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to not want my uncle to attend the interment of my mum's ashes?

37 replies

GeekgirlRoastingOnAnOpenFire · 01/01/2008 09:49

Feel really about this.
My mum died at the end of November after a truly horrendous 10 months of suffering with ovarian cancer. During that time she asked several times, through her sister, for her older brother to please get in touch (their contact had been limited to Christmas cards for a few years).

My uncle made up the most ridiculous excuses throughout the whole time for not getting in touch - he said the phone number didn't work, letters had got lost in the post, blablabla My mum was upset about this on several occasions.

One of his wives (serial monogamist - he had 6 I think) died from cancer and apparently he didn't 'want to know' at that time either (and incidentally didn't let her go to a doctor despite being in pain for months, so by the time it was found it was everywhere, leaving 2 little boys motherless as a result), so we think he just didn't have the guts to get in touch with my poor mum who was coping with a truly horrible illness with nothing but bravery and dignity.

My mum's memorial service and cremation was shortly after her death, and the ashes are going to be interred in a ceremony for close family members at the end of January, we're expecting 15 people in total. Apparently this bloody uncle has announced his attendance (my aunt told me).

My aunt isn't happy about it either but said there's nothing we can do. I'm considering writing to him and asking him to please stay away. AIBU?

OP posts:

08aGreatYearForCarmenere · 01/01/2008 09:54

Very sorry for your loss GeekGirl, it must have been a difficult Christmas for you.
YANBU BUT there is no point in perpetuating bad feeling. What good would it do? Would your mum want him to be there? I suspect she would.


Tortington · 01/01/2008 09:56

yes i think you are bu - it was his sister after all. if he can't deal with watchng people die and put that to one side to be of help, support and comfort then this makes him weak and maybe pathetic but it doesn't negate that your mum had a brother ( one she wanted to see after all) and they shared a childhood together.

i lost my mum in may so i do understand some of what you are going through and i understand that anger ispart of the process so i cant tell you to get past yours becuase i can't get past mine! but slightly more objectivley let him attend and them fuck him off and dont bother with him again.

i am sorry for your loss


WideWebWitch · 01/01/2008 10:00

I'm sorry Geekgirl, that sounds very hard.

I was very angry with one of my dad's oldest friends who didn't come to his goodbye party. She knew he was dying and she'd never see him again and I was furious that she didn't come but she just couldn't do it. I forgive her now.

I think YANBU but up to you whether you tell him to stay away or not. I suspect that morally the right thnig is to let him come but I understand if you want to tell him to stay away. Could you call him before and talk about how sad yo are that he didn't come to see her? You might have a good conversation.


moyasmum · 01/01/2008 10:01

Horrible situation, if he comes, he had better have an extraordinarily plausible excuse, or you will all sit there awkwardly ,and the attention will be on him ,not on remembering her with love.

If he is not allowed to attend this will rumble on through the family for ever.

If you think he is going to come regardless, then dont let his whinging distract you. At a later time, have a special commemoration.
I went to a sad funeral once, where a estranged family took over the events and excluded the partner . Afterwards her friends later had a "day" where a tree was planted in a favourite place and a celebratory party was held. The goodbye she deserved.


AbbeyA · 01/01/2008 10:01

I am so sorry for your loss Geekgirl but I don't think that it is the time to perpetuate bad feeling.If your mother dealt with it with dignity then it would be better to put up with his presence with dignity, as custard says you don't have to bother with him afterwards.


kd73 · 01/01/2008 10:01

Geekgirl, I am very sorry for your loss - it must be an incredibly difficult time for you . I don't think YABU, your uncle treated your mother very poorly, however it would appear that your mother wanted to meet with him.

I would recommend that you swallow your pride, hold your head high and be the better person here and make your mother proud.


lennygrrl · 01/01/2008 10:04

Message withdrawn


GeekgirlRoastingOnAnOpenFire · 01/01/2008 10:25

thank you all for your voices of reason. You're right - my mum would want him there. And you're right about continuing this with the dignity she had.

I'll keep quiet and just steer clear of him when I see him.

