Uncle's funeral WWYD

(14 Posts)
AppleSnow Mon 23-Dec-13 08:36:10

My uncle died last week and his funeral is on 27 December. A bit of background: I saw him on family visits as a child then we moved abroad then he did so I didn't have any contact with him and his family for years. The last time was at my father's funeral a few years ago though his daughters didn't come. The funeral is 4 hours away so the travelling time will be 8 hours in total. My two siblings are going.

So I've been pondering the whole question about attending funerals. If someone who is family but you haven't seen for years or had any meaningful relationship dies are you obliged to go? I feel quite torn. One (selfish) part of me thinks it's a long way to go for such a short time but then he was family. I'd rather go up in the summer, show the children where I was brought up and visit his widow and my cousins then. WWYD?

whattoWHO Mon 23-Dec-13 08:38:09

Would you go if the funeral was on 27 January?

fortyplus Mon 23-Dec-13 08:42:14

I think funerals are usually about showing support to the people left behind. So the important person here is your aunt - will she be hurt if you don't go? Phone her for a chat and to offer your condolences - she'll be pleased to hear from you and will probably suggest that you don't go.

HootShoot Mon 23-Dec-13 08:45:53

You may not want to hear this and others may disagree with me but my sisters and I were very hurt that our cousin didn't come to our mum's funeral which was on 29 December. They live a good four hours away from us so we didn't see them often but my mum loved him and it hurt that he didn't make the time to show his respects.

HootShoot Mon 23-Dec-13 08:47:46

Oh and the reason he gave for not coming was his girlfriend had a cold. That made it worse tbh.

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 23-Dec-13 08:48:03

No, I probably wouldn't go, especially given the journey, but I would offer my condolence. If you feel awkward about not going then a bout of noro in the family would be handy.

EdithWeston Mon 23-Dec-13 08:53:12

You are not obliged to go.

Funerals are at short notice, so it's always likely that there will be people who can't.

Absences will be noticed and remembered.

It's about family rallying round, as much as remembrance if the deceased. And unrelated to level of personal grief.

It's not an either/or choice (unless there's something you haven't told us). Going to the funeral won't prevent you visiting in the summer.

LucyLasticKnickers Mon 23-Dec-13 08:57:03

do you live the furthest away?

MinesAPintOfTea Mon 23-Dec-13 08:59:50

I'd go if at all possible. For your parent who was their sibling as much as anyone else.

SMorgauseBordOfChristmasTat Mon 23-Dec-13 09:02:00

I'd go for the sake of your Dad who can't be there.

I've travelled afar for funerals since my parents died because I appreciated those who came to theirs.

CaptainSweatPants Mon 23-Dec-13 09:02:43

I would go
Especially as yoyr siblings are going, it'll look odd if you're the only one not there
Could you go on your own & leave dh with the kids? See it as a break for yourself after Xmas? You could stay in a hotel & have a nice meal out with yoyr siblings after the funeral

ChristmasBigKnickers Mon 23-Dec-13 09:09:55

My cousin said she wasn't coming to my mum's funeral earlier in the year because she didn't want to see her brother who she had fallen out with. hmm She said she would only come if he didn't!

I have to say I wasn't impressed that she couldn't put her feelings aside for half an hour and pay respects to my mum who had offered her unending support when her own mum (my aunt) died suddenly a few years back.

The other posters are right- it isn't about the relationship you had with your uncle- it's about those left behind. My dad was very touched by the number of people who came to my mum's funeral- some of whom we hadn't seen for many years.

AppleSnow Mon 23-Dec-13 09:27:34

Thanks - some very thought provoking posts here. Going for my dad is a thought that resonates with me.

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 23-Dec-13 12:28:16

My sister missed our brothers funeral. She lives abroad and he died quickly, although the funeral was two weeks later. She flew immediately home but just missed him dying. Her son and grandchildren were going a week later for their hold, all booked, couldn't be changed. We all told her to go back and enjoy the kids, that's more important to us than them missing her. They had a little church visit on the day, but we all agreed it was totally the right thing to do.

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