Author Topic: In-Laws Want a $3000 bench for grave  (Read 3964 times)


  • Member
  • Posts: 36
In-Laws Want a $3000 bench for grave
« on: June 23, 2015, 06:50:02 AM »
When my husband died, we didnt have a lot of money, but fortunately, friends and family were so generous that they started donating to this online collection in my husbands name. The collection specifically stated that all the money would go to me and the funds were for the funeral and to bless his lovely wife.

Unfortunately, my inlaws who were planning the funeral (and had no money also) thought this collection was for them to spend as they wanted on the funeral.  So when they told me they were going to spend about $15,000 on the funeral because thats how much people had raised, I put my put my foot down, and said it was MY money, which I was going to use for the funeral, but $15,000 was too much, since I had to plan for the future and paying bills with no income.  Specifically, I said that I wasn't going to spend $3000 on a graveside bench, that I knew my husband would hate.  Well this turned some of the family against me, but I remained steadfast in my decision. 

Anyways, months later now my mother in law has now mentioned she wants to get the bench.  You see I don't care if they get a bench for his grave, but I'm afraid they are expecting me to pay for it again, and while I am more financially stable, it just seems wrong to spend $3000 on something I don't want.  The only reason I am considering it is cause my husband would really have spent any $ amount to make his mother happy, and if she wants it then I will consider it.  Am I being a money hogging bitch or am I being taken advantage of?


  • Member
  • Posts: 99
Re: In-Laws Want a $3000 bench for grave
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2015, 07:00:52 AM »
Whose name is on the deed to the plot? If it is yours, then they'll need your approval. If your husband would've really wanted her to be happy, you could say she can do it, but all you can spare is $XX towards it as it's not something you want but you want to take some burden off of her. Maybe $500?  I'm surprised the cemetery would allow a bench.


  • Member
  • Posts: 524
  • Widowed 11/23/13 Joined YWBB 12/2/13
Re: In-Laws Want a $3000 bench for grave
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2015, 07:30:10 AM »
I don't know ... there's two camps of thought on these things.  Some feel it's a waste because the person is not there and it's silly to throw that kind of money at something like that.  Some take comfort in it.  I'm kind of middle of the road I guess.  Chad wanted to be cremated, but I also know he would have wanted the headstone from the military and all that went with it, so I did what the military would pay for and that was it. Buried part of his cremains at the veterans cemetery so he would always have that marker. I believe in keeping it tended and pretty, but $3000? I can sit on the ground for the few minutes I'm going to be there. 

I guess maybe put yourself in her shoes ... it's terrible to lose a child. You're not supposed to outlive your children.  And like you said, your husband would want his mom comforted. But no, I wouldn't pay for it. I just wouldn't object to it.
I can't look at the stars they make me wonder where you are. 
Stars.... up on heaven's boulevard
And if I know you at all
I know you've gone too far
 So I .... I can't look at the stars --Grace Potter


  • Member
  • Posts: 1177
  • Widowed x 2.
Re: In-Laws Want a $3000 bench for grave
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2015, 07:51:04 AM »
Ah, biscuit, you are NOT a money hogger!  You are young and still in school and you have to look out for your own needs right now.  They WANT a bench.  You NEED some financial stability!  It seems that they haven't learned to live within their means if they are wanting to purchase something like this that they can't afford.  Perhaps you can tell them that in the future, once your career is stable, you will consider this purchase, as you know it is important to them.  You are a smart cookie.  Don't let them pressure you into this right now!  I appreciate that his family is dear to you, and I'll bet that you have the words to give them this message in a gentle and caring way, acknowledging the loss of their all-too-young son, knowing they will probably live for decades thinking of their dear son who died long before his time.


Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

Empathy  Developer  Responsibility  Adaptability Connectedness


  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 530
Re: In-Laws Want a $3000 bench for grave
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2015, 09:21:57 AM »
If you have the deed and they save the  $ allow it. Don't pay for it. To me it is an utter waste of money. I doubt he wouldnt want you to yave what is left to help you in this new life. As for MIL -Wanting and needing are 2 different things. No one needs a grave bench.
I didn't have $ when he died  but almost anyone who had a decent life insurance policy warns new widows they spent and gave away too much money that 1st year.

It is self care not selfish
"All the waves must reach the shore before the water calms"-Ray ♡


  • Member
  • Posts: 865
Re: In-Laws Want a $3000 bench for grave
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2015, 09:38:18 AM »
Biscuit, I would allow them to purchase the bench if you think your husband would want his mom to be allowed to do so. I would not pay for it. Although you feel more financially secure, it is hard to know what unexpected situation might arise where you need that money since it is just you now. I actually learned this myself the hard way.) $3000 is quite a lot of money. Whatever you decide from the options you've shared, in no case would your decision make you money-hogging or heartless, so do what is best for you. While I'm sure your husband loved to make his mom happy, he also clearly wanted to give you a secure life and loved you as well. That collection made by friends was made in the same spirit.

