Thoughts on children attending funeral/memorial services
Original post made by Meghan, Vintage Hills Elementary School, on Oct 20, 2010
My husband's great Aunt, sister to his paternal grandmother, recently passed away. She was a well-known and loved figure in the Berkeley community, and her memorial will be public and, I'm sure, well-attended. We, along with our 3 well-behaved children, ages 5, 3.5, and 1, are planning on attending because we wish to show our respect to the rest of the family, as well as get to see several people in the family that we don't often get a chance to see.
This morning, my husband was talking with his mom. She said that she and my husband's sister were planning on attending the memorial service and that they would "represent" their branch of the family for us, and that we shouldn't come along with the kids. He told her that we hadn't finalized our plans yet, and that he was still planning on discussing it further with me, but that we were planning on coming along with the kids. She continued to insist that he not come with the kids and the conversation ended badly because he didn't like her telling him what to do and she felt her wishes were being ignored.
A little more background on things... my mother-in-law divorced my husband's father many many years ago, so the fact that she says she'll be representing my husband and our family to his side of the family, which she chose to leave so long ago, is not sitting well with him. For us though, we just don't believe there's a problem with bringing the kids. We really don't have any alternatives for leaving them with others if we were to go alone, they are very well-behaved, his aunt loved children, there will be a lot of people there, and we want our kids to be a part of the experience and have the opportunity to meet members of their family they don't usually get to see (and vice versa).
But the botton line and question is... is it ok to bring children to funerals?