Ask Ann: Advice on Comforting and Grieving

Ask Ann: Advice on Comforting and Grieving

Ann Van Buskirk

Ask Ann Q&A:

Shouldn't I go to the funeral of my fiance's father?

Dear Ann,

My fiance does not want me to come to his father's funeral, Shouldn't I be there to support him? I am confused, is this because he is not really in love with me? Is it because he does not want his family to know me?

Dear Dena:

Is that what you think? That your fiance does not want you to come to his father's funeral, that he is not really in love with you or he does not want his family to know you?

I ask because the answer is usually in the question.

Have you asked him why he doesn't want you there? If you have and still don't understand the answer, ask again.

I've been to many funerals. My reason for going is always simple. I care for the person(s) who was left behind and want to show my respect for the ones who died. As you said, you want to be supportive. While I've never, yet, been asked not to attend a funeral, I can see circumstances that could arise which would make attending more stressful for all concerned, in which case, I would honor the living. I would not attend.

The question is less about if you should attend the funeral and more about what's up with your relationship with your fiance.

There are many ways you can express your support to the family, flowers, a note with a memory of the father that your fiance has told you or one of your own, or perhaps a photo sent with your condolences.

I wish you well in this difficult time.

Ann Van Buskirk invites you ask her questions you may have about being of comfort with your family, friends, colleagues at work, etc. Just type your question in the comments box at the bottom of this page and she'll post your message and her response here as soon as possible.
Publisher's Note: Ann's book, One More Star In Heaven Now: A Guide to Comforting Someone Who is Grieving In Life and At Work contains extremely useful information on what to do and say when someone is greiving. Links to more information about the book and how to order are at the bottom of this page.

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