Need help with a touchy subject--please help!

My MIL is taking everyone to dinner in a couple of weeks; it would’ve been her and my FIL’s 50th wedding anniversary, but he passed away a few years ago. I really feel like I wanted to either make or buy a cake for the dinner as a nice gesture, but I’m not sure. I can’t ask my husband because he won’t give an opinion (he’ll hem and haw and be indecisive and we won’t get anywhere!). I don’t want to ask my MIL because I wanted it to be a surprise.

Would this be an okay thing to do? Or would it be hurtful? It seems she wants to commemorate the event in some way, which is why I was thinking a cake might be okay. If I did bring a cake, what might it say? I want to do something that would be a kind thing to do, and not hurtful in any way.

This is slightly different…but maybe in the same vein…

My uncle died ages ago…but of course, that pain never goes away for my grandma. Every year on his birthday, my mom gets my grandma a little something for her…whether it be a fancy candle, a religious book mark, or sometimes a prayer read at a church (some places will have a service and send a card to the family to commemorate it)

Ok…it is not a birthday or death day acknowlegdement…but it could be just as awkward to skirt around the subject. Personally, I think that she may want the comfort and company to go along with what could be a very painful or lonely day for her…

This is my opinion. Talk to MIL first. I know you want this to be a surprise, and it can be for everyone else. Get her opinion. I take it that ya’ll are close? If you tell her what you have told us on KH and ya’ll talk. Let us know how it goes.

I think the response would differ from person to person, so it’s probably a good idea to check. I know my dad’s mom is sort of sensitive about “only” having been married 40 years before my grandfather died, and then “only” having her 2nd marriage last 19 years before Joe died. (Maybe because my mom’s parents are both still alive after 62 years of marriage.) It’s the anniversary that would-have-been. It could either be seen as a celebration, or it could be seen as a sign of what she doesn’t have any more.

Is she dating anyone? That could add another wrinkle to the project.

I don’t think it is a bad idea.

As an option: why write anything on it at all? You could decorate it up for the season and keep it “neutral” in that respect. If anyone asks what it is for, you could say that you just felt like making a cake to celebrate the love of family. Non-specific seems like the way to go with this to me.

If you are close enough to her, you could maybe ask her what her thought are abou the anniversary, or make a comment about how it is nice that whilst he is not here in person they are still married (depending on her views on this). IF she respond positively then you may not have to mentio the cake, but know that the gesture would be in keeping with her own thoughts, if her response is ambiguous, then forget the surprise and say right out ‘i would like to make a cake to mark the anniversary’. If her response i s negative then you can quietly put the cak tin away.

If you do end up making a cake i would still keep the decoration subtle, maybe just with champagne flutes, or gold piping and flowers (since it is the 50th) but avoiding any wording.

I agree. :thumbsup:

I think a cake would be quite nice and not a problem at all. The fact that she wants to do this suggests that’s she’s quite healthy and adjusted to life as it is and a cake would be a very nice addition IMHO.

I think a cake would be fine. I would ask others in the family to see what is her favorite kind. I mean, you all are already going to dinner, a cake would just be dessert.

I would put on it something like, “We love you (name)!” Or maybe “To a Wonderful Mother/Grandmother.”

I don’t see how a cake would be upsetting. I guess ppl assocate it with celebration, but I would have already thought something like that was afloat with the entire family going to dinner.

Anyway- ask the other in-laws to get their opinion.

I also think a cake would be fine. It’s a simple but yet thoughtful thing, and I’m sure she will appreciate it. I think as long as it stays simple, I don’t think it will be upsetting at all. But it’s probably a good idea to ask other members of the family if you can.

I think you’re doing a very nice thing. :hug:

This also. :heart: rachael72knitter said it better than I did. :slight_smile:

I’d talk to your MIL like others have suggested. The party is not a surprise as she is the one who suggested taking everyone out to dinner. It seems obvious that the reason for the dinner is that it would have been their 50th anniversary and she’s not parted from him, even in his death, and she’s celebrating the event. (I think that’s lovely by the way and it chokes me up.) Ask her how she feels about a cake. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if she loved the idea and wanted his name on it. Of course, the cake could also just say “Happy Returns” or “Blessings”, “From all of us to all of you” or a great big smiley face (who can resist that!).

I’ve seen this same scenario in Dear Abby letters over the years. Someone’s spouse dies and the widow(er) wants to celebrate their anniversary and others think it odd. I say there’s nothing odd about it and it’s yet another day to celebrate and remember your love. She probably suggested the dinner herself because others may not have known how she feels about it and didn’t want to pry or force a party on her because who would really think to throw a 50th anniversary party when one of the spouses can’t be there. It can be a touchy thing.

I think I’d like your MIL. I know I like you for thinking about this and wanting to do the right thing.

I think a cake would be nice. It doesn’t have to represent an anniversary would-be, and it would show how much you care about her. She might get emotional there, but let her and you can do the same. It’s good to get the emotions out. She might want to talk about him and go over memories about him. That’s good, also. You can join in about your memories of him. It’s obvious that she will be thinking of him. I wouldn’t mention that they are still married. That is not said in the Bible. It’s more like, you will neither be married or not married, so I would stay away from that topic. The cake will be a sweet gesture and I am sure she will see it that way.

I think you’re asking if you should put “Happy Anniversary” on the cake? No, I wouldn’t do that.

But just a nice cake is all you need do. Who would get upset if you bring desert? Unless the chosen restaurant is famous for their deserts…

I think a “we love you” type of cake would be great, and talking with her is the best.

So many times when somebody dies- people are afraid to bring them up anymore so they don’t hurt anyone. I definitely think a good thing to do would be to talk to her & see if she would want this day acknowledged in any way with everyone there. She might would like a prayer, or a toast, or something if not a cake. Sometimes people need to talk about their loved ones, and need to remember those special days even if they aren’t there to celebrate with them.

You’re very sweet to remember and think of this.

bake the cake and decorate it in her favorite colors, NO writing.

IF you are asked, just say you weren’t sure what to write on it because you didn’t want her to be sad and upset but you do remember it being their anniversary and how much they loved each other.