To not want to go to my mum's funeral?

(52 Posts)
StickEmWithThePointyEnd Thu 29-Nov-12 01:28:18

I'm opening myself up to your wrath here. I don't know what to do or if I am bu or just crazy.

I don't want to go to my mum's funeral. I love her to pieces and there were no issues between us for this to be a "I never liked you anyway" type of flounce.

But there will be lots of people I despise there. People who never cared about my mum and caused her no end of anguish. I feel like the funeral is for them not me somehow. I want to do something without them there.

Is this a bad decision? If I were to go I would have to stay at the back anyway due to toddler ds. Not taking him is not an option, I need him with me at the moment and he loved my mum more than most of the people that will be there with their fake tears.

Should I find something for ds and I to do on our own to commemorate my mum?

PessaryPam Thu 29-Nov-12 09:18:25

If it's any consolation I would not have missed going to my Mothers funeral, I just miss my Mum even now. The funeral and the depressing drinks and nibbles afterwards were dire. I remember her by keeping her alive to my own children by talking about her.

HairyGrotter Thu 29-Nov-12 09:18:43

Sorry for your loss, but I would go to the funeral, and so what if your DS causes a scene or acts like a normal child? He is her family, and I'm sure she wouldn't mind him being a child.

Sod everyone else, go for your own reasons, and ignore everything else.

Hopeforever Thu 29-Nov-12 09:23:54

Who is taking the funeral? Can you talk to them about your feelings and fears.

I totally agree with you taking your toddler to the funeral. Do you have a friend who can come with you who will help you care for him and hold your hand?

Take a bag of small toys with you, quiet ones he hasn't seen before, like the freebies you get at macdonalds. Add snack food like rasins and chocolate buttons, not bread sticks!

As for your feelings about the other people there, can you focus on your mothers coffin, the window, your son, just don't look at them or think about them.

justmyview Thu 29-Nov-12 09:27:51

Could you say it's a private funeral and just have it invitation only? We had similar issue in our family and the death was only announced in the papers after the funeral had taken place, to prevent certain people coming. Is it too late for that? Has it already been announced?

valiumredhead Thu 29-Nov-12 09:31:40

We had a private funeral just for family for a relative - when we did the newspaper announcement we stated it was private and the funeral directors were great at warding people off if they rang to enquire.

fuckwittery Thu 29-Nov-12 09:34:00

Who is organising it and who are the people coming who didn't help your mum/who has invited them? Have you had any say in organising your mum's funeral? Is there no way you can exclude them or have a close family only reception afterwards? Or are they crap family members? Can you do a reading, eulogy, poem etc, and then leave straight after the funeral so you don't have to speak to these people i.e. be involved in the service and saying goodbye to your mum.
Is your mum being buried or cremated, is it a church service or at the crematorium? If there is a separate burial service after a church service, could that be for just close family?

I buried my mum on Monday, organising, attending and reading the eulogy was the hardest thing I had ever done but I was pleased as I made it about saying goodbye to my mum in my way and I was the only close family member so no conflict with anyone else. I can't imagine going to my mum's funeral if I hadn't helped with the planning, that as much as anything is about how to say goodbye to your mum rather than the actual service itself if that makes sense? I think having a part in planning it is really important. If you have for any reason been excluded from that I think perhaps you should think about a different sort of goodbye that you do have involvement in, if that seems important, perhaps in scattering some of the ashes or a private reading of poems etc over the grave.

I asked some of my friends (who wanted to come to support me) not to come to the funeral as I preferred it to only be people who knew my mum, I did have one close friend to support me who did also know my mum. A couple of people came who I was not delighted with as they hadn't helped my mum in the last few years but on the day it didn't bother me as there were so many people there who loved my mum.

Regarding your toddler, I took my 5 year old to the service and she followed the coffin in with me, carrying a basket of flowers, placed it by the coffin on the altar and dropped a red rose into the grave during the burial. Your toddler could do something like that with you? I would definitely get a friend to come with you for the service to help with toddler, and also moral support for you. I understand about wanting your toddler with you, I wanted mine, and had arranged for a friend to bring him to the reception afterwards but she was unable to in the end and I felt quite sad about it.

So sorry for your loss xx

fuckwittery Thu 29-Nov-12 09:35:30

"bring him" = "bring her" - my toddler is a girl!

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Thu 29-Nov-12 09:40:00

Everyone already knows, my brother told one family member soon after mum died and within about ten minutes the entire family knew (large catholic family - they're all very into "mourning"). My sister has organised the funeral as they all had to be involved and I can't deal with them.

I'll think about what I can take to distract ds, I do know in my heart that you are all correct with what you are telling me.

Rindercella Thu 29-Nov-12 09:43:44

Pointy, I think taking a friend is an excellent idea. It will take the pressure off you having to worry about DS behaving. And actually, DS may well surprise you. My DD's behaved beautifully at DH's funeral. Yes they played a bit, but they were very much part of the day, as you & your DS should be at your mother's funeral.

This is probably the least of your worries, but if you don't go the relationships you have with the other people there will deteriorate even more. They will be nasty about the fact you didn't go and you will hate and resent them even more because you will feel they prevented you from going.

You can't undo not going.

sixlostmonkeys Thu 29-Nov-12 09:43:50

If you can, contact the vicar and ask his advice re toddler.

Don't worry about your toddler making any noise or playing etc - it's part of life just as death is.

