Estranged dad's funeral this week

(26 Posts)

I found out today that my dad died on Friday. We haven't spoken in ten years. He was an alcoholic and a depressive and died of emphysema.

My half sister has managed to track me down and apparently the funeral is being arranged this week.

I stopped contact with him for what I consider to be very good reasons, it was not a healthy relationship. He had pickled his brain with alcohol and was not the man that I like to think of as my father for many years before I severed contact.

Should I go? I have four half sisters who may or may not be there - all older, I have no idea how much contact he may have had with them in the last decade.

Feel free to ask for more details if you think they are relevant.

littleducks Mon 25-Apr-11 20:47:17

I would strongly consider going.

Have you been in contact with any of your half sisters? Would you like to be, in the future?

I have had no contact with my father for years and often think about what I would do if he died - he is a nasty abusive man who was responsible for my mothers death!

Have decided I would not go as I would not feel sad if he died.

Do you feel sad that he has died or not - do you think you need for a better word closure or to say goodbye??

Back in a min thanks for replies.

smokinaces Mon 25-Apr-11 20:57:25

I'm the same as MadameCastafiore. I have had nothing to do with my father for 11 years, and would not go to his funeral. For me a funeral is to say goodbye to someone you loved/respected and send them on their way - I would not give him the time of day when he is alive, let alone dead.

And I am also banning him from mine if I die first btw.

Personally I wouldnt go. You hadnt seen the guy for 10 years. You saw no reason to mend bridges before he died, so why go?

mrsinkpen Mon 25-Apr-11 21:00:22

I was in a very similar situation to you when my mum died. I went to the funeral as it was a chance to say goodbye even though we had not had the relationship we should have had and I mourned that as well as her death.

Unless it would distress you very much I would go. He was your Dad after all.

I’m sorry for your loss and I hope that whatever you decide to do, that you find some comfort.

hug for you

I haven't spoken to my half sister as yet, she rang my mum's home and I happened to go home this weekend, but wasn't there at the time of the call.

I've only met 2 of my sisters a couple of times, the other two I've never met. I got in touch with 2 of them in my early 20s when i was trying to 'save' him from alcoholism. I get the feeling that they may have been subject to the same type of relationship but lived further away and physical distance made the relationship more manageable - pure conjecture on my part.

Madame - i'm very sorry for the loss of your mother. My dad wasn't as 'bad' as yours by the sounds of it, but could be fairly unpleasant to be around.

I feel like I've already said goodbye to him years ago, and am not sure if it's hypocritical of me to go to the funeral. I'm not sure what the benefit is to anyone if I go. However, I suppose I may feel differently once I speak to my half sister.

I'm just thinking out loud here, tbh.

Cross posted.

smokinaces - i'm leaning towards your view, but another part of me hates to think of noone turning up. i did love him very much once, but haven't missed him in a long time. the thought of spending an evening with him fills me with horror.
mrsinkpen - another part of me doesn't want to go because i don't want to be upset! i'm very happy in my life now.

it's fair to say i feel extremely ambivalent.

mrsinkpen Mon 25-Apr-11 22:29:49

I think upset is probably inevitable and normal in this situation whatever the circumstances.

Imagine yourself ten years from now; will you wish that you had gone and had the finality of the funeral?

I'm not trying to convince you to go if you don't want to, only think about it so that you reach the right decision for you

i think i've decided not to go. spoke to my bf friend briefly last night and she reminded me that it's a ceremony to celebrate his positives - i had a problem putting up with that at my grandad's ceremony - maternal - another arse. snorting derisively during a funeral is generally frowned upon, isn't it.

bf friend - best friend!

smokinaces Tue 26-Apr-11 12:34:07

ha ha Staines, snorting through a funeral is probably not the best bet - I did that through my Dad's wedding - which incidently was the last place I had anything to do with him!!

LoopyLoopsNincompoop Tue 26-Apr-11 12:41:34

My situation was very different, but I'll tell it you you to see if that gives a different perspective.

My dad was a violent drug addict. He tried to kill me mum several times, and beat her up often. We spent our childhood running away from him. I hated him, and always thought if he died I'd have a party.

