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To ask if you regretted not going to an estranged parent’s funeral.

(49 Posts)
TeddyIsaHe Thu 21-May-20 18:59:21

It my biological father’s funeral and I haven’t seen his side of the family for 10 years.

I want to have closure, and I want to say goodbye. But I’m just stressed and worried that seeing everyone at the crem is the best way of doing this. I just worry I’ll regret it in the future.

AIBU to think of not going?

TeddyIsaHe Thu 21-May-20 19:00:43

It’s my biological father’s funeral on Tuesday

Seeing everyone at the crem is NOT the best way of doing it.

Sorry, lockdown with a toddler and brain all over the place atm.

Holothane Thu 21-May-20 19:02:33

No you did the right thing, my mother buggered off when I was eight only saw her twice after that, I never went didn’t care either, it always makes me laugh these crap parents moan their children don’t bother with them, I also didn’t go the the woman who brought me funerals either, best laugh for me it was held on my birthday I celebrated that year.

Franny0696 Thu 21-May-20 19:02:39

I think for yourself you should go if you feel like it will give you closure, even if you sit at the back away from the people you don't want to see smile you might regret it in years to come otherwise x

masonmason Thu 21-May-20 19:08:24

Covid offers a bit of a get out for this situation. Numbers are limited at funerals so if you haven't spoken to that side of the family they may have already 'filled' that number. You get closure by making it with yourself. Going to the funeral of an estranged parent doesn't give closure. In fact it often opens up worse feeling of abandonment etc that can never be put right.

checkingforballoons Thu 21-May-20 19:09:41

I went, and I think I’m glad that I did. Do you think you would regret going? YANBU to not go though, absolutely.

TeddyIsaHe Thu 21-May-20 19:14:01

I’m not sure. I haven’t been grieving as such (he died 15 days ago). I cried a lot for 2 days and then just haven’t thought about it.

I’m scared that if I do it’s going to be real. At the moment it’s no different to how it always was, but if I see the coffin and the family then I’ll know he’s gone and I don’t want to grieve. It’s easier this way.

I know that sounds horrible and heartless.

EineReiseDurchDieZeit Thu 21-May-20 19:19:11

This is not yet me but one day it will be. It is almost 20 years since I spoke to my father. I have no feelings towards him other than indifference. I feel like funeral attendance would only smack of hypocrisy.

EineReiseDurchDieZeit Thu 21-May-20 19:20:37

For me that is, not you

I feel like it would only serve to cause people to make digs

LuckyBitches Thu 21-May-20 19:21:48

That doesn't sound at all heartless. I wasn't estranged from my father, but his death didn't really affect me much nonetheless, at least in terms of feeling a sense of loss. It just made me realise that I was furious at him for leaving my mum (and me) when I was young, the eulogy where my stepmother was described as the 'the love of his life' made my blood boil. I drop kicked the order of service when I got home. The funeral opened up a can of worms as has been described upthread. There is no wrong way to feelflowers

Lambside Thu 21-May-20 19:23:25

I didn't go to my father's. Would have been odd as I really wasn't on good terms with his current wife and hadn't been in contact with his side of the family for years. Would have been super awkward I think

TheSmelliestHouse Thu 21-May-20 19:29:58

I didn't go. I don't regret it. He wasn't there, just all his weird friends, so what would have been the point.

JosephineDeBeauharnais Thu 21-May-20 19:34:42

Didn't go, didn't regret it. I had the opportunity to visit before he died, and I made clear to my stepmother that I would go if it was him who was asking, but not if it was her. She gave me quite the lecture about my "behaviour " in this regard and what her views were, only backing off when I reminded her that I'm in my fifties, and her tone was completely inappropriate. She was asking because she, as always, wanted control, so I didn't give it to her.

redwoodmazza Thu 21-May-20 19:38:29

I never went to my mother's. She turned into a miserable old witch in her old age. I don't regret it. Think about it - but don't regret it.

EggysMom Thu 21-May-20 19:41:02

I didn't go to my bio dad's funeral, we had been estranged for more than twenty years. I don't regret it. I had no feelings for him or his second family.

LupoLoopy Thu 21-May-20 19:42:05

So by-proxy experience here.

My mother was estranged from her Father during his later months, as he was incredibly selfish and nasty to the point of being abusive to my Mum when his wife/my Mum's step-mum died. It was too much for her at the end of a VERY long road.