Keep your head down and if anyone speaks to you simply say "not now".

Don't go to the reception if you feel you can't.

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Thu 29-Nov-12 09:43:52

I'm still going to do something separately though, something that means more than the charade the funeral feels like it will be.

Lemonylemon Thu 29-Nov-12 09:55:45

Sorry for your loss. It's devastating.

What I would do is to take your DS along, sit at the back.

The people who have caused problems for your Mum, can be greeted with a stony silence. You don't need to speak as you're too upset.

I was in a similar situation really when my grandfather died.

People who had made his last months more difficult for him and us put on a show and pushing close family out of the way to sit at the front.

Sit at the front with your siblings, take toys and treats for your ds, sod the lot of them, don't let them ruin this time to say goodbye to your mum.

BegoniaBampot Thu 29-Nov-12 09:57:37

I think you should do what you feel you need to as none of us knows what kind of issues you might be dealing with - though you might regret not going. What kind of funeral did your mum want, was she able to say before she died? All that mattered to us when my mum died a few years ago was following her wishes. Focussing on that seemed to help. We were lucky though not to have any problems within the family or with mourners so the funeral actually was lovely and the best it could be in the circumstances.

Speak to priest, many churches have a little section kids can play in and you can see these days.

squeakytoy Thu 29-Nov-12 10:02:01

I am going to go against the majority and say you shouldnt take your toddler. He will not understand why you are upset, and you are going to get more stressed if he is playing up while the service is going on. I would ask a friend if they could have him just for that part, and then you can concentrate on the service itself, in your rightful place at the front with your siblings.

badguider Thu 29-Nov-12 10:06:24

I think you should go, and in my family (extended family are catholic) we take all children to funerals. Catholic priests are used to small children and babies doing what they do in church.

You should NOT sit at the back, you need to get a friend or family member (or frankly even just a random acquaintance) to sit with DS to take him into the porch if required and you sit at the front.

BegoniaBampot Thu 29-Nov-12 10:09:03

I didn't take my young children. Just didn't want to have to deal with them and be distracted or for them to see the coffin going in to be incinerated. I didn't know how I would cope with it and didn't want them to see their mum and possibly others upset. As it was we were all fine and we kept a stiff upper lip and all that but guess you never know how you will react.

It is a good idea to take a friend. There was a MN thread once about how few funerals most MNers had been to, it was very surprising! There are parts of the country, though, where it is very natural to go to the funerals of people you barely knew, simply to support a mourner who you do know well.

fuckwittery Thu 29-Nov-12 12:19:24

if its a catholic church they will be used to having children in the church I bet, in my experience catholics all drag their children along every week and just tune out the noise (older kids can go to children's liturgy), whereas C of E churches and other anglican churches often provide separate play areas but this means children are not usually heard in the service unless its a special family service. The priest will be fine with your toddler so don't worry about that, have a word if necessary. little snacks like raisins and chocolate buttons, colouring and a new quiet toy for your toddler should do the trick but make sure it's your friend who is in charge, not you. xx

mollymole Thu 29-Nov-12 12:37:12

Please, do go, you will regret it if you don't in years to come. Agree with those who say take a friend, who could take your DS out if it became necessary. BUT, sit at the front, where you belong and stuff the rest of them.

firemansamisnormansdad Thu 29-Nov-12 12:41:42

Please go to the funeral but remember your mum and celebrate her life in your own way in the days to come.

My step-father died and my mother arranged the most bizarre memorial service with readings from her high-flying "friends" (who never spoke to her again afterwards) - one even used his reading to make a sales pitch for his shop which sold "aspirational china" - my how DH and I laughed afterwards. In fact, one friend told me it felt more like a wedding than a memorial which was telling as my mother despised my step-father. We had to come down the aisle at the beginning of the service as if we were the wedding party and the service was videoed.

I was beside myself with grief for years but I'm glad I went as, even though the church was packed, it was my own private way of saying goodbye. It was between my step-dad and I.

Sit tight, sit at the front and say goodbye in your own way to your own mum
x

grovel Thu 29-Nov-12 12:44:31

I suppose I'm with the others but to be honest I hated my Mum's funeral and felt nothing (and I had no problems with the other, lovely attendees).

These are public occasions and I couldn't say good-bye at a public occasion. Horses for courses.

WilsonFrickett Thu 29-Nov-12 12:49:51

Children should be more than welcome at a Catholic funeral so your priest will not be phased by him at all. Though I agree that having a friend on hand to take him out for a little walk will be a good thing and help you feel more in control.

But sit at the front. She's your mum.

Also, as a lapsed Catholic, you're right about the 'mourning' thing, it's just something we snap into when there's a death. Lots of fuss and noise and people getting together and drinking (unless that's just my lot) and eating. It doesn't mean that people are being false, or that the people who did value your mum value her any the less, it's just the 'norm' behaviour that people slip into at this time. I know it's hard but try to tune it out - they're not doing it to hurt you. And it would be wrong if it stopped you attending your own mother's funeral.

Sorry for your loss.

Sit at the front, your DC may surprise you with how good he is, but take someone along with you for support and to take him off if he gets too much.

I remember my uncles funeral when DS1 was 3, they played DU's favourite song which happened to be DS's favourite song and DS sang loudly and proudly to it, causing everyone to laugh- no doubt my uncle would have thought it brilliant too.

On saying this, you need to do what you WANT to do. What feels natural to you x

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