Heartbroken

My partner went into work on the night of 5th February 2021…we have not seen him since!! He was classed as a missing person for 5 weeks when on March 14th 2021 his body was pulled from a river. The police ruled out suicide at the beginning and was investigating tragic accident or foul play… We are still waiting for the body to be released… I’ve been with him 17 years and we didn’t live together although we started making plans for this year… He has two sons who have now taken over, I don’t receive updates from police and have to rely on them for information… While he was missing I walked the banks of the river everyday and stayed at his house… Now I’ve had to give the keys to his eldest son, and move back home… I’m not going to be involved in funeral arrangements, I’ve been told its nothing to do with me… I’ve offered to help them with paperwork but been told no thank you… I don’t want or expect anything financially I just wanted to help lay him to rest…

Dear Shazzy,

I am very sorry that you are finding yourself in such a sad situation. To have gone through 5 weeks of waiting for news, then to hear about your partner’s body being found, and now the added pain of being pushed away by his sons - it must all be very hard for you.

I am not sure what your legal position is but it may be worth contacting a citizen’s advice bureau to find out what right you have or not have as a partner. I assume that your partner had not made a will? His sons are probably seen by the police as his next of kin.

Did your partner have a good relationship with his sons, and did you have any contact with them before all this happened? This must be a difficult time for them too. It is sad that they do not want you to be involved in the funeral arrangements. Is there another family family member or a friend who could maybe be a mediator between you and try to make them change their mind?

17 years is a long time to be with someone and I think you should be given the opportunity to help lay him to rest. I hope things will work out for you. It is good you have joined this online community and I hope that you will find it helpful.

Jo

Thank you for your lovely message, unfortunately as just his partner I have no rights whatsoever. I always thought that I got on well with the boys especially the younger one as he was only 3 when his dad and I got together, and during the time his dad was missing he visited me at his dad’s house and said I could stay as long as I wanted. As soon as we got the confirmation that the body was my partner things seemed to change. I asked them what they wanted me to do and told them I didn’t want anything financial and knew everything would be theirs but if they wanted help then I was there for them. They just said that they didn’t need anything from me and I could go home as there was nothing keeping me there any more. I asked about funeral arrangements and was told we’ll sort it.

Lets hope they are just trying to help you by making all the arrangements, but that they will invite you and include you in the funeral itself.