Post # 1
My 96-year old Grandmother passed away the other night. I have a very complicated family situation since we were all raised in different foster homes. Anyway, I was always close to Grandma and my siblings really weren’t. My aunt has requested that I attend the wake and the funeral with DH but only wants my siblings at the burial service and asked me to tell them that. At first I tried to hide the fact that I was going to the wake and funeral, but they aren’t stupid and I had to tell them what was going on. They are all LIVID with my aunt and I am caught in the middle. The truth is, none of them ever really called or visited Granny, which is why my aunt doesn’t want them at the funeral. They don’t see it that way and feel they have a right to be at the funeral even though they haven’t seen or spoken to her in YEARS. I am getting yelled at like it’s my fault and I just don’t know what to do. I want to respect my aunt’s wishes, but I feel like I’m being disloyal to my siblings. Would you have told them you were going to the wake and funeral or just tried to hide it?
Post # 3
I have never heard of anyone being invited to a funeral. Where I live the funeral notice is published in the paper and everyone is free to attend. Family and friends also pass the news by word of mouth.
I have also never heard of anyone who attends the funeral being excluded from the wake.
I think anyone who wants to show their respect should be allowed to attend the funeral. I don’t think entitlement should be based on their previous attendance with the deceased.
Post # 4
@julies1949: I agree. I guess “invited” wasn’t the right word to use. My aunt just really doesn’t want them there and I ended up being the messenger. I did explain to my siblings that it is an open event and that they can certainly attend if they choose, but now they know that they were really only wanted at the burial ceremony. This whole thing is really the culmination of years of unresolved “stuff” between all of them.
Post # 5
Now that I am thinking about it, I really should have just let them all deal with it themselves and not let my aunt put me in the middle.
Post # 6
@speechgal44: Your aunt does not own proprietary rights on a human being. If I were you, I would have said as much to your aunt. No one is in a position to judge how someone feels about other people. Whether those siblings did or didn’t call your grandmother isn’t really anyone’s business– that relationship was between them and your grandmother, and it’s no one else’s place to judge. You are not in the middle of anything. Do not entertain these sorts of conversations anymore, because they do not involve you. Funerals bring out the worst in people, and I’m sorry there are hurt feelings on the part of your aunt and siblings. It’s a tough enough time as it is, and I hope these services bring you peace.
Post # 7
I would tell your aunt she can’t really exclude them. Second, tell your siblings they can come if they want. Then say you’re staying out of it. You should have never been put in the middle in the first place.
Post # 8
- Wedding: May 2013 - Walt Disney World
I’m so sorry for your loss. While I understand your aunt is grieving and doesn’t want to deal with your siblings, I think it was wrong of her to put you in that situation. I also don’t believe your siblings should be excluded; she was their grandmother too, and while they may have not gotten along very well and had little interaction, she is still family.
Post # 9
Yeah, I have to agree with PP’s…a funeral is not a wedding. You don’t get to say who comes to pay their respects. Whether someone was close at the end or in the beginning or middle of the relationship is irrelevant. Perhaps your siblings are feeling badly that they didn’t have the relationship they should have, and need closure and to be able to say goodbye. I have to say that telling FAMILY they cannot go is bullshit. It’s really unfortunate that you got stuck in this, but your aunt is out of line. No one should get to decide that they are not allowed to attend and grieve. It was their grandmother regardless of how much time they did or did not spend with her.
Post # 10
Your aunt put you in a really awkward position. I would politely tell her that if she has a problem with your siblings, she needs to deal with it, and tell your siblings you were merely relaying a message. Funerals really do have a tendency to bring out some terrible family drama due to all the emotion 🙁 I’m sorry for your loss, and I hope everything is resolved soon.
Post # 11
If I could go back a few days, I would have handled all of this differently. I felt like I was just trying to respect my aunts wishes, and since it was her mother who died, she got to call the shots. The whole idea of a public obituary and anyone being allowed to show up and pay their respects never occurred to me and I should have just told them to look up the obit and make their own decision on if they wanted to attend.
Post # 12
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
@julies1949: +1. a funeral/wake is for people-anyone who wants- to pay their respects.
Post # 13
@Regina Phalange: I did tell my siblings that if they have issues with the way this was handled, they need to talk to my aunt about it when this is all over. I don’t think any of them are mad at me, because they all know I had a much closer relationship with her than they did. This really brought up some apprently long-standing unresolved issues, and now is not the time for people to be bickering and hating on each other. I hope my siblings do come to the cemetary, because they will regret it forever if they don’t.
Post # 14
@speechgal44: Maybe this little poem will help you (or your aunt) realize why your siblings coming is just as important as whomever “was closest” to her. No one is in any position to judge a 3rd party relationship. Each type of these relationships below shape a person, and each are just as important as the next. This isn’t about your aunt, and I hope she can come to terms with it.
Reason, Season, or Lifetime
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
Post # 15
@StuporDuck: Thank you! Love this!!!!
Post # 16
I think your aunt is totally out of line here. First, as others have stated, she should not have put you in the middle like this. She asked you to do her dirty work for her and that wasn’t fair. This request of hers has hurt your siblings and I wouldn’t have relayed the message for her if I were you. Secondly, her request that your siblings are to come only to the burial and not to the funeral or the wake is not only completely unheard of but bizarre and cruel! It’s bizarre because instead of just asking them to stay away completely (as she’s apparently SO bothered by their very presence), she says they can come to the burial; and it’s cruel because regardless of how much time your siblings spent with their grandmother, she was still their grandmother, and if they wish to pay their respects to her, they should be allowed to do so!
After all, having grown up in different foster homes, perhaps they did not have the same opportunities to interact with the grandmother that YOU had, and then when they got older, perhaps they felt it was too awkward to go to her. I imagine that they regret it now. It’s a very tragic set of circumstances and I don’t think it ought to be held against your siblings. Unless your grandmother specifically stated that she herself did not want them to come to her funeral, I don’t think your aunt should have any right to exclude them from it. Perhaps your grandmother might have actually WANTED them there! It is, after all, about your grandmother and her wishes, not about your aunt and her selfish wishes to have everything her own way! If I were in your shoes, I’d tell your siblings to come anyway if they still want to and to ignore your aunt. If your aunt has a problem with it, too bad for her! Your siblings would be hurt much worse if they don’t come to the funeral than your aunt would be if they do come!
I’m very sorry about your grandmother, by the way. 🙁 *Hugs* I’m even more sorry that your aunt has to add more unnecessary drama to the situation when everyone is already hurting enough as it is. She’s being ridiculous and selfish. Try not to let her get to you!