Author Topic: Going to a funeral but not to the other  (Read 5414 times)

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Gail

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Going to a funeral but not to the other
« on: February 21, 2013, 12:57:39 PM »
Emergency! Help!

My mother mistook my number with her brother's, and called me. So I now know (by accident) that her mother is very ill, in the hospital. It could be nothing, but she was crying so I think this could be the end and she will ask me to go. To visit in hospital, to go to a funeral, I don't know yet, but I'm certain she will ask me to go home. In fact, when she realized of the mistake, she told me to hang the phone and that she would talk to me later. That was 3 minutes ago.

Background: I don't want to go at all. Not to hospital, nor to a funeral. I barely knew her mother, even though I was forced to visit her. Never had a conversation with her beyond hello and good bye, never shared anything even though I was there every sunday, and to top that, she is an unpleasant woman.
Problem is, my mother always forbade me to have a relationship with my paternal grandparents, threw away their presents to me so I wouldn't receive them, ridiculed those presents that my father got to gave me, and when I was big enough to go visit them alone, put a long face the whole day. They were very nice people, and I went to both funerals even though my mother tried to prevent it.

So now I know my mother will use that to guilt me into going. Thing that I'm not going to do. Problem is, I don't want to give her those reasons when she is distressed, so what do I say?

Sorry for the language, I usually write better, but I'm writing this in a hurry.
The last time I said what I was really thinking there was an "intervention".

Aeris

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Re: Going to a funeral but not to the other
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 01:05:06 PM »
You're not required by etiquette to go to a funeral for anyone, and certainly not for a woman you don't have a relationship with.

However, you might consider that funerals are really for the living, and it wouldn't be unreasonable to consider going in order to support your mother (rather than to pay respects to your grandmother). It doesn't sound like you have an awesome relationship with your mother, but it's a different angle you might want to think about.

Minmom3

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Re: Going to a funeral but not to the other
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 01:25:42 PM »
FWIW, I went to an Uncle;s funeral nearly 20 years ago.  I had never met the man, nor the cousins in that family.  I went ONLY because it was my father's last brother, and Dad wanted the moral support.  I didn't have a great relationship with my father either, (although nothing as overtly ugly as your mother sounds) but I could do this for him.  It was also (purely for me) an opportunity to see all those cousins I'd never met (9 of them!) and we had a nice weekend.  No deep and lasting bonds came out of it, but Dad was happy I was there, I was glad I went, and it was generally all around mildly good.  It very much did not hurt me to have gone.

That said, I'm NOT saying to go only out of 'daughterly duty'.  I'm ONLY saying it can be better than you expect it to be.  Can you afford the expense to go?  Will your mother use the opportunity to get ugly with you?  Do you have the mental strength and stability to go?  Make your list of pro's and con's and see what works best for you.
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

Hmmmmm

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Re: Going to a funeral but not to the other
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 02:04:01 PM »
What Aeries said. If you want to support your mom at her mother's funeral, then go. But if you don't have that type of relationship with your mom, then don't.

dawbs

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Re: Going to a funeral but not to the other
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2013, 02:08:06 PM »
to echo what others have said...what message are you trying to send?

Are you trying to make teh point to your mom that you didn't have a relationship with her?  are you trying to make an "I'm not a dutiful daughter" point?  Are you trying to define your time as your own (and going would be a hardship)?

I pushed very hard, just over a year ago, for my  husband to go to his grandmother's funeral.  Not because either of us were sad to see her go (that's putting it to bluntly but, there wasn't love lost) but because it was important to his mom--we were there to support HER, not to mourn grandma.  And even if his mom hadn't needed the support, she also didn't need the 'where are the dawbs's" questions that would imply that she hadn't brought her son up right, what with him missing his grandma's funeral.

My situation isn't yours, I'm not saying you SHOULD go necessarily.
But I think looking at your motives for not going will give you a better idea of how to approach this.

Gail

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Re: Going to a funeral but not to the other
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 02:14:49 PM »
Hi all. Thank you for your answers.

My motives? 1. No love lost, like one of you said. She is my mother's mother, not my grandma.
2. I'm busy and I would have to travel 6 hours (and another 6 hours back).
3. Not in a good relationship with my mother, as one of you guessed.
4. I guess that after trying to prevent me going to my grandparents funeral she has no right to ask me to go to his mother's. But, of course, a death bed is no time to tell her that.

Still waiting for her call. Nervous as hell.
The last time I said what I was really thinking there was an "intervention".

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Going to a funeral but not to the other
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2013, 03:03:26 PM »
Shine up your spine and say "that will not be possible"

If you are truly too busy to drive 12 hours roundtrip to the funeral of someone you had no relationship with don't do it. 

I agree with with others about a funeral being for the living.  If you choose not to attend I think you should understand that your mother will see it as not being supportive.  If you and your mom have a bad re@l@tionship this could either mend it or rip it farther apart.  You know your mom better than anyone here in eHell.


kudeebee

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Re: Going to a funeral but not to the other
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 03:44:36 PM »
I would not go.  You didn't have a relationship with this grandmother.  You said that your mother called you by accident, that she meant to call her brother.  You also state that your relationship with her is not good and that you live a long ways away.

Do not feel pressured to go.  When mom calls back and gives you the information, listen to her.  When she asks if you will be coming, tell her "unfortunately, I am not going to be able to make the trip."  If she starts in on the fact that you went to other grandparents funerals, stop her and repeat your phrase, then tell her you "need to go, you have an appointment" and hang up the phone. 

No one can make you do anything you do not want to do. 

dawbs

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Re: Going to a funeral but not to the other
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 04:00:23 PM »
I would focus on your mom in the conversation.

So "so, I'll plan on you coming up for the funeral, it's at 8 on Thursday" would be met with "Mom, that's not going to work, I'm not able to be there."
But the rest of the conversation, where you can, I would focus on her "your grandma died" can be met with "mom, I'm sorry.  You must be very upset.  How are you holding up" type things

doodlemor

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Re: Going to a funeral but not to the other
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2013, 04:06:37 PM »
  Make your list of pro's and con's and see what works best for you.

I think that this is wise advice.  If you have a paper list of things it may help you decide on a practical basis, instead of having all of the thoughts swirling around in your head.

Also, I don't think that your mom called you by mistake at all.  It sounds like she is rather devious.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Going to a funeral but not to the other
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2013, 10:46:49 AM »
OP, I agree with others who've said not to let your mom guilt you into going.  I'm sending hugs to you just because I think this is causing stress to you.

Gail

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Re: Going to a funeral but not to the other
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2013, 12:32:28 PM »
Thanks everybody. I'm calmer now. She called this morning to tell me her mother was at her residence again, apparently the doctors can't do anything for her.

I liked the list suggestion and I'm going to do it this weekend. Fortunaly when the dreaded call comes I'll be more prepared.

Thanks,
G.
The last time I said what I was really thinking there was an "intervention".

MrTango

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Re: Going to a funeral but not to the other
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2013, 01:50:17 PM »
OP, do you have caller ID?  If so, you could let calls from her go to voicemail.

magician5

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Re: Going to a funeral but not to the other
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2013, 06:13:29 PM »
Is this worth considering? You might get away with refusing to supply reasons at all. Why try to "sell" any decision that will never be accepted?
There is no 'way to peace.' Peace is the way.

Gail

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Re: Going to a funeral but not to the other
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2013, 09:50:03 AM »
You're right. I guess any attempt to explain would make things worse.
The last time I said what I was really thinking there was an "intervention".