To be annoyed at my mum for being annoyed at me?

(69 Posts)
luigiwin Sun 01-Dec-13 14:20:02

My mum is annoyed at me because today is the first anniversary of my grandads death and i dont want to travel an hour and a half to light a candle where he is scattered. DD is 4 months so I dont want to travel too far with her and I have an in laws christmas meal tonight. My mum is fuming as she doesnt think i should be celebrating christmas on this day. Firstly its DDs first christmas so im really excited and secondly I respect that my mum wants to head up there, why cant she respect that i just wanted to say a prayer for him this morning and forget?

rabbitlady Sun 01-Dec-13 14:23:11

her grief. her power. who knows?
your way seems to be right for you. she'll have to get on with doing it her way. don't let her annoy you. its not worth it.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 01-Dec-13 14:23:42

I would have gone, I would be there supporting my mum through this.

ZillionChocolate Sun 01-Dec-13 14:25:55

It's difficult. I think it depends on why she wants you there. I'd be willing to go if she needed support, but not if it was just that that's what she thought you ought to do.

DameDeepRedBetty Sun 01-Dec-13 14:26:36

Does your mum have anyone else to support her today?

paxtecum Sun 01-Dec-13 14:31:20

I have great difficulty remembering dates of deaths, even of my own parents, but I do think of them often.

I think your DM is BU.
I would remind by DCs that it is the anniversary (if I remembered it), but wouldn't expect them to join in a memorial service every year.

I am quite matter of fact about death and believe that life is perfect in every way after death.

Remember and respect the dead and enjoy the day with your DD.

luigiwin Sun 01-Dec-13 14:33:48

My dad has gone down with my mum and he was great calming her down and comforting her a year ago and i know he will be today. I understand that she is upset but its more the fact that she thinks its selfish of me not to go, i really dont believe in lighting candles for the 45minutes that they tried to resusate him and blowing them out at hod time of death etc... Like i said in the post if she wants to i respect that but i just see it as a bit of a downer, i like to prey for him then remember him as he was the last time i saw him, not think about the day he died. Its just that she wont seem to respect the way i want to do it.

LegoCaltrops Sun 01-Dec-13 14:34:14

If it weren't for the 4 month old baby I'd say YABU. But, a 90 minute drive with a child of that age should have a break of at least half hour AFAIK, unless you've got a lie flat car seat? So it would be 2 hours each way. That's 4 hours, with baby, plus time with your DM, to light a candle, when you've already got plans. Sorry but IMHO she is being a bit unreasonable. Although I can see there are extenuating circumstances so I'd be inclined to try & make it up to her.

Musicaltheatremum Sun 01-Dec-13 14:42:33

Grief is a funny thing isn't it? My daughter flew up last year for the first anniversary of her dad's death to be with me but actually it was fine and we had a lovely meal out. However if it had been this year she would not have been able to come up due to timetable commitments and i would have respected that. I am in no doubt you are thinking of him a lot today but you have your own commitments.

happydaze77 Sun 01-Dec-13 14:44:36

This might sound really harsh but I will say it anyway.

You have every right to do what you want on this day. Likewise so does she, of course. But she had no right to tell others what to do.

Your mum is not alone as she has your Dad to help her through it.

I presume that your granddad was 'a good age' when he died? In which case why should his death be viewed as a great tragedy that must be mourned on that day every year forever more?

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, I honestly don't mean it to be. I just think that everyone should be entitled to mark these anniversaries in their own preferred way and not have anything forced upon them.

happydaze77 Sun 01-Dec-13 14:51:53

Having said that, it is understandable that her emotions are running high atm.

capsium Sun 01-Dec-13 15:00:35

Agree with happydaze77

I also think your Mum will get over it when she has calmed down. People lash out sometimes, when they are feeling emotional.

As for having a celebratory meals with your in-laws, they are part of your family too now. She cannot really comment.

I'd just give her some space for a while but be pleasant when you next talk to her and take it from there..

DixieWest Sun 01-Dec-13 15:07:28

YANBU to not want to travel that far with a small baby. I think it's a bit dickish for you to go for a meal with your in laws though hmm can see why she's pissed off about that. You could have changed the day out of respect really and made time for a chat on the phone.

Bourdic Sun 01-Dec-13 15:17:17

I agree with happy - the most relevant fact is that she had your dad to be with her. I would never have expected anything from my dd on first anniversary of my parents' death - completely different if 1st anniversary of dh ( her fathers) death of course.

paxtecum Sun 01-Dec-13 15:28:14

My DF was ill for six months and it was a relief when he finally passed.
He hated being an invalid, though he wasn't in pain.

