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Old 05-18-2016, 04:18 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,436 posts, read 24,222,225 times
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Funerals are not a great place for kids. And honestly, if I had planned and paid for an out of town vacation with my daughter and my uncle died, I would go on vacation. I would send a sympathy card and probably flowers but I would go on my trip.

If I was in your place, I would call my cousin and make plans to get together. Here's why. It won't be too many more years and all the rest of your older relatives will be gone too. Make peace so you can keep the living family you have. That's much more important than being angry about a funeral.

All my relatives are dead and I'm the only one left. It does get lonely sometimes. That's why I side with the living!
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:27 AM
 
11,343 posts, read 5,852,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtrader View Post
Let me speak as a very old man. I have only been to three funerals in my life. To go to a funeral is very hard for some people. I know a lot of people, that have never been to a funeral in their life, even when a close relative dies. It does not mean they are not suffering due to the death, but for them to be there is something they just do not handle well. For their own peace of mind, they just do not go to the funeral. It is not out of lack of respect to the deceased, or out of out of lack of respect to other relatives or friends, it is they handle the loss better on their own.

Those people can give you every reason in the world for not going, but for their own peace of mind they simply cannot go. It is not the actual funeral that keeps them away in most cases, it is everything else happening around the funeral for a few days. This is why celebrations of life are replacing funerals at a rapid rate.
This

In this thread the only inappropriate behavior was the second text from the cousin disclosing why she was not attending the funeral. "I have a previous commitment" would have been the appropriate communication.

I'm an athiest. I don't attend funerals unless it would be socially inappropriate to not attend. My family does the celebrate life thing. We did one for my father. No open casket and receiving line in a funeral home. No church service. A catered gathering my sister and I organized and funded where we all told stories of how he had influenced our lives. A small military cemetery ceremony to bury the ashes a month later. I fly the flag from the casket on Memorial Day and the 4th of July.
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:54 AM
 
1,475 posts, read 455,273 times
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Aside from this particular issue with my cousin, going to the funeral or not speaks to the nature of and depth of the relationship. When my Best friend's mother died I jumped on a plane and flew out to her. We live several states away from each other. I got to her house, found her in bed crying, and I immediately got into bed with her and held her as she cried. That's the nature of our relationship. I don't remember the funeral or services. The funeral wasn't the point. I was there because she's my best friend, she's my family, and she needed me. Obviously we can't be there for everyone and we're only there for those who mean the most to us. So, if you're not there for someone in a time of need then that shows where you stand with that person. And in some cases, like my case, it clarifies the nature of the relationship.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Camberville
11,399 posts, read 16,003,306 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkalot View Post
It IS appropriate for a 7 year old to attend a funeral. It is an excellent leaning experience for them. It may be the first time they learn that life isn't all about them. Should they wait until they are 20 so they can start a thread on CD and ask strangers what do they do at a funeral?

Knowing the deceased doesn't enter into it. I've been to funerals where I didn't know the deceased. I knew their family.

I can't believe you think a 7 year old shouldn't be at a grandparent's funeral.
It was an honest question. It's not something I've heard of before and culturally is a big no no for both sides of my family (which come from dramatically different backgrounds). I remember having to beg to go to my grandmother's funeral when I was 13 - before she died even *she* said I was too young to be there. My younger brother stayed at home (halfway across the country) and even my cousins who lived locally were not present.

My aunt died when I was 7 and my uncle died when I was 9. Children were not welcome at either funeral, and I likely would not have been able to go either way because of the travel expenses associated. Again, totally normal for my family and social circle. Thinking back on the last several funerals I've been to, both in my family and totally unassociated, there have been hundreds of people at each but no one under 12 or 13 - even grandchildren and great grandchildren who lived locally and were close to the deceased.


Either way, just because *you* think that a small child should go to a funeral doesn't mean it's acceptable to her family, particularly if she didn't have a relationship with the deceased and will have to travel from out of town for the funeral. We don't know that the child threw a temper tantrum and the mom acquiesced - I doubt *not* going on the trip was ever a consideration.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:14 AM
 
1,475 posts, read 455,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charolastra00 View Post
It was an honest question. It's not something I've heard of before and culturally is a big no no for both sides of my family (which come from dramatically different backgrounds). I remember having to beg to go to my grandmother's funeral when I was 13 - before she died even *she* said I was too young to be there. My younger brother stayed at home (halfway across the country) and even my cousins who lived locally were not present.

