven't been able to run for a month, have to give it rest at least another. It is all building up.

    Her funeral will be traditional. Which means bunch of it will be held in my house. After all we live in old family home. This is a house her husband took her as a young bride, this is a house she raised her children. She left after her husband died to pass it to father in law, who again build a new house nearby after husband and I married and started to have kids. And they will be a big event. She had a big issue to begin with and, in traditional way, they will be open invitation. While she left this area long ago and all her friends are long gone, it will be lots and lots of people. Just a off spring for brunch before the funeral after which we will do a procession to grave yard will be well over 100 people. And after funeral all those people and all the other guests will be back for memorial and to eat (we are preparing up to 250 to be safe.) Others will do most of the baking and for the funeral day we will have help. But cleaning is all on me, it is my house after all, and there will also be lots of small stuff to do days before. Luckily I will be able to take few days off the work beforehand.

    Then there is her SO. husband's granny was always very clear she would be buried next to her husband, said she made the choice long ago to live her life with that man and be buried next to him (I always suspected there is a story in this, one that we will likely never find out now after she is dead.) Her SO of course knew that and it isn't an issue to him (at least it seems like that.) But they spent years together and it would be really rude to make him feel like an outsider. But he doesn't speak the language, he doesn't know any of us that well etc. Anyhow asking him to stay at a hotel would be rude and unwelcoming. So he and one of his kids who will accompany him, will be our house guests for several days, and of course during those busy days before the funeral. We having them in our house makes again most sense, this is a family home, it certainly has enough room, and other option, that would had been father in law and mother in law would be catastrophe considering my mother in law and her thinking of Granny's SO as gold digging boytoy. So nope, that is not an option. father in law's other siblings live little farther away or have smaller houses or it could be awkward or something. So here they will stay. I can't say any of us would know SO well. I have met him only handful of times. He is pleasant, but still practically a stranger to us. So I'm stuch with entertaining person I don't know at all and who is mourning for his SO of a almost a decade.

    So woe me and all the other self pity.
  2. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Oh dear. I'm so sorry for your loss, and for all the stress that this is causing. It is such a difficult time, but it is also a necessary time, a chance to say goodbye, and it will be over so fast and then things will be quiet and empty and you will be able to grieve and rest. You seem to be taking on an awful lot of the work yourself. Aren't there any other members of the family who could share this burden with you?

    I didn't realise this about Spain. My mother is Spanish but lives in the UK now, but my brother and his Spanish wife live in Spain, as does my uncle and cousins. I have never asked my mother about her wishes. It is good that you knew what was wanted and that you are able to follow her requests.

    Wishing you peace and hoping that things run smoothly and that many people share your workload as the day of the funeral draws nearer.
  3. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Lot of the work comes with living in this house. It is a family home. Just because we are currently living in it doesn't make it just our home. This was husband's granny's home just as much as it is my home. And when we are the ones currently living here, lots of it will fall on me and husband. Others will help a lot with food stuff, but I don't even want anyone else here cleaning my house. And when it will be here, I want to be involved in decision making. And all the small stuff is so small one by one that it would feel silly to ask someone drive here to help. But it accumulates. And at times like this, especially in bigger families, the things can get delicate. Keeping peace and making it smooth is my main priority.

    Cremating her there and moving ashes would had been much easier task both with bureaucracy and cost, but that was not her wish. She also died unexpectedly, though she was in her mid nighties, so not that unexpected, and at her home, so that adds some bureaucracy to get her moved.

    You are right, currently all the things needing to be done are taking away the time to mourn her. But I believe that time will come too. She was one extraordinary and inspirational woman and I was very fond of her. But at this point I'm an outsider and mourning belongs to her children and grandchildren. I'm stuck with lots of practicalities. We didn't meet often, but we did have our own special bond as brides married to this house and family.
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm going to skip all that by being cremated...
  5. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Sorry for your loss and also for all of the drama. Funerals are hard enough without a lot of added expense and worries.

    I'm being cremated and my ashes are to be scattered in the area where all of the family dogs are buried.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sure it is going to be exhausting for you but truly I think it is lovely that you are "doing it right" for her. Funerals, like so many social patterns, have rapidly changed in the past couple of generations. It's wonderful that you have the loving connection to her personality and lifestyle. Certainly you will be stressed to the max but when all is said and done you will know in your heart that you stepped up to the plate which is exactly why she left you in charge. Hugs DDD
  7. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I think you are so gracious to think of the SO and his feelings. I am sure that he is probably going to feel overwhelmed surrounded by people he doesn't know and can't understand. Is there anyone in the family who speaks his language that might be willing to sit with him at the service to explain what's going on?

    My aunt died recently and had very simple wishes for which I was grateful. My wish is to be buried with no fanfare. As a Jew, I don't believe in cremation.