Shortly after he died, some one said to me 'I know exactly how you feel - you just want your Dad back in his hospital bed'.
Actually, that was the very last thing that I wanted!
That's when I realised that different people deal differently with death.


mrsjay Sun 01-Dec-13 15:29:36

yanbu but your mum was upset I hope it settles down , It was her dad and she wanted the family to be there upset can make people selfish for a while but you did nothing wrong dont be angry with your mum though

Iamsparklyknickers Sun 01-Dec-13 16:05:07

YANBU, grief is such a personal thing it's not often two people manage to completely understand one another.

A member of my family didn't go to my DM's funeral. It hurt me deeply at the time but I can see now that it was just to painful for them and that's a part of their grieving process, I certainly don't hold any ill about it now and feel a bit sorry for them that it wasn't something that they could use to process their sadness.

Do you think making a call to your mum on the evening after she's been to give her half an hour of remembering your Grandad and seeing how she is would go down well at all? I know not everyone would react particularly well to that but it's a small compromise to offer while not losing the message that you don't want to dwell.

TidyDancer Sun 01-Dec-13 16:05:51

If it was that important to her, I would've gone to support her. I understand your perspective though.

CoffeeTea103 Sun 01-Dec-13 16:06:57

If you didn't have a child then you would have been ur to go but understandably you won't want to do the trip with the baby.
On the other hand it is thoughtless and unkind of you to have this Xmas dinner tonight, all jolly and celebrating know the significance of today. You dm has good reason to be upset at this.

FigEater Sun 01-Dec-13 16:12:21

Yanbu not to go with a baby but yabu to specifically go out and have fun with people who didn't know him esp as this is only first anniversary. To her it probably feels like you've already moved on and forgotten. Could the in laws thing not be another night?

HoHolepew Sun 01-Dec-13 16:17:44

There is nothing wrong with the op going for a meal. Its been a year not an hour hmm. She has already said that she will remember him in her own way.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 01-Dec-13 16:19:16

I also agree with happydaze77 and with capsium

Both eminently sensible posts.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Sun 01-Dec-13 16:24:24

I think your mum's ceremony sounds a bit bizarre - another person could find it quite upsetting to participate in that, letting the candle burn for the period if his resuscitation. Is today the only day you can celebrate with your in laws?

Moxiegirl Sun 01-Dec-13 16:26:09

Yanbu and can't believe people are saying you shouldn't go out either!

pictish Sun 01-Dec-13 16:28:04

I disagree coffeetea and strenuously so.
Of the OP's mum feels it appropriate to embrace her grief on a date that is significant to her, then that is her choice.
She may not expect or hope to force the same onto her daughter.

HoHolepew Sun 01-Dec-13 16:31:28

I agree the candle being lit for the length of time it took to try to resuscitate him is a bit odd.

pictish Sun 01-Dec-13 16:31:42

Or what happydaze said....

mrsjay Sun 01-Dec-13 16:33:15

I dont think the candle is weird or anything it is just the same as visiting a graveside to put flowers down but the op had other plans today , life does go on and the op didnt want to go there is nothing wrong in that, I am sure she remembers her granddad very well in her own way

Iamsparklyknickers Sun 01-Dec-13 16:34:15

I find the notion of it being ok to not go but expected to sit in reverent mourning a bit off to be honest.

Remembering doesn't have to be surrounded by sadness or ritual - especially if it means nothing to the person being asked to do it in that way. How many times do you hear people say they want everyone to have a massive piss up at their funeral? There's very few people who relish the idea of being remembered with sadness.

Grief is for the living to process a person no longer with them, it's not fair to force that on someone whose already processed their initial hurt.

everlong Sun 01-Dec-13 16:37:10

I would have gone too.

A 4 month old baby can travel 90 mins without any drama.

You come across as selfish and quite uncaring in your posts.

flaire Sun 01-Dec-13 16:41:26

The Victorians had a very complex system of mourning periods. For a husband, mourning had to be a minimum of eighteen months. For a parent, one year. For a grandparent, three months.

Even by Victorian standards, you are no longer in 'official' mourning for your grandfather. You are allowed to enjoy a meal of good cheer with your in-laws.

Your mother is being unreasonable to demand you grieve in her manner with a ceremony and take the huff when you don't.

