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Hurt that my aunt won't come to my wedding - i'm probably UR

(39 Posts)
IMBWater Mon 07-Dec-15 22:18:33

Last year (2014) my cousin died aged 24 from a heart attack. She was very disabled and required 24hour care, but I she was my best friend. I spoke to her weekly via Skype and wed share photos/videos on Facebook, I visited as often as I could (she lived 200 miles from me) and was constantly asking my granddad how she was doing after he'd spoken to her. I was incredibly upset when she died.

I feel incredibly admiration for my aunt, my cousin was the second child she lost as I found out a few years ago she lost a baby boy at 6months old in the 80s (2-3 years before I was born). She also has a severely autistic son and has managed to hold herself together for him. She cries when she talks about her children, understandably and I have tried to listen. I've visited a few times, but always felt unneeded/unwanted as she preferred talking to my granddad - she ignores my mum to apparently when she visits.

Dp and I are finally getting married in April next year. I'm obviously excited. But im also sad that my cousin won't be there to be my bridesmaid and help me prepare. She had a creative talent and she was going to use the talent to make some amazing items (being deliberately vague) for my wedding.

My aunt has told me she won't be attending the wedding. No reason given. I'm a little hurt that she won't come. I'm her only niece/nephew as I'm an only child and my mum is her only sibling, so this is the only chance shell get to see a wedding in the family as her son is unlikely to ever meet anyone - although he's invited he's also unlikely to attend due to his autism (he could be left with his dad as his parents are split if my aunt wanted to attend). I'm upset. My aunts never met my daughter and was hoping she'd be able to meet her at the wedding.

I know I'm being UR though as seeing me get married will likely remind her of the children she's lost and the opportunities they never had sad.

Notimefortossers Mon 07-Dec-15 22:29:10

flowers for you OP. It is sad, but if she has said she's not coming I'm not sure there's anything you can do

Valdeeves Mon 07-Dec-15 22:29:44

I think that's exactly it and I know why you feel the way you do. Have been where you are in other ways.

FrenchTammy Mon 07-Dec-15 22:32:09

I understand your upset but your aunty sounds like she has had a very hard time. Maybe it's hard to see you get married when her daughter will never have that? Again that's not your fault but you sound lovely and by April maybe your aunty will see things in a different light and be there on your big day?

IMBWater Mon 07-Dec-15 22:35:16

FrenchTammy I hope so, I've left the invitation open if she wishes to attend and will reserve her a meal etc. But am prepared for the fact shes unlikely to be there.

I know she's had a hard time and I admire her for being so strong. And I understand why she may not attend. Doesn't stop me feeling hurt though.

MissBattleaxe Mon 07-Dec-15 22:35:57

Sounds like she's just nit up to it. She is probably still grieving and knows her limitations. Don't be offended just be kind.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Mon 07-Dec-15 22:37:02

No you're not being unreasonable in wanting your aunt at your wedding but I suspect she could see it a salt being rubbed in her wounds after all She'll never see her DD walk down the aisle, and by your own admission you stated you don't think her son "will meet anyone." So she'll certainly never know the joyous yet emotional feeling of being the mother or the bride nor possibly the mother of the groom. She's entitled to feel bitter. She's probably feeling a bit melancholy.

GenerationX2 Mon 07-Dec-15 22:37:17

I'm so sorry OP, I know this is really hard for you to know your Aunt is hurting so much, but possibly as French says maybe its just too hard for her right now.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding

ImperialBlether Mon 07-Dec-15 22:40:22

She's had a terrible time and I can understand her feeling she won't cope if she attends, but given you were a source of great comfort and happiness for her daughter, I think she should attend. I wonder why she doesn't want to talk to you or your mum about her daughter? Do you think she resents your mum, thinking she's been lucky?

IMBWater Mon 07-Dec-15 22:44:03

imperialblether I don't know, I do wonder.

I know its UR of me to be hurt by her not attending and I completely understand why. I can't imagine losing my daughter, so she must be in unimaginable pain having lost two children plus having a third who has SN.

ADishBestEatenCold Mon 07-Dec-15 22:45:46

"My aunt has told me she won't be attending the wedding. No reason given."

I understand that you are hurt, but there could be any number of reasons, and if you try to get to the bottom of it you might hurt your aunt. So now is the time to be the loving, caring niece you are.

Simply write her a genuine, loving letter, saying that you do understand if she doesn't want to come, but that as well as missing your cousin, you also miss her, your aunt.
Tell her that you will book and keep her place at your wedding, and that it will be there for her right up to the day.
That you will try not to put any pressure on her ... although you will hope that, in the end, she will decide to come, and if there is anything you can do, at any stage, to make it easier for her to be with you on your wedding day, will she please tell you and you will do it.

Then tell her that, whether she comes to your wedding or feels she cannot, you love her and that won't change.

Becca19962014 Mon 07-Dec-15 23:20:13

I was going to post what adish has posted and I can't put it any better. By keeping the invite open and telling her that in a thoughtful letter you understand how hard it may be for her i think that's the only realistic thing to do. Accept she likely won't come and work on accepting that before your wedding in April so you aren't too disappointed if she doesn't come (she might change her mind, but I think you need to accept that as possibly being unlikely).

Like others I understand why you are upset - you too are likely still grieving - my best friend died last year and I know I've nowhere near dealt with it, and your aunts grief must be awful as well. flowers

ClancyMoped Mon 07-Dec-15 23:22:02

I wouldn't write or say anything to her unless you are trying to make her feel bad and give the impression you are trying to guilt trip her. confused

Leaving the invitation open an reserving her a meal is a guilt trippy enough...

