Feeling a bit helpless

My husband’s nephew died suddenly aged 36, leaving behind a wife and 2 small children. It was a huge shock to the whole family and we can’t quite believe it.
His wife has pretty much cut herself off from his family. We’re not able to talk to her or even message her. She has 2 close friends staying with her every day. His funeral has been arranged by these friends as she doesn’t want to know.
We’re obviously all very concerned that she is not doing well, but have no way of checking in with her.
She wants him to be cremated quickly, no music and no family present, apart from her, her parents, 2 friends and her husband’s sister (our niece). A celebration service is arranged after his cremation but no one is aware that he’ll have already been cremated.
My husband is obviously upset that he’s not allowed to be present at the cremation service and that no other family members are allowed to attend either. His nephew was very close to his family and extremely popular with lots of friends.
My husband also wants to support his niece, who in the last few years has lost both of her parents and her only sibling.
Does anyone have any advice I can offer my husband?
Thank you

Hello @ASHANTY ,

Thank you for bravely reaching out. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss.

When it comes to something as tough as grief, it can be hard to know what to say or do that might help someone you love. Our Grief Kind campaign has lots of resources that can help. You can:

  • Watch our Grief Kind classes. Our Grief Kind classes are five short video tutorials in which Sue Ryder bereavement experts talk you through what grief is like and how you can support others who are grieving
  • Listen to our Grief Kind podcasts. Our Grief Kind podcasts are hosted by author, journalist and Sue Ryder ambassador, Clover Stroud. She speaks with celebrities about their personal experiences of bereavement and the support which helped them most when coping with their grief.
  • Read our guide on supporting someone else who has been bereaved.

I hope that you find these resources helpful. Please take good care of yourself, too - the community is here for you.


Thank you for the advice but it really doesn’t help with our situation.
The main concern is that my husband and other family members will be excluded from our nephew’s cremation. We understand that his wife wants as little fuss as possible, as we’ve been told this, but to exclude us from saying our final goodbyes is heartbreaking for us all.
We don’t want to rock the boat or overstep where we’re not wanted, but it’s not only her who is grieving. We can’t see any other way than to just turn up at the funeral uninvited, but we don’t want to upset her by doing this.
We can’t speak to her, as she’s refusing to talk to anyone, so we can’t even tell her how we feel.
Any advice as to how we can handle this delicate situation?
Thanks x

It sounds like such a difficult situation, @ASHANTY. Hopefully one of our members will have some advice to share.

Take care,