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Well this is awkward.

EllieKMAS posted 12/3/2020 11:45 AM

I cut ties with my dad a long time ago. He was a classic narc and I finally got done with his emotional and mental abuse about 15 years ago. I have a stepmom and 3 siblings over there that I unfortunately lost through this as well - not for lack of trying to keep a relationship with my brothers and sister, but my stepmom was a barrier to that. It used to really upset me, but *shrug* I tried.

A little backstory - my dad and stepmom have been together since I was really little and my stepmom's family was wonderful to me growing up. I have kept in fb contact with a lot of them, but honestly none of them really tried to keep me in their life (beyond cards at Christmas and birthdays) after I said fuckthis to my dad. I get it and have long since forgiven them and dealt with my feelings around it. It sucks, but it is what it is.

But I just found out this morning from my stepmom's sister that my step-grandfather (stepmom's dad) passed away yesterday. I honestly am not sure how to feel - sad, yes. Sad for the family, for sure. But I had not seen him in 10+ years, so I am not grief-stricken by it. About 12 years ago, my dad's mom passed away and my stepmom called to notify me and asked that I go to the service. Awkwardness aside, at that time, I just couldn't afford it - it was in a different state and I just couldn't afford airfare/hotel etc. I did reconnect with my sister the year after my wedding and caught an earful about just how little my stepmom thinks of me, including how shitty stepmom thought it was that I 'refused' to attend my grandma's service. I told my sister my side of that, but frankly don't know (or care particularly) if she believed me. Point being, there's a lot of water under the bridge with my dad/stepmom's family and me at this point.

My step-aunt asked if I would go to the service, and that is what is tying me in knots. I dunno, I just feel like it would be... inappropriate? for me to go to the service. I don't want to add any stress or upset to what is sure to be a difficult and sad day for them... is that wrong? Why do I care? Ugh - help.

ETA - clarifying who died.

[This message edited by EllieKMAS at 12:45 PM, December 3rd (Thursday)]

FaithFool posted 12/3/2020 12:41 PM

I'm assuming this is your dad's father who died, yes?

I've been estranged from my three oldest siblings for over 10 years since my mum passed away, so I get it. There's been zero connection and two of them live far away, I have been a lot happier not having anything to do with them, so it really comes down to how it makes you feel.

I would just send some flowers and a card and be done with it. The stress of going there and allowing your dad a window to mindfuck you some more just isn't worth it IMO. They all sound toxic.

[This message edited by FaithFool at 12:42 PM, December 3rd (Thursday)]

tushnurse posted 12/3/2020 12:42 PM

Eh.... You go to the service to support the surviving family more than honoring the person that passed.

That said right now w/ Covid. I would bow out, send a card or donation to charity that has been chosen by family or you know that your Grandfather would appreciate.

EllieKMAS posted 12/3/2020 12:44 PM

FF this is my stepmom's dad.

I was thinking of sending flowers/a card to my step-grandma and my dad/stepmom... Not sure how big the service will be.

gmc94 posted 12/3/2020 12:48 PM

I'm with Tush... esp with Covid.

I have an uncle that's been hospitalized with Covid for 3 weeks (he's doing better and looks like he will survive). Anyhow, if he were to have died, I doubt there would even BE a funeral bc of Covid... and if there were, I still would not go. Don't get me wrong, he's my uncle and I love him, but I don't see the point in risking my own life for a funeral - even a loved one with whom there is no "water under the bridge" .

it sucks, and thinking if it were me to pass away it breaks my heart, but I would rather be "honored" in death by my family keeping themselves safe. Just my $0.02

[This message edited by gmc94 at 12:49 PM, December 3rd, 2020 (Thursday)]

Chili posted 12/3/2020 13:05 PM


I've attended 2 virtual funerals this year - I felt like I was right there in it for the service and eulogies, which was pretty cool. And the family knew I was "there." There were some benefits - not having to travel across the country + not having to socialize with people I didn't know, etc. So there's that.

Also - knowing you and how well you express yourself in writing - I would nudge you to send personalized letters to whoever you'd like to reach out to. Share those great memories you had growing up - I think hearing everyone's stories about the deceased is such a comfort. To see how many lives they touched - and the family might discover pieces they never knew about.

I don't always send flowers anymore - depends on the situation and if those are something that would actually be enjoyed. Donation for charity is pretty cool if they've specified one - or pick one that fits with your memories of them and what they might have valued.

You got this - sometimes it's difficult to know what the "right thing" is in these situations. Sounds like there's a way you can do it that's not an all-or-nothing kind of deal. And I think it's important for you to acknowledge they were wonderful to you growing up - even if it was for just a season.

number4 posted 12/3/2020 18:44 PM

I was estranged from my two of my three older brothers almost three years ago when they died, eleven days apart over a thousand miles away from where we lived at the time. I told the remaining brother I would come to the memorial of the first one if it wouldn't upset his family. So he ran it past them when he saw them - my niece and nephew were fine with me coming, but said their mother probably wouldn't be comfortable with my presence - she was pissed at me (and her own brothers) who didn't drop everything and fly across country when he had his first MI two years previous and was on life support - I was already fairly estranged from him at this point anyway. So when he died, and it was speculated she wouldn't be comfortable with me there, I bowed to their wisdom, and didn't really think about it anymore. It was not my job to go there and make people uncomfortable, even if the niece and nephew had been fine with it.

When we had my second brother's funeral, I did go; he was widowed (died of alcoholism so a miserable death) and they never had children, so no family to run it past, other than my one remaining brother. Dead brother #1's wife was there, and didn't acknowledge my presence. I finally said hello to her and she said hi back while looking in another direction. She did monopolize my one daughter's attention much of the evening at my other niece's house where close friends and family gathered after the service and reception. Kind of pissed me off. And when she left, she went around the room to say goodbye to pretty much everyone, except me. Oh, well.

I learned something new when I worked in hospice as a chaplain. I was asked several times to perform memorial services for patients that had been on our services. More than once, I was made aware that immediate loved ones made it clear to funeral homes that certain people were not allowed in the doors if they showed up for the service. One family even hired security. I mean, really??? If I'm not wanted, I'm not going. It's not about me.

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