I think you may be reading too much into it. It might just be she doesn't want to go to the trouble of getting a new outfit, choosing a present, traveling 200 miles and presumably staying away overnight for a wedding. You might not agree with these reasons but they may be her reasons non the less. She has had a lot to deal with and she might not be in the mood to attend any wedding let alone your wedding.

I know you can't help how you feel but I think it's a bit mean to feel hurt by her actions. I doubt very much that she is trying to hurt your feelings on purpose.

Becca19962014 Mon 07-Dec-15 23:30:17

I honestly wasn't thinking in terms of guilt tripping her. I didn't mean that at all, same goes for leaving the invite open.

A thoughtful letter would likely be gratefully recieved. Thoughtful being the main word, and it would take sometime to write, and accepting that both the OP and her aunt are still grieving - honestly I can see both points of view and keeping the option open for me to attend if I was the OPs aunt, personally, I wouldn't see that as some sort of guilt trip (though I apprecaite that just my opinion!) I'd see it as an option to attend as long as that was made clear.

IMBWater Mon 07-Dec-15 23:43:43

I will talk to my granddad about what he thinks about me sending the letter. He was going to suggest before I did about leaving the invitation open with no no pressure to attend - he offered to pay for her meal if she doesn't attend.

We're all still grieving, and I know my granddad still thinks about and regularly talks about both of his grandchildren he lost. I visited my cousin at least once a month (it wasn't practical for her to come to me) often more often, and spoke to her just 4 hours before she died and I am still coming to terms with this myself. I loved her like a sister.

I can understand other reasons, although a present isn't necessary and I know nobody would be offended if she wanted to turn up in her jeans and tshirt, she wouldn't need to pay to stay overnight as my granddad would happily let her stay in his spare room etc. but as I said can understand if she feels its too much hassle/too soon after my cousin died.

ADishBestEatenCold Mon 07-Dec-15 23:44:46

"I wouldn't write or say anything to her unless you are trying to make her feel bad and give the impression you are trying to guilt trip her."

I disagree, Clancy. I lost a lot, a few years ago. If people hadn't kept reaching out to me (in ways that you could describe as "guilt trippy"), I could easily be reclusive by now.

(In fact, I still have that tendency to slide of the radar, but fortunately ... now and again ... people still keep reaching).

ClancyMoped Mon 07-Dec-15 23:57:05

Ok, so I can see a gentle, no pressure, letter or phone might not be guilt trip'y. smile Maybe you could tell her you don't need to confirm numbers until a few days before the wedding so if she changes her mind at the last moment it won't be a problem.

April is a long way away so she may feel more like going closer to the time.

Another possibility is that you don't say anything for now but give her a call a few weeks before and say that you've had a cancellation and would she like to step in.

Either way, as long as you are not pressurizing her or letting her know that you are upset then I think that would be ok.

girlguide123 Mon 07-Dec-15 23:58:27

oh dear, it's a very sad situation.

I think it's understandable for your aunt to want to stay away, it's just too hard for her.

it's ok for you to feel sad about it, you love your aunt & wish that she could make it, but I think you just have to accept that this is the way it is.

SinisterBumFacedCat Mon 07-Dec-15 23:58:57

i don't think you're guilt tripping at all op. And you are grieving too. flowers

CruCru Tue 08-Dec-15 00:00:25

If her son is autistic, is she a carer for him? It may sound awful but if she has had a really hard time, she may just not be able to face the idea of travelling a long way, staying overnight, attending a big event and sorting out an alternative carer for her son. Although it is your happy occasion, it may be rather bittersweet for her and perhaps she wants to skip being miserable at your wedding.

IMBWater Tue 08-Dec-15 00:01:30

Of course I haven't told her I'm upset and will never tell her, as that could make it seem guilt tripy or like her grieve is invalid etc.

She sent me a one line text saying "Won't be attending your wedding" and that was it, I haven't replied yet.

IMBWater Tue 08-Dec-15 00:02:59

CruCru Her son lives 50/50 with her and her ex, they're quite good friends if what my granddad tells me is correct.

Morganly Tue 08-Dec-15 00:10:31

Your aunt has had an unbelievably tragic life. She lost a baby at 6 months. Her daughter had severe disabilities requiring 24 hour care and died at the age of 24. Her one remaining child has severe autism. This woman deserves a medal for still functioning. Most of us would have just lain down and howled from the pain (she probably does).

But hey you Skyped and Facebooked and asked your grandad how she was. Even though when you visited (the devastated, twice bereaved woman), apparently you and your mother weren't received with the level of consideration for your feelings you felt appropriate.

And now you have a lovely, lovely wedding to look forward to but the poor fucking woman still isn't treating you with the care and consideration you think you deserve.

Leave her alone.

Gladysandtheflathamsandwich Tue 08-Dec-15 00:15:47

I know I'm being UR though as seeing me get married will likely remind her of the children she's lost and the opportunities they never had

Thats it isnt it?

Dont push it, dont ask her about it, dont discuss it with her.

YANBU to miss her, to want her there, to be upset that because of her (and your) loss, she feels she cant attend. YWBU to make an issue out of it.

Gladysandtheflathamsandwich Tue 08-Dec-15 00:16:38

The best reply to the text woud be "Thanks for letting me know. Take care xx"

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