Hard to believe that I had never thought about this before. Last week, my sister-in-law’s mother died and when I read the obituary I noticed the omission. Where it listed surviving family members, it included, in parenthesis, her daughter’s husband’s name… but not her gay son’s partner’s name. Now I don’t know who made the decision or even the status of his relationship, but it made me think….
As much as I don’t like to think about losing anyone I love, if I am fortunate enough to live a long life, then it will likely happen someday. How would it be handled in my family or in my partner’s family? If it appeared in the newspaper in the town where I grew up, there would probably be people who judged it as an affront to the memory of the deceased and of course that would be untrue. I don’t want my relationship to be omitted because it offends some, but I also realize that me and my partner are not the only ones who would be affected. I don’t know the answer right now, because I believe every situation is completely different. It’s probably important to remember the newspaper article will not define the relationship you had with the one you lost, but could potentially define existing relationships going forward.
Note to self: Talk with partner today, so this isn’t a surprise someday. When the time comes, consider everyone and make the best decision you can with no regrets.
Do you have any experiences or advice on this topic? Share your comments below.