Ex-daughter in-law of the deceased. Where do I sit?

by Christina
(Des Moines, WA)

I just attended the funeral of my former mother in-law and the grandmother of my children. I have maintained a close relationship with my ex-husband of 30 years and his family but remarried 2 years ago. I have continued to attend all family events and occasions even though I have been divorced from my ex for 11 years. This is a very large family.


Upon arrival I was careful to sit at least 4 or 5 rows back but still in the "reserved" section. I was approached by my niece and asked to move further back as these seats were reserved for "family". My relationship with my mother in-law was not estranged and I visited her in the hospital during her illness.

Was it inappropriate for me to sit in family reserved seating?

If so shouldn't my ex or one of his sisters have asked me directly and privately to make room should they have needed it? Should I mention this to my niece or would it be inappropriate?
Since my father in-law is quite elderly and in poor heath we had an even closer relationship but I do not wish to offend or be presumptuous of my place.

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Seating
by: Ms P Etiquette

Hello Christina,

​How lovely it is to hear that you've maintained caring relationships with your former in-laws. It is distressing to hear about your experience at your former mother-in-law​'s service​.​ ​It is a shame that you were ​given that challenge​ instead of gratitude​. However, your behavior was perfectly appropriate and circumspect. The niece's behavior , on the other hand, was rude. I suggest you consider this as water under the bridge and let it go. Your motives were generous and compassionate. That was your contribution to the service. The behavior of others changes none of this.​ No amount of discussion will change what happened therefore it is not appropriate for you to question what happened.

Ms. Practical Etiquette​

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