Post # 1
Okay, I’ll try to explain this in the least confusing way possible…
Earlier this afternoon, my cousin’s (let’s call her R) husband messaged my fiance on facebook and told him that one of my other cousins (let’s call him A) had been shot and killed last night. The reason he messaged my fiance and not me is because I deleted my facebook years ago – partly due to not wanting to speak to R anymore. A and I grew up together and were almost like brother and sister when we were kids, since he was only 4 years older than me. However, the last time I saw him was 2006 and I haven’t talked to him in almost as long. This cousin and I never had a problem. We just sort of grew up and grew apart. BUT, I do have problems with his sister (cousin R), and his mom (my aunt). I’ve been estranged from them for several years, and basically want nothing to do with them for a multitude of reasons, including their terrible treatment of my mother over the years.
They all live in the same town about 3.5 hours away from where I live. I’m really conflicted about whether or not I should attend A’s funeral. Because of how close we were as children and all of the memories I have with him, I don’t know if I could ever forgive myself for not going. But of course I’d have to see R and my aunt if I went. And that’s really not something I want to do. It feels incredibly selfish to use that as an excuse not to go, but the fact remains that I really don’t want to see them.
To further complicate things, these people are obviously not invited to the wedding (just over a month away), which I feel like would create a whole different awkward situation. And even if I did see them and we worked things out, them being at the wedding would cause a huge problem for my mom, which I don’t want to happen.
I’m posting this on here because you guys have always given me great advice and are always very supportive.
So my question is, would you go to the funeral if you were in my position? How would you face these estranged family members?
Post # 3
@CarolinaCola: I would attend.
A funeral is a place to put aside your differences in your grief. (EDIT: I’ve been to a few funerals where divorced husband and wife have been present, and it’s never been a problem. If divorced spouses can do it, unfriendly cousins can).
Offer your condolences to R and her mother, give them a hug, and move on to comforting other people the funeral.
Try to not talk to them long enough for the subject of your wedding to come up. But in the unlikely event that they ask if they’re invited, simply say something like “no, sorry”.
Post # 4
I would go to pay your respects especially as you were close growing up. Don’t let pettyness get in the way. Just keep yourself to yourself, quietly attend and leave peacefully straight after.
Post # 5
@aussiemum1248: That’s a good point. Thank you.
Post # 6
I would attend the funeral, but either don’t attend or avoid them at any social events around the funeral. My grandmother’s church honored her several years after she died and I attended but barely spoke to my aunt and uncle. I was there for my grandmother, not for them.
Post # 7
First of all, I’m so sorry for your loss.
Your situation IS difficult but I believe it’s important you go to the funeral. It’s not really so much for the person who died but more of a chance for people who loved him to say goodbye one last time and show support to those closest to him. Like you said yourself, you’d have a hard time forgiving yourself if you didn’t go.
I think it’s best you go to the funeral and are cordial to your aunt and cousin R but decline to talk about your wedding out of respect for your deceased cousin A – a funeral is hardly the time and the place to talk about a wedding. State that as your reason – I don’t know anyone who could argue with that, much less if they’re the mother and sister of the deceased.
Post # 8
@CarolinaCola: I would go and be cordial but not overly friendly. If you haven’t spoken to them in so long they probably know they aren’t invited to your wedding and won’t ask. If they do just say no and move on. Good luck and sorry for your loss.
Post # 9
@CarolinaCola: I definitely think you should go. I understand the wanting to avoid the awkwardness with your cousin and aunt…but I think going to respect him is the most important thing. But aside all other feelings even if just for that hour (or however long). You are there for him..not for your other cousin or aunt or other relatives. You don’t need to go out of your way to be friendly, but you even said you would never be able to forgive yourself if you didn’t go. So go to pay your respects and then leave.
Post # 10
You should definitely go to the funeral, especially since you feel like you might not forgive yourself if you didn’t. Your aunt just lost her son; she’s probably not going have time to wonder about your wedding. Same for R having lost her brother. Funerals of friends and family are something that you should pretty much always go to unless there’s some obstacle preventing you from going. It’s about coming together in grief and gaining some closure.
Post # 11
You’ll forever regret not attending if you don’t go pay your respects to the cousin you love. You don’t need to talk to your aunt or cousin if you don’t want to, just keep it civil if it happens, and go be there for the other family members who would like to see you.
Post # 12
Being a grown-up means doing things you don’t want to do. I would go, you’ll regret it if you don’t. Just make a big circle around them, hang close with mom and/or fiance, and do what you need to do to make peace with the passing. Sorry for your loss; what a terrible tragedy!
Post # 13
It’s about paying your respects and putting aside any conflicts that really don’t matter at this moment. But civil and move on from there. I’m sorry for your loss.
Post # 13
I’m sorry for your loss.
Go to the funeral. This isn’t about your aunt or cousin R, its about cousin A. This is your last chance to say goodbye and judging from the sutuation, you’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t go.
If your wedding is mentioned simply say that this is not the time or place to discuss it, which it isn’t, and move on.
Post # 14
I am sorry for your loss. I know the passing of someone you haven’t spoken to for a long time but was once very close to can be difficult.
I would find out what the plans are for the funeral before committing to going. If there will be a large memorial, then a private cremation/burial for immediate family only, I would go to the memorial. If they were having a large funeral and a wake/memorial, I would only go to the funeral and then quietly slip out. I’m sure the cousin and Aunt will be more aware of their grief than worrying about pettyness (I hope)
Also if he was taken quite young, and since it was so sudden, there will more often than not be a very large attendance, so you may be able to avoid them all together.
Again, my condolences.
Post # 15
Mrs_Purple: nessdawwg: Thanks for your replies. This actually happened back in February and I thought I closed this topic, so I’m not sure how you found this thread.
If anyone was curious – my now-husband, then-fiance and I did go to the funeral, and we did end up being asked about our wedding about 39228 times.