To be upset by this approach to commemorating my mum's death(3 Posts)
Would really appreciate some views on this -- I genuinely don't know if IABU or over-sensitive and how to deal with this.
My mum died two years ago after a long illness. In the past six months my dad and sister have organised two separate, low key events basically commemorating her life and in neither case have I been invited or even notified. Last summer there was a minor get together involving my mum's sister and this week (on the second anniversary of her death) my dad and sister are having a meal and minor remembrance ceremony. In both cases I've only discovered these things are being planned after they are mentioned to me in passing and without an invitation being extended to me -- it doesn't seem to have crossed anyone's mind that this may upset me.
Mitigating factors: we're not a super close family (although there's been no rift or falling out and we love one another). My dad and sister both live in the same town, a different one from me. I have a small child and they both know it would have been logistically challenging for me to travel down to this event. My dad, although he loves me to bits, is notoriously self-centred and bad at considering others' needs and I'm sure that this wasn't deliberate but just a case of it not occurring to him that it would upset me. But I'm still really gutted that it apparently doesn't cross their minds to factor me in when planning it. I understand that its easier for them to meet than me, but I still feel that under the circumstances they should have done this more sensitively. If they are going to the trouble of planning an anniversary event, shouldn't they have done something which I could be included in? We've just spent Christmas together and I feel with a bit of forward planning they could have anticipated this.
I've pulled my dad up on this sort of thing multiple times in the past and he just doesn't really take these comments on board. I want to raise it with my sister, who is a bit more emotionally intelligent, but without hurting her or being overly accusatory. It's obviously a sensitive time and I don't want to aggravate anything.
Any thoughts on whether I'm over-reacting or how to handle this?
Sorry to hear you lost your mum. You're not overreacting. It's upsetting and seems a bit cruel. It would seem right that the three of you get together on her anniversary; however if they're really as emotionally unintelligent as you say, it may not be a deliberate leaving out. I'd have to say, "it's lovely that you're meeting on mum's anniversary; is there any reason why I'm not invited?". Completely non-threatening.
I would also try and find my own thing to do on her anniversary. We were always a very tight family unit, but since my df died we are completely fractured. We don't even mention the anniversary to each other now. My dm usually fucks off abroad and leaves us to it, even though we were young when df died and did need support.
I just wanted to let you know that it's not like in films, and even close families can drift in times of death, and people can become selfish or completely consumed by their own grief.
On the recent 2nd anniversary of my dads death I called my mum and asked if she had anything planned. She didn't so we bought some flowers and laid them at dads grave then went for lunch. Very low key.
I didn't think about calling my siblings to ask them to join us. If they wanted to they would have called and asked the same question and they would have joined us. If you want to get involved in doing something for the 2nd anniversary why not just call?
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