My aunt died when I was 7 and my uncle died when I was 9. Children were not welcome at either funeral, and I likely would not have been able to go either way because of the travel expenses associated. Again, totally normal for my family and social circle. Thinking back on the last several funerals I've been to, both in my family and totally unassociated, there have been hundreds of people at each but no one under 12 or 13 - even grandchildren and great grandchildren who lived locally and were close to the deceased.


Either way, just because *you* think that a small child should go to a funeral doesn't mean it's acceptable to her family, particularly if she didn't have a relationship with the deceased and will have to travel from out of town for the funeral. We don't know that the child threw a temper tantrum and the mom acquiesced - I doubt *not* going on the trip was ever a consideration.
That's exactly what she said though. So I'm not sure why you're saying it isn't the case. Anyhow, they only live an hour or two away from where the funeral took place.


Although this gives me an idea for the future. If I come across a situation where a friend or family member has to deal with making arrangements for their loved one, attending the services and the whole thing, I will offer to take all the children for the day or days and watch them. That would've been a nice thing during my father's services.

Of course then everyone would meet up at the repass.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:33 AM
 
2,873 posts, read 4,020,228 times
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I think going into explanation of a dicey decision- and in her defense what level to participate in a non-immediate family member's services/grieving is almost always dicey- is clumsy at best and self-absorbed at worst. Sometimes you just have to state your decision and bear the consequences.


But I also wonder if you are not looking for her as your closest cousin to be a fill-in for the 3 or 4 relationships you have now lost. If she was not in that same position before and tends not to be as involved/gabby with anyone that is not a role she will fill.


In my family the 7 year old would have had my Catholic mother telling them to suck it up or else. But that's a judgement that we should not be making & why I completely agree that she should not have shared so much about the decision. For all we know the child is having some huge separation/social anxiety and this visit could have a real benefit. But again an explanation like that is more than needs to be shared because it is simply a tit for tat of life's traumas. A more direct 'I'm so sorry... we can't attend.. I want to visit you in June' would have been much more appropriate.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:45 AM
 
1,475 posts, read 455,273 times
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A part of it is also that this is just something our family does. Everyone showed up. My father had five brothers and one sister and they all had children and it's just something we do. We go to the weddings, go to the funerals, etc. people were asking for her and we let them know that she wasn't there because something came up with the children. I did not go into details of exactly what with the children. Again, it was hard because she's my closest cousin on that side of the family. As I said in a previous post things are becoming a little bit clearer for me. And that this whole thing has clarified our relationship. And it's quite possible that our closeness was simply all in my head. Obviously it was all in my head. So that something else I'm going to have to reconcile within.
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:05 AM
 
1,040 posts, read 815,614 times
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Why the would the cousin give this reason? How hurtful. Just say something is preventing me from attending and I feel so badly that I won't be there.
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Old 05-18-2016, 11:19 AM
 
Location: The Greater Booger Branch Area
138 posts, read 99,462 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassy Fae View Post

Yep, and this reminds me of my other cousin. She lost her father. She's been through the wringer and she knew exactly what to do and did it.
I think this is it in a nutshell. Until one has lost a parent, one doesn't get it. Shortly after my mom died (10 months before my father) I was watching an old episode of Grey's Anatomy, where one character's dad dies, and another character says, "Welcome to the club". There is no way a person can comprehend the colossal shift one feels after losing a parent. And losing the second? There is no way to understand it until one has gone through it.
Here's an outrageous anecdote. My sibling was at a gathering of his soon to be exes's family and it was reported to him that his wife and her sister were talking off in a corner about how "ridiculous" their husband's had behaved after the death of one of their parents. Oh, really? To hear this made me furious, but then I realized that should those two clueless witches live long enough, they will be members of the club, too.
This is precisely WHY we our civilization has customs and traditions to tell us how to support the people that we love. I agree with what so many others have said. Your cousin missed a big opportunity to teach her daughter, son and husband how to support a loved one in a time of overwhelming grief. Even if they don't understand it.
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Old 05-18-2016, 11:22 AM
 
Location: The Greater Booger Branch Area
138 posts, read 99,462 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpeatie View Post

In my family the 7 year old would have had my Catholic mother telling them to suck it up or else.
Same.
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