1. Stuck in the middle

    Hello – I’m feeling stuck in the middle….my dad passed away in October and was cremated. My mother decided just recently (within the last month) that she would like to have a “ceremony” and spread his ashes Memorial Day weekend. My son has had plans for a year to attend a family reunion with his wife’s family that weekend. My mom won’t budge on the date and my son feels he has had these plans with out-of-state family for over a year and no matter what he does he will let someone down. I have tried to talk to my mother but she is set on that date and will not change it. I don’t want to pressure my son to change his long standing plans, but I also don’t want my mother hurt if he doesn’t come. Is there a solution here that I’m missing? Who should change their plans?

    • Elizabeth

      It’s an unfortunate situation, but if your mother can’t be persuaded to shift the date so that your son can be there, then your son should honor his prior commitments. We can’t all attend every function, and despite the solemnity of the event, it doesn’t trump his plans. It sounds as if your mother is being overly rigid – perhaps she feels that she already waited too long, or feels as though more people will attend if the event is on a holiday weekend? Hopefully both your son and your mother will forgo hurt feelings and be understanding about the others’ feelings and situation. If you explained your son’s prior commitments, then she already understands the consequences of that choice of date.

      • I completely agree. The son had plans, and so did his wife. He should honor those plans, and the mother shouldn’t make him feel guilty about respecting his wife’s prior engagements. Perhaps Mother actually does understand, and this ceremony is for immediate family only?

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