CustardOmlet Sun 01-Dec-13 16:46:05

Everyone grieves their own way, your mum needs to respect that you don't need to go to his ashes to think about him. Personally I am anti graves and would rather celebrate a life on their birthday than grieve their death.

I thought the things about candles, is that you can light one for someone wherever you are.

Tell your mum you will light a candle at home and think of your DG in your own way.

strugglinginsilence Sun 01-Dec-13 16:50:57

Whilst I understand not wanting to go I cannot understand why you cannot show a little more empathy for her. How would you feel if it was your DF who had died and your DC said 'sorry but celebrating with the in-laws'. YANU not to go but very unreasonable to be so callous towards your mother's feelings.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 01-Dec-13 17:00:53

I didnt see callousness in the OP.

The thing is this isnt the OP's parent but her Grandparent. In family terms it is a whole step away.

strugglinginsilence Sun 01-Dec-13 17:07:25

I agree but that is no reason to be annoyed at your mother because she is upset and wants the support of her family. It is the 1st December so the idea of first Christmas is a little weak as a defense. Not going is fine being annoyed at your mother for being upset is not. Plus some of us really love/loved our grandparents and mourn them. It is not a relationship to be dismissive about.

paxtecum Sun 01-Dec-13 17:17:06

I don't see any callousness either.

Do we all have a day of mourning on our GPs anniversary?
That could add up to eight days of mourning each year with our DPs grandparents too.

Sorry, I'm being facetious, but really?

diaimchlo Sun 01-Dec-13 17:22:14

Of the OP's mum feels it appropriate to embrace her grief on a date that is significant to her, then that is her choice.
She may not expect or hope to force the same onto her daughter.


People grieve in their own way.

drudgetrudy Sun 01-Dec-13 17:22:58

Going against the grain here but I think your Mum is being a bit selfish. She has your Dad to support her and personally I would hate the sort of ceremony she is planning. Would your Grandad really want this? She is entitled to grieve in her own way and so are you. I would have gone to spend time with her if she had been alone but yanbu

luigiwin Sun 01-Dec-13 17:30:18

Just to point out, im her son grin and a few of you think im harsh or callus, thats the only way i can get through to my mum, i miss grandad loads as i know she does but the date is unmoveable due to work commitments and was booked weeks ago without even thinking that it would clash with this day. My mum is great with making people feel guilty for not doing things her way and it makes me feel pressured to do things that she wants me to.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 01-Dec-13 17:37:15

Oops,sorry luigiwin! It still doesnt mean that I think you are being unreasonable though. Yes, I know that guilt-trip feeling. Ultimately it has the opposite effect from the one my DM wants as I find myself automatically thinking up reasons for not doing anything my DM wants me to do.

LtEveDallas Sun 01-Dec-13 17:45:13

I'm sorry, but I think your mum is BU. She is quite entitled to mourn for her father in whatever way she wishes, but she cannot force those wishes on others. A candle could have been lit anywhere, it didn't need to be in that specific place - that is NOT where her father is, he won't be there and he won't know she is doing it.

Life is for the living. I actually think a Christmas meal, with the in-laws and a new baby is a lovely way to mark the day. If she was so inclined OP could have raised a glass at the meal for 'Absent friends and family' and taken a minute to remember her grandfather. But what her mum is suggesting I think is overkill.

Is OP supposed to never make plans for 1st December again? What would happen if she had another child that happened to be born on that day, would mother say they couldn't have a birthday party ever?

I'm sorry, I know my views on death/funerals/memorials are pretty harsh, and I apologise to those that feel these things more deeply than me, I mean no offence. But maybe OP is similar to me, and doesn't need to mourn like this.

LtEveDallas Sun 01-Dec-13 17:48:20

Oh apologies luigiwin, I shouldn't have assumed blush

luigiwin Sun 01-Dec-13 17:55:52

LtEveDallas thats okaygrini know its mumsnet and im a dad but there is only one dads site and its utter pants.

MerryChristmasMollyHooper Sun 01-Dec-13 17:56:16


Does the whole candle thing make you uncomfortable?

luigiwin Sun 01-Dec-13 17:59:08

Oh LtEveDallas that is the point that im trying to make, grandad was great but i want to remember him as he was the last time i saw him on my 18th birthday, winding me up about my facial peircings, saying theyre for girls, that was grandad to me, not a hill and a candle.

luigiwin Sun 01-Dec-13 18:02:19

MerryChristmasMollyhoo its not that it makes me uncomfortable but as i said in my last post thats not who he was to me.

strugglinginsilence Sun 01-Dec-13 18:02:54

Apologies Luigiwin but I still think it is unreasonable to be annoyed with anyone about how they feel when they are grieving. This applies to your mother as well but sometimes you have to accept families differ but that does not mean anyone is in the wrong.
LtEveDallas you are entitled to your views but you should remember your beliefs are fine for you but can come across as crass and insensitive to others. Unless you have some unique insight into what happens when people die you cannot say anything is certain.