In truth, I'd given up on him about a decade prior (my Grandfather).

She went, as a pariah, to both funerals concerned. She didn't seem to get much solace from either ceremony and still tortures herself that things couldn't have been better for/with both of them, despite any conflict not actually being her fault. In fact, she came away from the proceedings with 2 parts paranoia, 1 part defiance that she wasn't 'chased away' from the ceremony.

Personally, I got more out of morning quietly in private and being able to reflect on my true feelings towards the individuals concerned, rather than the tarted-up bullshit version of the person that gets projected at such proceedings.

In short, do what you're comfortable with right now and be at peace with it. That's the best decision.

Buzzmingo Thu 21-May-20 19:43:48

This will be me some day. I can’t imagine I’d go, I’ve already grieved the loss of the father I wanted him to be. I have no need to grieve for the man he truly was.

This is very personal, and only you can decide but there is no right or wrong. I’m sorry you are facing this.

Whatnametomorrow10 Thu 21-May-20 19:46:49

Not quite the same but my Mums Dad died a while ago and he had treated my Mum & her siblings poorly over the years and I had little to nothing to do with him for over 30 years. I went to support my Mum as she wasn’t sure about attending.

I’m glad I supported my Mum and for her it gave her the closure she wished. We did sit at the other side of the crem and it was very very hard for her watching the other siblings mourning - I felt nothing. But for my Mum she said goodbye in her own way and has meant she can mentally be in a good place with that relationship.

Do what’s feels right though for you, I got nothing from attending as I had no relationship with him but he wasn’t my Dad.

mistermagpie Thu 21-May-20 20:22:15

One day this will be me, I've been NC with my parents for 7 years.

All I can say is that I won't go. Why would I really? There would be nothing there for me and my being there would offer nothing to anyone else. Throw in the undoubtable stress and heartache it would cause me (and probably other people) to put myself though it? No thanks.

But this is your story, not mine, and nobody can tell you what to do. Ask yourself what you would be seeking to get out of it though? If it's to be seen 'doing the right thing' by others who matter to you, then don't. If it's for some sort of closure then maybe go but in the knowledge that you might not get it.

Ghostlyglow Thu 21-May-20 20:27:19

I didn't go to my father's and wish I hadn't gone to my mother's, even though I had to organise that one. I don't see the point of funerals (but realise I'm in the minority on that one).

chockaholic72 Thu 21-May-20 20:36:40

I was estranged from my dad (he disapproved of a boyfriend, we fell out, and I left). I went on the advice of a psychiatrist colleague who said I should go to get closure. So I went, and held my head high. I didn’t go to the wake but I went to the service and I’m glad I went - it helped a lot. His family kept me at arms length and were cold but polite and if anything it reiterated that I am glad I no longer have to see them. I miss my dad and wish things had been different between us, but at least I got the chance to say goodbye.

I think it’s different if there’s a background of abuse or neglect or violence, but going worked for me.

JustALittlePinot Thu 21-May-20 20:47:10

Hi I’ve been lurking for years but have registered to respond to your message. One of my closest friends is a priest. He has told me so many times about funerals he has performed where family have deliberately not attended and afterwards, the family members phone him to ask how it went and end up breaking down/ regretting not going. I would recommend that you attend. If you change your mind once there and leave then that’s up to you but at least you won’t feel regret. flowers

CallMeRachel Thu 21-May-20 21:00:08

I'm estranged from my family and I don't plan on going to any funerals when the time comes.

I have closure enough in my mind that they are not the family for me and that's that. Seeing other family members would be far too triggering for me and I'd be worried it would initiate a guilt complex that I would find too hard to live with knowing it was too late.

TeddyIsaHe Thu 21-May-20 21:00:51

@JustALittlePinot what you’ve said makes sense. I called the hospital to speak to the medical examiner to go through why he died. It was sepsis due to kidney infection caused by his excessive drinking, which was why we were NC.

I miss him but I’m so angry at him for loving booze more than me always. I want to say goodbye but I don’t want the funeral to open up wounds.

TheMotherofAllDilemmas Thu 21-May-20 21:03:51

THE big question is, can you go to the funeral? I don’t know how is it where you live but where I do only 5 people were permitted to attend. This may take the decision out of your hands.

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