Sending you hugs...
Without you, Baby, I'm not me.


  • Member
  • Posts: 246
    • Eerily Cheerily - upbeat but sarcastic musings of a young lesbian widow
Re: In-Laws Want a $3000 bench for grave
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2015, 05:20:54 PM »
If it will shut them up, let them have the bench, but make them pay for it.  You need financial stability as, I hate to remind you, you're on your own.  Also, I hate to remind you that your husband's happiness is no longer relevant - he's dead.  Do what YOU want.

If the in laws don't want to pay for it, you can helpfully offer to buy a couple of fold up chairs from IKEA which they can keep in the trunk of the car to take out when they visit the grave. ;-)
Musings of this sarcastic but upbeat young widow can be read here :


  • Member
  • Posts: 415
Re: In-Laws Want a $3000 bench for grave
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2015, 07:27:19 PM »
Am I being a money hogging bitch or am I being taken advantage of?

Oh, I think we all, including you, know the answer to this one.

But just to put a fine point on it, spend only what you feel comfortable from your money, NOT what anyone else thinks you should do. The in laws, of course, can spend their money on anything they please.

Good luck - Mike
The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped. (Proverbs 11:25)


  • Member
  • Posts: 268
  • Widowed on 3/13/14
    • dawiddahood
Re: In-Laws Want a $3000 bench for grave
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2015, 07:43:23 PM »
Concur with all the above posters: let 'em have the bench, but let 'em pay for it.

Though lovers be lost, love shall not, and death shall have no dominion--Dylan Thomas


  • Member
  • Posts: 406
  • widowed 5/20/12
Re: In-Laws Want a $3000 bench for grave
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2015, 08:37:18 PM »
I'm with the rest of the widda posse on this one. You can say to your in-laws: "I can't even imagine what it is like to lose a child. I know you are having a hard time right now. I understand this bench is important for you to have at his grave, but I'm afraid I won't be able to contribute financially to make this happen."
Gone but not Squish.

Miss you forever baby girl, my Pru!


  • Member
  • Posts: 36
Re: In-Laws Want a $3000 bench for grave
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2015, 08:58:13 PM »
Thank you all for you advice and support! I feel much calmer about it now.
These things are always so hard to deal with, because I know everyone feels like they are honoring the person now gone, but each person has their own take on it what means to honor the deceased
But yea, you guys are right, it is my money and I do need to look out for myself now.  But I have absolutely no problem if they want to buy one.

@Lisa, "if its self care its not selfish" i really like that I will have to keep that in mind
@gracelet haha, I probably won't tell them that directly, but that image alone made me laugh
@ MissingSquish, that was a very diplomatic way of putting it, i might try that phrasing


  • Member
  • Posts: 1706
  • aka MissingmyTim
Re: In-Laws Want a $3000 bench for grave
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2015, 09:02:47 PM »
I'm with everyone else here on the good advice you have received.  You can be sympathetic and respectful about their desire to have a bench while politely letting them know you unfortunately are not in a position to contribute financially. 

I am a people pleaser and situations like this are very difficult for me but if we don't take a stand for ourselves we can not expect anyone else to understand our wants and needs.
You will forever be my always.


  • Guest
Re: In-Laws Want a $3000 bench for grave
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2015, 07:09:39 AM »
I'd spring for a garage-sale picnic table bench and a can of spray paint. 

I have a ton of spray paint in the work room,  LH LOVED spray paint. (You don't need the bench to be all one color, right?)

Let me know, and I'll mail you a can or two.


  • Member
  • Posts: 336
  • Joined Ywbb July/2011
Re: In-Laws Want a $3000 bench for grave
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2015, 08:08:52 PM »
You are much braver than I am! My wonderful mother ran interference with my monster in law. She too wanted to spend an exorbitant amount on the funeral at my expense.  I haven't spoken to her since the memorial.
You hate me don't you? Yup, so much I married you twice! :)


  • Member
  • Posts: 671
Re: In-Laws Want a $3000 bench for grave
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2015, 12:56:28 PM »
I know I am a little late responding to this, but I would concur with the advice you have been given here. It is so easy to see the grief of our loved ones and to want to do something to help them. As another eternal people pleaser, I often find it difficult to turn down the requests of others, even to my own detriment. In this situation, you should put your possible needs before other people's wants. Several people here have suggested diplomatic ways to handle the situation, and I think you would be wise to listen to them and do what feels right, for you. Good luck with this.
"The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude." - Thornton Wilder

Thank you, my dearest Kenneth, for loving me and for giving me the best 13 years of my life.