End of Life Planning

8/22/2022 | By Amy Dickinson

A wife is abiding by her late husband’s funeral wishes. However, her in-laws are none too happy about it, and she feels conflicted. See what advice columnist Amy Dickinson has to say in this edition of “Ask Amy.”

Dear Amy:

My husband recently passed away, and I am adhering to his funeral wishes by not having a service. I am fine with that, but apparently his family isn’t.

His family has asked what my plans are. I wasn’t there when they raised the subject with my adult son. He told them we are planning something later.

I wish he had been more direct. I plan on having a celebration of life sometime this fall. It’s going to be an informal one, and I expect it to be well attended.

Related: Hosting a celebration of life instead of a funeral

His family will probably not be happy with this, but it will keep the cost down.

I know the subject will come up again, so I will have to be firm in stating that this is my husband’s funeral wishes – i.e., his desire not to have one.

I feel bad for his family because I don’t think they are getting the closure they desire. I’m not sure how to handle this except to tell them that I am abiding by my husband’s wishes.

old red rose and old family photos. Image by Kmiragaya, Dreamstime. For article on woman honoring her late husband's funeral wishes. , but his family displeased and she feels conflicted. See what Ask Amy advises.

Grieving Wife

Dear Grieving:

Providing the preferred method of closure for your late husband’s family is not your responsibility.

Honoring his funeral wishes and taking care of yourself is your responsibility.

Plan your celebration, let all of your in-laws know, answer any questions they have, and move forward.

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers – ranging from when a widow misses her hometown to grandparenting to DNA surprises. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. 

© 2022 by Amy Dickinson

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