He died of an overdose when I was 15. By this point I was in care. His family didn't think of telling us. My maternal aunt heard, and told social services. They took time to verify it was the truth, then I was in the middle of my GCSEs, so they didn't tell me or my siblings until after the funeral. He was cremated and scattered.

Now I hated him, I really did, but not to be given the opportunity to attend the funeral was one of the harshest things that I've dealt with.

In your position, I would probably go, but only because of that experience. Had that not happened to me, I really can't say what I would do. I suspect it might be helpful to you coming to terms with how he was during his life if you do go, but please don't feel bad if you don't.

Funerals are all about the people left behind, and their grieving. You have to be selfish, you really have to think only about what will help you. He is dead, whether or not people attend his funeral will make no difference to him.

It's not easy, so be easy on yourself.

Take care.

Thanks Loopy, that does help a lot. Fortunately my sisters have given me the opportunity to attend. However, my overwhelming feeling is that I would be hypocritical to attend - they have been there for the last fifteen years and I chose to remove myself from the situation. Maybe I'll just send some flowers.

LoopyLoopsNincompoop Tue 26-Apr-11 20:07:23

Please don't worry about whether or not it would be hypocritical, difficult for others or any of that stuff. Do what you need to do for yourself and don't feel bad about it. It sounds to me like you don't want to go, in which case, just don't. Thank them for having let you know, that is all you have to do. Please don't feel guilty.

MistyB Tue 26-Apr-11 20:16:51

If you think one day, you might think that you wished you'd gone for whatever reason, then go. Don't worry about being hypocritical - your half sister has given you the opportunity to go and presumably bears you no ill will. Do you think, now that he is gone, it might be a chance for you to all heal and possibly have something nice to come of it, like you getting to know each other a bit? Do what is right for you and don't worry about what the outside world would think - they have no idea!!

HalleluiaScot Tue 26-Apr-11 20:20:15

Yes, go.

Ffs. I've just spoken to my older sister. Who was absolutely lovely.

It turns out my dad apologised and made amends with all his kids (5) on his death bed - including two he hadn't spoken to in 20 years. They all have the same mum and most are older than me. It's v complicated.

However, he made no mention of me and I understand this is because a 'mate down the pub' told him some years ago I'd sent a message I wanted nothing to do with him. I'm so angry. With the idiot who saw fit to tell him that - not what I would have said. With the dad that's stupid enough to believe it or question why. with myself for now feeling guilty and wondering if I should have made amends - I definitely shouldn't. Aaaaaaaaargh.

How would going to the funeral help with this? (not the main point of my post - I'm mostly venting)

LoopyLoopsNincompoop Fri 29-Apr-11 19:12:25

Not your fault at all. It is shitty, but then 'making amends' on your deathbed isn't all that much of a comfort when he could have done years ago.

Have a good cry, a glass of wine, and try to put it all into perspective without making yourself feel bad. None of this is your fault.

Thanks Loopy, you're right, and it's classic lapsed catholic behaviour too.

I just feel very angry with both of my parents to be honest. My Mum for picking such a wally, and my dad for being a total emotional retard.

LoopyLoopsNincompoop Fri 29-Apr-11 20:34:49

smile Totally. Lapsed family here too.

Please just try and think of yourself, and don't beat yourself up about it.

Take care. smile

kerrymumbles Sat 30-Apr-11 00:30:19

i will not attend my parents funeral when they die.

they treated me horribly my entire childhood and allowed terrible things to happen to me.

i should have severed contact with them years ago. Still once i turned 18 i put a continent and then an ocean between us.

you may regret not going, it is different for all of us. but i won't

NotaMopsa Sat 30-Apr-11 00:39:04

i wont like Kerry mine were both abusive nasty 'parents'
I don't know them any more and them do not know me
Personally I would not go..... said my goodbyes aged 18

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 30-Apr-11 00:53:05

i would not feel obliged to go.

i did not attend my step fathers funeral and i know absolutely i will not attend when my mother dies.

very dysfunctional abusive people, not had contact for many years and probably never will again.

so i would do what feels right for you, dont feel pressured but do what you feel you want to do.

for me, my decisions feel absolutely right and ive no regrets.

Thanks again for the replies. It really helps to know I'm not alone with this.

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