I just so want to tell him that he's a couple of months too late

OP posts:

ALomonderfulLife · 01/01/2008 10:29

Sorry for the loss of your mother fwiw I think you have ecided to do the right thing



FluffyMummy123 · 01/01/2008 10:34

Message withdrawn


elliephant · 01/01/2008 10:34

Hi Geekgirl Really sorry for your loss- my Mum died recently as well and TBH honest I logged on mumsnet just now to take my mind off her. Hard as this may sound I think you should let your Uncle come to the funeral- he is your mother's brother and the relationship they had was between them. Your DM wanted him to say goodbye.Yes he does sound like and emotionally immature twat.Some people cannot face these situations and behave badly as we also found out. He has to live with that. Let go of your anger towards him and his behaviour won't have the power to hurt you.Don't waste what strength you might have on thinking about him. Concentrate on your happier memories of your DM, so many people at my DM'S funeral told us stories about her and it was very comforting to remember her as she really was and not just in her last few months. HTH


GeekgirlRoastingOnAnOpenFire · 01/01/2008 10:37

elliephant, sorry for your loss

OP posts:

WideWebWitch · 01/01/2008 10:42

Wise words from lennygirl about being angry that her mother was dead but directing that anger elsewhere. Not that I don't think your anger is justified just that I agree. I blew up at my mum two days after my dad died because her bil (who dad didn't have much time for) wanted to come to the funeral. I was furious that he was dead really, all normal reactions.


tigermoth · 01/01/2008 11:02

IME some people just can't cope with seeing someone they are close being terminally ill. It really sounds like your uncle is one of them. Being charitable, perhaps he is bursting to meet you now and wants (and very much needs) to pay his respects to your mum. If you let him come to the funeral, you are giving him this last, important chance. I know it will be hard, but you say your mum would have wanted him there.


batters · 01/01/2008 11:48

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumeeee · 01/01/2008 14:00

Sorry for your loss. YANBU in not wanting your uncle there. But your Mother would have probably have wanted him ther so let him come.


Janos · 01/01/2008 14:14


I'm appalled that he wouldn't 'let' his wife go to the doctors. He sounds controlling and unpleasant.

Totakky understand your reactions but let him go for your mums sake.


Janos · 01/01/2008 14:15

Sorry..totally (cat on the keyboard!)


ivykaty44 · 01/01/2008 14:34

I would write to him and ask that he says his "goodbye" in another way and you would appreciate his absence from the January ceromony.

If he has issues with illness that is his problem to overcome - your mum was denied her wish to see him by him.

Perhaps I am heartless, but then so was he not to grant a wish to his sister on her death bed.

Most of all though i feel it would bring anger to you at an event that is meant for you to say goodbye, this is about you and your "close family" saying goodbye. You need to be threre looking after yourself and your father. Not being made to feel angry by a man that has issues.


ivykaty44 · 01/01/2008 14:38

On this occasion it is your uncle that needs to be the bigger person.


AbbeyA · 01/01/2008 16:28

Your uncle is 'close family', the ceremony is not a time to have arguments-you want to look back on it as a time that you said goodbye to your mother, not one that was spoilt by argument.I think that you have made the right decision to act with dignity.


helenhismadwife · 01/01/2008 19:30

Sorry to hear about your loss it must be very tough for you at the moment.

Its really difficult to know what to do for the best, if one of my uncles did this to my mum my initial reaction would be to ask them not to come, that would be my anger and hurt for the way in which my mother had been treated. The reasonable side of me would think my mum wanted to see him, he mattered and was important to her so it would not be nice to her memory to ask him not to come.

I wouldnt try to ring him myself because I know I would either get very upset or angry and not say what I wanted to say. To get my hurt and anger out of my system I would write a letter to him saying how I felt about the way he behaved and how much it hurt you and your mum and hopefully that will clear the air for you and mean that at the ceremony you can concentrate on remembering your mum not feeling angry and resentful towards your uncle. You dont have to post the letter if you dont want to, sometimes just writing everything down helps.


warthog · 01/01/2008 19:35

i'm sorry geekgrrrl. it's an awful time when you lose a parent.

i also think you should let him come to the funeral. some people really don't deal with death / dying very well and this might be his way of trying to make reparations.

steer well clear of him at the memorial and think that in the long run, this is for the best.


dejags · 01/01/2008 19:38

I am terribly sorry that you are feeling so hurt and angry Geekgirl.

Perhaps you should do nothing. Perhaps he just won't arrive, pretty much like he did when it really mattered.

If it were me and he did arrive, I'd leave it be. The day is an important one to you - don't let him ruin it.


Mercy · 01/01/2008 19:54

Sorry to hear you lost your mum Geekgirl - and in such circumstances too.

However I do think YABU. He will either turn up - or he won't. They have a shared history which goes back a long way and it's up to your Uncle how he deals with it. I do understand your anger though - it's part of hte grieving process and you are going through the very early raw emotions atm. I remember some of those feelings too.

All things go.

Best wishes.

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