Bowlersarm Sun 01-Dec-13 18:04:30

I don't think you are unreasonable. She has your dad with her. She shouldn't be dictating what you should be doing or how you should be feeling.

A trip that far with a baby is a long way. Especially if you are just coming straight back again.

parttimer79 Sun 01-Dec-13 18:04:44

I was extremely close to all my grandparents. They would all think I'd lost the plot if I designated the anniversary of their death an official day of mourning.
I respect anyone's wishes when it comes to how they mourn, but they should also respect my right not to participate. Can't believe how prissy and self righteous some posters are on here!

LtEveDallas Sun 01-Dec-13 18:47:40

Umm struggling, I don't think there is any need for but you should remember your beliefs are fine for you but can come across as crass and insensitive to others.

That's why I apologised. Being 'crass and insensitive' is NEVER my aim. I am well aware that some people have other views, and they are entitled to them. I just don't agree. Grieve, mourn, do whatever makes you feel better, but don't expect others to feel the same.

It seems OP feels the same as me. Remember the BEST bit of the person you loved and lost, not the worst.

Bettercallsaul1 Sun 01-Dec-13 18:47:50

I think this is an unfortunate clash between two ways of grieving. Your mother's is very literal - she wants to be. at the place where your grandfather's ashes were scattered and keep a candle lit for the time that medical staff were trying to revive him. You don't feel the same need to be physically present and that should be respected. Also. this is your grandfather, but your mother's father which makes quite a difference in the level of mourning. The only really valid reason for you going would be to support your mother but , as your father is going, I can see why you don't feel you have to go too.

There is nothing wrong with the way you are choosing to spend the day - I actually think it is very healthy. You have a baby girl. - your mother's granddaughter - and you are looking to the future. In the midst of death, there is life and it is right to celebrate it.

luigiwin Sun 01-Dec-13 19:00:19

LtEveDallas i dont think you are harsh or insensitive in any way you seem to have the same mindset as me. Id rather think of good times when he was here than bad times now because he is not. BetterCasual1 DM and i do clash quite often as were both quite strong minded. To make it worse we both suffer from depression so small arguments get blown out of proportion (not blaming her as sometimes i go too far too) an example would be her getting annoyed that i didnt want to have his name somewhere in DD's name so he lives on, donald is hardly a girls name.

Bettercallsaul1 Sun 01-Dec-13 19:04:37

You were quite right to stand your ground on that one as well, OP!

liquidstate Sun 01-Dec-13 19:13:43

I don't think you were unreasonable. People grieve and remember the dead in different ways. Your mum was not alone. You are not uncaring for missing this (and am blowing a big raspberry at the posters who have said so).

Do make a point of seeing your mum soon though.

strugglinginsilence Sun 01-Dec-13 20:50:10

Ummm LtE but you do. This is a terrible time of year for people who are grieving and you make it sound so superficial and glib. My point was simply nobody should judge/be annoyed by how people grieve. You don't have to agree/go along with but don't criticise.

It is far too sensitive an issue for this forum where people seem to think blowing raspberries at people who are suffering is OK!?!?!

IWishYouWould Sun 01-Dec-13 22:36:52

nope YANBU. Sorry for your sad day. Your mum needs to respect your right to remember your GF in your own way. I hope your evening has helped.

haveyourselfashandy Sun 01-Dec-13 22:55:21

I would have gone.I would have wanted to be there for my mum but reading your posts I understand why you didn't go.Marking the day would be important to me too but I don't think many people feel the same.I'm abit weird like that.

Joysmum Mon 02-Dec-13 00:18:13

I'd have gone. I don't see car journeys as too arduous and I'd want to be there to support my mum if she'd lost her dad. I wouldn't see it as my mum wanting to force me to grieve her way, just see it as helping her to grieve her loss her way. I'd put her needs before mine.

Trooperslane Mon 02-Dec-13 06:33:57

Agree with Lego.

diddl Mon 02-Dec-13 07:07:58

Perhaps for your mum it's the two things-not only not going, but also that you are having a night out iyswim.

