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Old 09-03-2014, 01:23 AM
 
Location: Purgatory
6,317 posts, read 4,437,543 times
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I always send one when a first or "close" second degree relative of a friend dies if, i am unable to attend the wake.

This past 2 years, i had 2 relatives die. Both I lived w for about 20 yrs. One I was very close with and one who was extremely abusive to me so his loss was an emotional crock-pot dish bringing back much PTSD.

All of my friends know this and they know that i come from an unconventional family situation. (Ie, I'm not close w my dad and would not expect them to show up for that.)

This is coming up for me again because 4 years ago, a good friend's dad died and I went to his wake. Last year her grandmother died and I sent a sympathy card. She DID send me a thank you note for that.

But today I got an invite to a fundraiser in honor of her father. They are setting up a scholarship fund in his name. This of course is as good a cause as any other but I'm upset that I'm being asked to honor her father AGAIN when she was NOT there for me in ANY way, even symbolically.

Please don't judge me for feeling this way because I feel guilty enough for having such a thought. I know its not a contest. Yada yada.....

My main question is: DO people still send sympathy cards if can't make the wake? Both wakes were on weekday mornings so i get that is tough. But am I wrong or selfish to expect a sympathy card? They had an "in lieu of flowers- donations to" posting but I'm pretty sure they did not contribute to this either. Is it a generational thing? (They are Gen Y or Gen X, i am the same but raised by elders born in the 1920s-1930s)

Thank you for your input.
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Old 09-03-2014, 01:47 AM
 
Location: Mayacama Mtns in CA
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I can speak only for myself, but I certainly do send sympathy cards.

And I send them regardless to whether I've attended the wake or service. I just always remember that after everything is 'over' i.e., the beloved is remembered, the service is attended and the the beloved is laid in the ground ~ after all this, what the bereaved person will have is memories and any cards/letters written in appreciation of the beloved's life. Even the flowers fade away and are gone. What is left for us who are only beginning to mourn and grieve are tangible things like sympathy cards.

But.....! I learned (the hard way) that it is fruitless to place any expectations on anyone else. . I've found it most peaceful to absolutely trust and believe that everyone around me and connected to me ( and my grieving) are doing the very best they can.

Based on how you feel about the history of what your friend did and didn't do (for you), don't attend this fundraiser unless you can forgive her, and go with a peaceful and clear heart. It's pretty simple, really.
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
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I send them and those that I received when my husband passed meant (and still do mean) a lot. It's pretty tough when the folks that do the "Christmas" card every year don't send one.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:01 PM
 
Location: On the East Coast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamingo13 View Post
I send them and those that I received when my husband passed meant (and still do mean) a lot. It's pretty tough when the folks that do the "Christmas" card every year don't send one.
Ditto. I definitely can relate to what you posted.
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:28 AM
 
Location: 900 miles from my home in 80814
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I always send a card. Like Flamingo said, the ones that were sent when my husband died are still incredibly meaningful to me, so I always hope that my cards to others will bring them some peace and meaning years down the road.
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Old 09-04-2014, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Location: Location
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I send sympathy cards. I usually keep a few on hand, and try to add a personal note about the deceased.

One year, I learned of the passing of a beloved director months after his passing, which occurred while I was away on vacation. I didn't get to attend the wake, and I didn't know his family, so his demise went unmarked. As a consequence, I don't "keep score".
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:05 AM
 
5,154 posts, read 2,992,030 times
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I send a card and I take time to write down at least one incident in their loved one's life that they may not know about and which illustrates some good quality they had.

One year from January to May There were fourteen of these. I told DH we may as well buy several boxes of sympathy cards.

In early marriage it was weddings and baby showers. Then came graduations and second marriages. Now it's mostly funerals and hospitalizations that we need cards for. Sometimes I get tired of going to funerals.

Recently we missed DH's aunt's funeral. Somehow we missed hearing that she had died. Several weeks later their son called and asked if we'd gotten a notice so that gave us a belated chance to send a card and clear up any hurt feelings which may have occurred.

I think you should do whatever feels most comfortable to you.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:18 AM
 
Location: State of Being
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I am terrible about sending sympathy cards. I need to buy some to keep on hand as THEATREGYPSY mentioned. I more likely write a note.

I definitely do not write a note or send a card if I attend the wake/funeral.

There are probably folks who are upset with me and I have no clue -- simply because I didn't show up at a funeral or send a card. I rarely hear about deaths til much later, but I am trying to be more plugged in, check obits more often (I quit checking obits many years ago).

Until I started reading on this forum, I never realized how hurt someone can be from not getting an acknowledgement about their parent's or spouse's death. I am working on being more sensitive about these matters, even it that means acknowledging the person's passing months after-the-fact.

I tend to give people a "pass" on this type of thing, as most folks who care about us would not intentionally be hurtful. In this particular case that UPTOPIAN SLUMS is dealing with, I think I would give it a pass, not harbor any feelings of "fair play" about this situation. I would go to the dinner and contribute if it is something I think I would enjoy attending -- and leave it at that. If I didn't feel inclined to contribute, then that is okay, too.

OP, I am wondering if the fact that you DID show up when your friend's father died is the reason she sent you an invite to the fundraiser. I am thinking because you showed caring and interest she felt you were plugged in and it would matter to you to be part of the event and help with the good cause of a scholarship fund.

Sometimes we can have good intentions and fail to follow through. Something else grabs our attention and we fail. I would try to frame the situation in those terms, if this is a good friend whom you trust and enjoy being with.
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Arizona
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I send sympathy cards. Attending the funeral doesn't mean I don't send a card. I always have some on hand.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Purgatory
6,317 posts, read 4,437,543 times
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Anifani, you are right we had always been good friend's so i am not surprised to get a fundraiser invite, and frankly I might have been hurt if she didn't send it (*head shaking at self!*) since we were good friends just don't speak a lot nowadays.

I guess the core of my issue is the lack of empathy from so many people and this just brought it up again. Yes, i realize it is nothing to keep score about but obviously, if there is a pattern of your friends not being there, you (by "you" i of course mean me!) might want to consider other friends.....

I might have sent a check to the charity last year but probably not since I've been poor due to my stopping work over these 2 deaths. Maybe I will send a very small check when I send her kid a birthday card.

Thanks all!


PS- that is interesting about the sympathy card AND attending. I never thought to do that. I always just sign the guest book and write something as a token I've been thinking about them.
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