To go to funeral or not?

(5 Posts)
sadsad Fri 25-Mar-11 22:30:00


What a heartbreaking forum! But very grateful it is here because I am after advice and thoughts please.

My darling dad died yesterday of prostate cancer. He was first diagnosed 4 1/2 years ago. We were all shocked, as you would imagine, and we all had long and frank discussions about his illness and his eventual death. Last May he got sick very suddenly and was given 4 weeks to live. My sister and I went to Spain, where he lived with my mum, and spent all summer there to be with them. He started getting a bit better and we both have lives over here (I had taken my 2 year old away from my very understanding husband for long enough, although he had visited us there). I knew when I left I would probably not see him again and cried all the way to the airport.

My dad rallied - not getting completely better but getting to a stage he could go out and have lunch with friends etc. and have a fair quality of life. We (my dh, ds aged 2 and I) went out again to spend Christmas with them. Again I said my 'last goodbyes' as we left.

A few weeks ago he had a fall and deteriorated again. My sister went out to help my mum (she's not married and doesn't have any children) so was there when he died. I am really glad about that and very happy she extended her stay to make sure she is at the funeral which has been set for Monday.

I have spoken to them both and neither feel that I should be there. Funerals are usually very quick in Spain (it would normally have been today, Saturday or Sunday but mum's friends are having a party on Saturday and she didn't want to put a damper on it!) and mum and dad have always said that they do not want us to have to pay to go out at the last minute but would prefer a visit afterwards to help the parent left. Perhaps I should say here, we are not religious at all. My mum said yesterday that she would prefer me to take ds out in a month, to give her something to look forward to. I felt that this was OK - I don't feel a burning need to be there, probably as I have said goodbye to my dad so many times already.

However, almost all my friends think I should go! My ds is 2 and they live in the middle of nowhere so there is nowhere he can safely play so will be housebound. The weather forecast is for rain all week. My dh is working abroad and cannot get back and I have no-one else to leave my ds with so would have to take him.

I am worried that I am not just booking a flight to go this weekend only thinking about it.

I am worried that I might regret this (although in my heart of hearts I really don't think I will). I could afford to go next week and in a month but it will be taking money away from our savings for a house. They have already been hit pretty hard last year with numerous last minute flights for us all.

So - EVENTUALLY! - I guess I am asking whether it is possible to feel at peace without going to a funeral? Obviously when I go out in a month we will talk a lot about my dad etc. and he will always be very much part of us.

I know some people will think I should go to the funeral because you should always go to funerals. I don't really ...

Thanks if anyone reads this. Sorry it's a ramble!

OP’s posts: |
henrysmate Fri 25-Mar-11 23:03:58

Hi there sad, just wanted to say I'm so sorry to hear your lovely dad has died. About your other questions though, it's not my place to say what you should do, your way is the only right way imho. Speaking personally, I'm not convinced funerals give you peace so I'm sure it's perfectly possible to have peace without going to one. So sorry again and thinking of you x

varyingdegreesofdeafness Fri 25-Mar-11 23:16:22

Hi, I'm ever so sorry about your dad. SWhilst you don't need advice of strangers trregarding your dad's funeral, your post implies that you and your family know that a visit from you doesn't need to be for a funeral but when your mum needs the support, which often in bereavement is a while after the funeral when a lot of support does start to dwindle.

My gran died a couple of years ago, and i appreciate a relationship with a grandparentr is no where near as close as that of a parent. However, I sat with her for short while as she was in hospital effectively dying which I found upsetting rather than a moment of being close,, and sat by her open coffin at the undertakers, as her children didn't want to as they found the idea too upsetting (including my parents) and I foud this saddening rather than bringing me to peace with her passing, The funeral wa heartwrenching. My gran passed witjout forewarning, so we didn't have the chance to talk and say our farewells, you have managed to do that, and that is a closeness and love you dad will have treaured most... the funeral will have i shoud hope lots of people attending, you can go later when time has passe, support has dwindled and your mum needs you more. No funeral can match having moments of saying your goodbyes, r having last moments with someone..

varyingdegreesofdeafness Fri 25-Mar-11 23:16:46

Sorry if its a bit rambled blush

sadsad Sat 26-Mar-11 00:04:46

Thanks for the posts. I was expecting replies to say of course I should go. I don't think it is a purely financial decision - if they lived in the UK I would go but going means imposing on my mum for a few days at least.

She has told her sister (who she isn't very close to) that she just wants to go to the funeral which will last 15 mins, then have a meal with everyone and then go home and be alone. Of course my sister will be there. However, if I go, because I have my son we have to turf my sister out of her bedroom (my mum is sleeping in the other spare, I am not sure she is ready to go back into hers yet and would hate to be the one forcing the issue which might happen). I am not sure if the cot is assembled ... all small things which aren't really a problem but could prove to be. Last summer we all argued and it's all fresh in our memories.

While it would be nice to support my mum, if she doesn't want it she doesn;t pull any punches. Last year her friends suggested she spend some time out with my ds (her gs) and just try to have maybe half an hour every day / couple of days enjoying him. She said she couldn't because it wasn't "his time" it was my dad's. She can be pretty brutal ...

Varying - I know what you mean about getting no comfort sitting with them. I found that last summer and was glad he was a bit better when I left.

OP’s posts: |

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