Ex-wives at funerals. How is this usually handled?

My MIL split from my husband’s dad on poor terms, and she didn’t attend his funeral. My brother remains very close to his ex, and I would be surprised if the one who lives longer doesn’t attend the other’s funeral.

So yeah, I’m siding with “it depends”.

Sounds to me like he never remarried. The Ex was referring to the mom as the “second wife”. That also explains the comment about the wonderful 15 years and how much they loved each other. Seems like he was a momma’s boy, and (at least in the eyes of the Ex) his close relationship with his mother ruined the marriage.

I believe her twin sister was 99 when she died. Longevity genetics there, I guess.

I had the opposite problem, incoming instead of ex- and wedding instead of funeral.

DesertWife was still transitioning to husband Mk 2 (me) when her elder daughter got married. Her family were midwestern solid stock and some had expressed an opinion that the reasons she gave for the impending divorce were not sufficient to satisfy them. I told her daughter I could skip the wedding if it would make her life easier. She emphatically said no. “I want you there. If others are bothered by it to the point of not attending, that’s their problem, not yours or mine!”

At the wedding I was one side of DW, Mk 1 was on the other, and their other daughter on his far side. I mulled it over during the ceremony and when we rose first to form the receiving line I lagged behind and paused at the door of the chapel, ostensibly to hold it open. I mumbled the usual banalities as the rest of the attendees filed out and went through the line. It seemed to work – at least I didn’t get any stink eye as they went past.

I think they were married. The issue was the way the woman referred to his current wife as his “second wife” - scoring points on the day of the funeral. I imagine the delivery wasn’t all it could have been either.

Ah, of course. I missed the “stepdad” part of the first sentence. Thought it was the poster’s brother for some reason. And the ex went up to the mom for some reason…

I don’t understand this. Every funeral I’ve been to has been in either a Catholic church or a Church of Ireland church. While it is a “special” mass, it is still a mass taking place in a church and any member of the public is free to come into the church and sit in a pew whether they knew the person or not.

In the US, I think most funerals are in funeral homes. Amiright?

in the US if people go to a church normally the funeral is held at their church. If they are not regular churchgoers then the funeral home is the normal spot.

Mormon funerals are held at a church, but it’s a special service and not a normal one.

I haven’t actually been to a non-Mormon funeral in the States, although I went to many in Japan.

People of any faith are more likely to use the funeral home if it will be a small service. If a lot of people are expected to attend, it may be at a church (etc.), and if a prominent person in a small town dies, or a child, it’s often held at the high school gym because it’s the biggest place in town.

Not in Spain: the location where they take place is always public and so is the ceremony. You can’t bar someone unless and until they do something illegal enough to call the cops.
My cousin’s funeral was attended by his wife (legally separated), his ex-gf (post-wife) and his current-at-death gf, but they all happened to know and like each other. It wasn’t more of a surprise than his wedding, attended by parents and siblings who didn’t know they’d been invited to one (the phone calls had only mentioned lunch).

I’ve been to small funerals at churches and some at funeral homes. Churches typically don’t charge for a funeral but I assume the funeral home does, along with the other charges such as coffin, etc. .

Even if the funeral is in a church, churches (in the USA) are private property with no obligation to admit the public. It might be harder to convince them to bar someone, but it’s entirely legal for them to do so.

I’ve only been to one funeral that wasn’t in a church. That said, it’s also the only funeral I’ve been to that wasn’t Catholic.

My grandmother lived to be 98 & 1/2. She missed outliving my mother by 16 months. My mother, I think, did a little dance when her mother died, because she was getting a bit worried that her mother might outlive her.
My stepfather has an ex-wife, with whom he has a daughter and a grandson. I doubt she would attend his funeral, because she isn’t well, and I doubt she will outlive him, but even if she does, she probably won’t be well enough to travel; however, I would not be shocked if she did want to come. They always tried to remain friendly for the sake of their daughter, and their daughter might want her mother with her.

None of my father’s family came to my mother’s memorial service, but I don’t think it was because she remarried (she was a widow); they all sent cards; there are just very few of them left who would be moved to go-- really just maybe my uncle, and he is not well. The thing is, the memorial was in New York, and they all live west of Missouri-- some in Texas and California. It was a long trip for anyone. But they were all invited. Many sent things to be read at the service.

Sometimes exes get far-flung when you get far enough post-relationship to get to death. That figures in too. People often stay close when there are young children, but once that obligation is gone, they may move far away.

I am talking about the U.S…

Here a church, while open to the public is still not a “public place”, such as a park or municipally owned cemetery. If someone shows up who is not wanted there they most certainly can be told to leave by whomever is in charge at that church, and they can be charged with trespass if they refuse.

Some years ago myself and 3 other Deputies had to drag a very large woman out of a church funeral. She had been asked to leave by the pastor and the family prior to the beginning of the service but refused. Then during the service she was screaming obscenities and throwing bibles and hymnals at people in the pews she felt were to blame for the deceased killing himself. The pastor again tried to convince her to leave but she wouldn’t. She ended up with 2 ordinance cites, Disorderly Conduct and Trespass.

The synagogue I used to belong to in another town had to make a very specific policy that families holding a bar or bat mitzvah were not allowed to restrict attendance, and that included to any reception held immediately after in the synagogue’s social hall. If you wanted a private reception, you had to hold it at another location. Want to use synagogue’s social hall, where members had to pay only a $40 clean-up fee? you had to be ready to feed all comers. To be fair, very few people who were not friends and family of the b’nei mitzvah kid’s family would stay, and anyone who wanted to host an expensive catered lunch for a small group would go to another location-- and had been for years before the policy was official. But one family one year tried to actively clear out non-invitees, including this one homeless woman who never missed a pitch-in lunch, or any other free meal at the shul, and always did come to services beforehand, and any Torah study afterwards (to this day, I have no idea whether she was actually Jewish, but we made a point of asking her to our wedding, because I don’t know how often she got a meal on a Sunday), and everyone always sort of looked after her, like making sure she was in a shelter in the winter and the hottest days of the summer, and that she had a bus pass every month. After that family pulled that stunt, they made the policy.

To be fair, there had been a couple of issues before, where families had invited so many people, that we had to set up extra chairs, like it was the High Holy Days, and we worried about having enough room for the regular attendees. But no one was essentially allowed to hold a private service there. On Saturday morning, the synagogue was open to anyone who wanted to come to Shabbat morning services. If you wanted something restricted, you were told that there were several auditoriums in town you could rent, and you could borrow a Torah from the synagogue if you were a member, and put down a deposit.

Heck, we didn’t even check for tickets on the HHDs, even though we sent them out. We always had tons of crashers.

But the point is, without the synagogue board instituting that policy, it was ambiguous. The hosts might actually be within their rights to exclude someone. The rabbi’s presence means nothing, because the rabbi has no control over the property. He or she is not like a church rector. The synagogue board controls the property, and ad hoc decisions are usually up to the president, who is usually present at b’nei mitzvah, but may not be.

That’s in the US, though. YMMV.

How did the host know how much food to provide?

This is dependent on so many factor that there is no way to say how it is usually handled. My ex-wife and I are best friends. We would probably give a eulogy. My parents hated each other for their whole lives. It would have been hugely inappropriate for my mom to have come to my dad’s funeral.