When I learned that, I started thinking about, when the time came, would I go to whatever kind of memorial service the family held for him? I decided that I wouldn't, because I just didn't feel like it was my place and I haven't really stayed in touch with the family, but since I liked my former FIL and have no hard feelings towards my former in-laws, I would send a card to my former MIL at the time.
A couple weeks ago, I got a call from my former MIL. She was calling to tell me that her husband had died that morning. I was really surprised, not because he had died, but because I sure didn't expect to hear from her at all about it, especially not a phone call the same day! She sounded okay, but she was a little distracted because she was picking up John from school. (She had called my cell while I was at work.) She said that I could check the paper for his obituary to see arrangements.
So now I didn't know what to do. Since my former MIL had called, instead of just receiving an email from XM about it, I was wondering if she expected me to be there. I decided by the next day that I still wasn't going to go the memorial, but that I would send flowers.
Well, my former MIL called again a few days later to give me the details about the memorial. She mentioned that she had told XM that he better behave at the memorial since she had invited both of his ex-wives! I was surprised that she had invited his first wife, since last I knew those two women really didn't like each other. But I think it was for the kids; she's their mom after all.
Even after the call from my former MIL, I decided to stick with my plan of sending flowers to the memorial and a card to her. I mean, between XM's first wife, his current girlfriend, and him, I really don't need to be in that room! However, once the obituary came out, it said that in lieu of flowers, the family would prefer donations to the Alberta Cancer Foundation. So that's what I did, and still sent a card.
My former FIL was a nice man and kind of a sweetheart, I think. I hope my former MIL will be okay.