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To ask or not to ask?

counseling.advocate's picture

My MIL passed away tragically 4 days after her hernia surgery. It's a long story. My FIL is devestated. He doesn't want to plan the funeral so I am taking care of most of it.

The pastor is making the programs for the service, and asked how many grandchildren they are. Do I include my son in there?? He and my mil accepted us into the family. We've been around 6 years. He recently assured my son he is his grandson because my son feels left out Cuz he has a different last name. I know that if he isn't in the program that my SD's and him will point it out and he will be hurt.

Do I ask or is that inappropriate?

onthefence2's picture

Yes, include him. It might bother your fil to leave him out as well, after making his declaration to him. Sorry for your loss.

AllySkoo's picture

Yes, absolutely include him and no, you don't need to ask. FIL made his decision when he told your son that he IS a grandson regardless of name. What a sweet guy!

So sorry for the loss of your MIL!!!

classyNJ's picture

So sorry for your loss of your MIL! Yes you should include him! FIL told him he is his grandson!

Rags's picture

Yes. Include your kid in the GK count for your MIL. My parents would take extreme exception to anyone who said my Skid is not their GK.

My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your MIL.

onthefence2's picture

I can't believe you just wasted all those words on this. It was not for an obituary it was for the program. And if it were for an obituary, you do realize that some people simply list the number of grandchildren without naming them, right? And you do realize the fil stated that he IS his grandson? This response is a little over the top.

twoviewpoints's picture

"This response is a little over the top."

Well, it was Sueu2. Wink

The OP asked : Do I ask? Is it inappropriate?

My 2 cents. As OP is asking if she should ask or if *we* think it's inappropriate to ask, she's not indicating she has any intentions of just listing the child without asking. She's wanting to know out opinions on whether or not *we* think its ok to ask. IMO, yes, it's totally appropriate for OP to ask. It might upset your already grieving FIL perhaps if you just omit the child. I'm sure the last thing FIL needs right now is inside family drama. As the man has stated himself your son is his grandson. He does indeed think of the child as such.

If OP has any hesitation on proper wording she might consider consulting with FIL on final editing of the piece in program. 'FIL, I have just about finished with MIL's write up and would like to ask you to review it and see if there is anything you'd like added and also on ______ (kid's name). Would you prefer I list all names of the grandchildren together or put the other grandchildrens names first and then include the words "and one stepgrandson _________"

The man is trusting OP to tend to the majority of the arrangements. I have no doubt that FIL intends his stepgrandson to be every bit as part of the family as the biological grandchildren, but if OP feels it's respectful to ask how it should be worded, then she should ask. No, OP it's not inappropriate to ask if you are unsure as to how you should list the family. Who FIL's grandchildren are is not the question. The man's love in his heart has already spoken that.

SAHsigh's picture

I work with families dealing with the loss of loved ones. From my experience, it's always okay to ask. Most people in these circumstances lean on the side of inclusion rather than exclusion. Death is difficult but comfort is often found with family. Family is what one makes it, especially during the grieving process. Moments like these can also solidify relationships in a positive (or negative) way.

It's okay to ask. And honestly, it should always be okay you ask. If it wasn't okay to ask, the relationship probably isn't in the best shape.

onthefence2's picture

Again, wasting your time. I just read about 10 of those words. Where I live, a program and obituary are NOT necessarily the same thing.

counseling.advocate's picture

Well, thank you all for your input! It didn't seem to go over so well at the end there but I did find all of the advice to be helpful. The advice to go ahead and put him on there was encouraging to me because it made me feel like it's not so uncommon, however the other advice also does help because I was going back and forth between asking and now I'm sure I should, and not feel insecure about it. I'll ask him the format, or just have him review the copy of the program and give any revisions and ask then. We shall see. I appreciate it guys!!