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To be so angry with this man? Or is it my grief coming out in a weird way?

(90 Posts)
ConkerGame Thu 21-May-20 14:02:26

My dear grandfather passed away two weeks ago from Covid-19 and we held his funeral yesterday. Under the current rules, obviously numbers are limited and restricted to immediate household/family members and a celebrant, unless no relatives can make it and then very close friends are allowed. The crematorium we used allowed 10 people and we had to be sat spaced out by household. Fortunately our immediate family is very small so we were all able to attend - my parents, me and DH, my sister and BIL, and my brother, so 7 of us.

Two days before the funeral I got a message from my dad (whose father it was that had died) saying "By the way, "Mike" wants to come to the funeral so he'll be attending too". Mike is a friend of my dad's, not a super close friend or a friend from childhood, so not someone who knew by granddad really well, but a neighbour who my parents have got to know over the last 15 years. He probably saw my granddad once a year for the past 8 years, at gatherings at my parents' house. He was definitely not in any way emotionally affected by my granddad's passing. As it happens, I've never been a big fan of Mike's - he's very loud, attention-seeking and tries to muscle his way into things. He also makes plenty of insensitive comments. He has also got my dad involved in some bad business deals in the past so I'm generally wary of him and his "friendship" with my dad.

I felt strange about it when I got the message - it didn't make sense at all for him to be there. We all knew that this wasn't the proper funeral we would have planned under normal circumstances, it was very much just an intimate family event and my dad is planning a larger memorial service when things open up again, that everyone who knew my granddad will be invited to. It's also obviously been a very horrible, stressful time for us all, as we weren't able to visit my granddad in hospital, haven't been able to visit each other to grieve together since the news of his passing and hadn't seen each other for 8 weeks before the death either, due to physical distance and the lockdown. So this funeral was going to be the first time we'd met as a family in 10 weeks and the first time we'd been able to all mourn together as a group. Obviously we've been speaking on the phone and video calls but it's completely different in person. So it felt really intrusive to me that a guy who most of us don't know very well and some of us don't like was going to be there too.

I messaged my dad back to ask if Mike knew this was just a small gathering for immediate family only and was also against the rules for random friends of relatives to be there, but he didn't reply. So I arrived at the crematorium yesterday to see Mike standing there with my parents. I'd arrived in tears, just wanting to be comforted by my family and to comfort them too, but bloody Mike was already there, cracking jokes and making small talk. I felt so angry that he was taking this time from us a family and changing the atmosphere in such an inappropriate manner. Thankfully we got called in for the service quickly and were then all sat separately (which was difficult in itself) and then after the funeral the vicar encouraged us to spend some time in the grounds, reminiscing together. But we couldn't because this random bloke was there, talking about the weather and the venue. I just walked off with DH and left as I couldn't hold back my tears and wanted to just be left alone with loved ones to grieve.

The immediate family all then went back to my parents' house to spend some time together in the garden, so I did get time with them all, just us. But since the funeral I've been feeling really really angry that what should have been a peaceful, comforting event where I said my last goodbyes to a much loved family member was turned into something stressful and awkward. When I first got the message from my dad I didn't push things too hard as I felt my dad deserved the most sympathy as it was his father who had died, and I didn't want to cause him any extra stress on what would already be a difficult day. But to be honest, my dad was actually fine on the day and it was me that needed comforting and I now feel a bit bereft and almost like my parents let me down a bit by allowing Mike to be there, if that makes sense? If any of my close friends had said they wanted to come, I would have thanked them for their thoughts but told them it wouldn't be appropriate, and I'd love to catch up with them separately on another day, rather than just impose them on the rest of my family.

My dad is not someone who confides deep feelings in friends or relies on them for support so he definitely wouldn't have asked Mike to come (especially as Mike was in no way close to my granddad!). I also question Mike's motives for being there - it definitely wasn't for the wider family benefit and he knows we're a tight-knit, loving family so it wasn't like my dad wasn't going to be completely supported by us if he needed it. I think it honestly just made him feel important, like a "special chosen" friend to be the only none-family member there.

I'm not sure how to get over this anger or what to do about it? I probably see Mike once a year and he's the type of insensitive man to say something like "you weren't very friendly to me at your granddad's funeral, were you!" next time he sees me. For that reason I want to tell my parents how annoyed I am that he was there and that I don't want to see him again in future, but I also don't want to cause them any stress.


Dreeple Thu 21-May-20 14:06:24

You should have said “Do not bring Mike.”

NoMorePoliticsPlease Thu 21-May-20 14:10:43

I understand exactly what you are feeling. I think the only way you can put it in a box is to focus on the fact that there is a huge anger part of grief, and this idiot has ensured it is focussed on him. Allow your self to grieve and feel angry and try not to think this person has ruined everything. I held a similar grievance for 40 years and I wish I had binned it

ekidmxcl Thu 21-May-20 14:11:00

Mike sound like a pain in the arse and his behaviour was crap but you cannot go back in time and change what happened. Therefore you need to find a way to get through it. Have a meal at home with your husband in place of the grieving you would have liked to do with your family.

pooopypants Thu 21-May-20 14:11:25

Maybe your dad and Mike are closer than you realise and he wanted some additional moral support? Maybe your dad knew Mike would be his happy jokey self and wanted someone to lighten the mood? Maybe he hasn't made the motive clear and it doesn't sound like you've asked

Did you at any point say that you didn't want Mike there?

