I’m the only living descendant of my grandmother who shares her name. So you’d think when she got sick the family would have called me and let me know? Nope. I was persona non grata because of a war that had happened a few years earlier between my mother and I. This granny was my mother’s mother so there was also a direct line and I was her first grandchild who also gave her her first great grandchild. None of granny’s other children, my aunt and uncles ever called to ask me what happened, so they only know the story from my mother’s point of view.
Anyway, my cousin, the only one who is still talking to me, called me to let me know what was going on because she believed I deserved to know. I was 35 weeks pregnant when I found out. At 36 weeks, our 85 year old granny died. I was told flat out by my mother’s siblings and herself that I was not wanted at the funeral and that I wasn’t family. Which I found ironic – I was the only living namesake, the other had died when she was 38.
Every other funeral I’ve ever been to, including my father in law’s and mother in law’s, even if there was a family dispute, the dispute was put aside and all were welcome to mourn. Not my family. Stay away, I was told. Don’t send flowers. Don’t talk to us. You’re not one of us. Leave us alone. Blah blah blah. Most other families put the “fun” in “dysfunctional,” they lived by the “dys.”
Now, I mentioned earlier that I was 36 weeks pregnant. Well, in order to go to the funeral, I would have had to fly there. In order to fly there, I had to get clearance from my doctor. In order to get clearance from my doctor, I couldn’t be under any stress. My doctor took one listen to what was going on and refused to certify me to fly. He did not want me anywhere near that pit of vipers for fear I might have the baby early. I called up my aunt in tears to tell her I wanted to be there but couldn’t and got the same refrain : don’t call us, ever, etc etc etc. So even if I wanted to go, I couldn’t. I went into what was thought to be premature labour over the stress, but some IV fluids and a night’s rest in the hospital fixed that. I was put on bed rest the rest of my pregnancy.
My granny was a nurse. My aunt was a nurse. I know granny would have understood why I couldn’t go to her funeral. My granny also taught love, forgiveness and other Christian virtues and I know she would have wanted me there at least symbolically. It was their loss. I mourned for granny on my own way the day she died and again on the day she was buried.
If I had been allowed to be part of the funeral, even from afar, I would have made the great grand baby I was carrying her next namesake. I wasn’t part of it so I didn’t. My children weren’t even mentioned in the memorial notice either.
The irony is, 3 years later, I’ve found out that granny wanted me to be given something and they, my aunt, uncles and mother, have been farting around with excuses as to not contacting me. It was the same cousin who told me too. Now I want to view a copy of the will just to make sure they haven’t pulled a fast one. I bet I’m going to get the cast offs no one else wants. Figures, eh? 1117-09
I’m a bit confused as to how your presence, or lack thereof, at the funeral is the determining factor whether you’d name your baby after your grandmother. It seems you think that not naming your newest child after your grandmother will somehow punish your family for not including you in the funeral. The only persons hurt by your spitefulness are you, your child and your grandmother. You harbor a bitterness that is so profound you are willing to entangle your good grandmother’s name up into the memory of a family dispute. Your child forfeits the opportunity to carry on a name of a person you claimed to love and respect. And finally, grandmother’s legacy of a good name being passed on to the next generation has been lost solely due to pettiness.
And Granny’s lessons on the Christian virtues of love and forgiveness were as much for you as the rest of your family. Honor Granny’s memory by not just having listened to her lessons but doing them.