I suppose she sees it as disrespectful.

She can't help how she feels, but it's up to her how she grieves, & up to you how you do.

firesidechat Mon 02-Dec-13 08:34:50

I know that it's only a small minority of posters, but I'm quite amazed at those who think going out on the anniversary of a death is somehow disrespectful. I loved my grandparents so much and they were a big part of my life, but they died a very long time ago now and I couldn't tell you what the dates of their deaths were.

I know that my mum's mother died at Christmas because I spent Christmas Eve with my mum getting the death certificate and organising the funeral and I also know that my mum was a bit sad at Christmas for a few years afterwards. Thankfully she would find a candle lit ceremony very strange indeed, so that's one thing I've never had to worry about. We tend to remember their lives and pretty much ignore the sad circumstances of their deaths.

Of course I fully support your mum's need to mark this date in her own way, but you are being perfectly reasonable in not wanting to join her. I would hate it too.

fluffyraggies Mon 02-Dec-13 09:16:13


Had they been adults at the time, I certainly wouldn't have expected my DDs to grieve in the same way as me at the anniversary of their grandad - my father's - death.

If it was the OPs father that had died a year ago, and his mum wanted him by her side for that first anniversary then that's more understandable i think. However this is OPs grandad. He feels he wants to remember his grandad in a different, less graphic, way.

My dear dad passed away 5 years ago. My mum is very into going to his ashes burial site for birthdays and xmas, to lay flowers. She (and he, in fact, when he was alive) always said that when a person passes they are gone, and that attachments to a physical time or place associated with their death was maudlin, and not for them.

She has changed her mind it seems, and that's fine. But at the 2/3 year period after his passing i sensed a bit of upset at the fact that i wasn't turning up at to lay flowers regularly. She has stopped mentioning it lately.

I too like to remember my dad in my own way - as a strong, happy, dependable father. Not the damp patch of ground where we all wept 5 years ago. Grief is a personal thing and an individual should be alowed to express it their own way without being made to feel guilty.

mamapants Mon 02-Dec-13 09:36:14

I don't really understand not wanting to be there for my mum if she wanted me to be there. Its totally alien to me. If my mum wanted me with her on one day a year for eternity for any reason then I would do that.
If I knew my mum was upset and would appreciate family support why wouldn't I do so.
We spent a whole day travelling with a 4mth old for my grandads funeral which I know is different to an anniversary but if my family needs support then we give it.

Seff Mon 02-Dec-13 11:51:47

I think that the first year after somebody has died is the hardest, because of all the "milestones". After that, it does start to get easier.

YANBU to say you are unable to go, but equally your mum INBU for wanting her family around her on the first anniversary.

I also don't think grief is a standard thing. You can stop grieving for somebody but an anniversary can bring it all back. She may not be annoyed at you for long.

WorrySighWorrySigh Mon 02-Dec-13 16:32:40

Marking the date is a hugely personal thing.

I very deliberately did not mark the date that my DF died. Though I was with him at the time and have very clear memory of the days leading up to his death and the day of his death (he was nursed at home at the end).

The thing was that I knew that I wouldnt want to mark the day in the future so deliberately avoided knowing the date.

I would not be happy if my brother decided that I should mark the date the way he wanted to.

LickingMyWounds Mon 02-Dec-13 16:49:11

Hi. It's a year today since my dad died. I was mightily relieved that no one wanted to mark the day. I've been pottering around, buying bits for Christmas and taking it a bit more easy than usual. It's on my mind but I want to move forward, not fall apart at every milestone. It's a personal thing. You might have found a ceremony upsetting. I would. But because I've been able to tiptoe through the day, it's been okay really. I haven't even mentioned it to my son, he's excited about Xmas and I'm not sure if he's remembered the day but I don't feel a need to remind him.

DixieWest Mon 02-Dec-13 18:27:06

I will add that if my mother had lost her father and was grieving and she made it clear that this was an important day for her I would absolutely be there no fucking questions. I can imagine my mother would need my support, a year is absolutely nothing when you've been close to someone your entire life, she is probably vulnerable and in need of support, I think you're being pretty selfish not to go. Yes your dad is with her, but I can imagine she'd like you to be there too.

LickingMyWounds Mon 02-Dec-13 18:31:02

But the OP might be vulnerable too and need to deal with it in her own way. Her mum needs to be sensitive to that too. The OP might be putting a brave face on it.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now