NoMorePoliticsPlease Thu 21-May-20 14:11:46

Dont involve the rest of the family, they have their own grief to deal with

FishingPaws Thu 21-May-20 14:14:03

You're grieving, 'unreasonable' is perfectly reasonable and indeed normal under the circumstances. Anger is part of the grieving process, it may just be that Mike is a convenient focal point for that anger (but given your description he may well have earned some of your anger, his behaviours sounds very strange and quite inappropriate).

Allow yourself to feel what you feel; in time your perspectives may adjust, but if you feel angry at Mike and let down by your Dad then allow yourself to feel those things and work through them. My condolences on the death of your grandfather.

AllsortsofAwkward Thu 21-May-20 14:14:46

He might of been you're grandfather op but it was you're fathers father and you had no right to dictate who could and couldn't attend. He clearly wanted his close mate their for support. I sold be furious if my dc was annoyed that I had a close friend at my own parents funeral.

HollowTalk Thu 21-May-20 14:15:03

If he says that to you, just say, "Well, no, my grandad had died and it was meant to be just close family there." Be prepared for it so that he doesn't surprise you.

AllsortsofAwkward Thu 21-May-20 14:15:30


Northernparent68 Thu 21-May-20 14:18:39

I think grief counselling might be helpful. It really would nt help to tell your parents how you feel.

It also is n’t helpful to guess how people are feeling, maybe mike was devastated and cracking jokes is how he deals with it. Perhaps he saw more of your grandfather than you realise or perhaps he thought he was being nice.

bigchris Thu 21-May-20 14:19:39

I know where you are coming from but it was your dad's decision and you really need to let it go now and move forwards

GarlicMonkey Thu 21-May-20 14:20:12

So sorry you went through this. People make me furious with their insensitivity sometimes & unfortunately it's quite common. I got no time whatsoever with my terminally ill mother due to my brother's new girlfriend constantly hanging around. It was then the same after she died. 10 years later I still feel robbed of my opportunity to say goodbye.

bigchris Thu 21-May-20 14:20:38

Sorry for your loss flowers it's an awful time to lose someone so look after yourself flowers

zscaler Thu 21-May-20 14:21:54

I don’t think you should talk to your parents. You can’t change the past and it will only cause distress.

I’m so sorry for what’s happened. Take care of yourself while you heal.

PowerStruggle Thu 21-May-20 14:23:50

I agree it was up to your dad to decide if mike should be there. Don’t get hung up on this, it’s isn’t important - just support each other

Northernparent68 Thu 21-May-20 14:24:11

Allsortsofawkard is right, it was your fathers decision. You are grieving but so is everyone else, including your father. I mean this nicely but you do n’t own grief. Why are your views more important than your fathers ?

Quartz2208 Thu 21-May-20 14:27:35

Anger is a normal part of grief and it is easier to be angry at him than anything else

Jeezoh Thu 21-May-20 14:27:47

You’re reasonable to feel how you do about Mike being there but you’d be unreasonable to raise it with your parents. It’s happened, you can’t change it now and you don’t want your dad’s memory of the funeral to be that you were pissed off with him.

Nothing about grieving is easy, especially when the rituals we go through usually to navigate grief are so altered by coronavirus. Try to let it go xxx

TimothyTerrible Thu 21-May-20 14:32:47

I think you might be focusing your anger at the whole shitty situation on to Mike because you don’t like him. It was really up to your dad who he invited, and absolutely don’t fall out with your parents over this.

mamansnet Thu 21-May-20 14:33:32

Grief affects everyone differently and I think your dad probably needed the distraction of Mike being there to help him get through the day. Don't hold it against him. He's probably in pieces behind the scenes.

I understand how it's made you feel though, and YANBU. However, if Mike's so much of a dick as to say something to you at a later date, have a great response ready. Either 'yes well I was grieving, what were you expecting?' or just go for it and say 'it was a family funeral and I thought your attendance and cracking jokes was completely inappropriate'.

QuestionMarkNow Thu 21-May-20 14:35:17

I can see why you are angry with HIM. If you were to raise the issue, I would do with him (not your parents).
If as you say, he was the one to ask and clearly had no close relationhsip woth our grand dad, then there is a question to ask as to WHY he was there.

I personaly this was totally inappropriate. And his behaviour was inappropriate too (but as no one actually told him off, incl your dad, why wouldnt he carry on?)

LemmysAceCard Thu 21-May-20 14:37:12

I understand that you are still very upset and Mike being there was not a nice experience.

But, your granddad was your fathers father and therefore you father could decide who was there and it was not your place to tell him that Mike could not attend.

QuestionMarkNow Thu 21-May-20 14:37:18

It was really up to your dad who he invited,

Actually I am not sure about that. The funeral was for the benefit of the whole of the family, not just for the benefit of the OP's dad. Their feelings, incl the OP's, shoud have been taken into account.

ConkerGame Thu 21-May-20 14:41:54

Thanks everyone, your messages are strangely comforting.

I think one thing that's really bugging me is that it definitely won't have been my dad inviting him. Mike would have just said, "Oh I'll come along" when he heard about it, and my dad has always been someone to just keep the peace with difficult people so he wouldn't have wanted the bother of telling him not to come, and would just have said "OK then". Not that I think he minded him being there, just that he definitely wouldn't have been seeking out his support.

I feel like my dad is taken advantage of by Mike and he's too much of a peace-keeper to get rid of him. It makes me worry about what more stuff he's going to do in future that my dad will just "go along with".

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