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Old 01-15-2014, 09:28 AM
 
1,480 posts, read 2,180,810 times
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I am at the age where many of my old friends and relatives are dying. Because I have moved to the east coast and most of my old friends and relatives live in the Midwest, it is difficult to decide if we should buy a last minute airline ticket and spend the money to go to the funeral.

In the recent past, my wife and I chose not to go to the funerals of some relatives and still don't hear the end of it by the surviving spouse or other family members. It appeared nearly everyone in the family found the time and money to leave at a moments notice to attend, except us. This continues to cause strain in our relationships with the surviving spouse or children of these old friends or family who are hurt we did not go.

Last minute airfares are incredibly expensive, but should that be the reason to not mourn with everyone?

How do you handle the politics of attending/or not attending an out of state funeral, of friends and family, outside of driving distance?

 
Old 01-15-2014, 10:27 AM
 
12,913 posts, read 19,782,209 times
Reputation: 33905
We will always attend the funeral of immediate family members, meaning parents, siblings, nieces/nephews. We may or may not travel for elderly aunts/uncles or cousins. It isn't a matter of family politics at all, my family isn't judgmental that way.

Figure it this way, if you would expect these people to attend your funeral should you predecease them, then you should plan on doing the same on their behalf.
 
Old 01-15-2014, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,206 posts, read 9,093,756 times
Reputation: 10386
Quote:
Originally Posted by I'm Retired Now View Post
I am at the age where many of my old friends and relatives are dying. Because I have moved to the east coast and most of my old friends and relatives live in the Midwest, it is difficult to decide if we should buy a last minute airline ticket and spend the money to go to the funeral.

In the recent past, my wife and I chose not to go to the funerals of some relatives and still don't hear the end of it by the surviving spouse or other family members. It appeared nearly everyone in the family found the time and money to leave at a moments notice to attend, except us. This continues to cause strain in our relationships with the surviving spouse or children of these old friends or family who are hurt we did not go.

Last minute airfares are incredibly expensive, but should that be the reason to not mourn with everyone?

How do you handle the politics of attending/or not attending an out of state funeral, of friends and family, outside of driving distance?
When I lived out of state I rarely ever came home for a funeral. Or weddings or anything else. Nobody thought that was a 'bad thing' and nobody ever thought less of me for not attending. I doubt anyone has ever been "hurt" I didn't go and, in truth, probably didn't even notice I wasn't there. I'm not THAT important in the family chain. I do always send cards and flowers. Now my entire family is within 100 miles of me so I do attend funerals and such. Seems like one a year these days.

If you can afford it, and worry about what family will say if you don't, then just go. If not, don't. Maybe that family will just disown you one of these days and you will be able to 'escape'. If they really are the way you've described them, many times over, I'd be grateful to be disowned. lol
 
Old 01-15-2014, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Inland Empire, WA
2,133 posts, read 1,687,690 times
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Attending funerals is a very personal matter and a person(s) should not be judged, or allow themselves to be judged by others for choosing not to attend. I would not let what othes think influence your decision to attend. If it is important to you on a personal level that you attend the funeral, then go based on your own feelings and desire.
 
Old 01-15-2014, 07:39 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
28,381 posts, read 50,562,503 times
Reputation: 28605
Only if I was really close to them. At my age many aunts and uncles are dropping
out as they reach the 90s, and it's just too much to have to deal with airfare, time off work, and hotels. We'll send a card or flowers, and leave it at that. One favorite aunt died and we flew down and back the same day. Expensive but also exhausting.
 
Old 01-15-2014, 09:36 PM
 
Location: here
24,469 posts, read 28,723,874 times
Reputation: 31039
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
We will always attend the funeral of immediate family members, meaning parents, siblings, nieces/nephews. We may or may not travel for elderly aunts/uncles or cousins. It isn't a matter of family politics at all, my family isn't judgmental that way.

Figure it this way, if you would expect these people to attend your funeral should you predecease them, then you should plan on doing the same on their behalf.
Thank you for that perspective. I hadn't thought of it that way.
 
Old 01-16-2014, 07:47 AM
 
Location: The Jar
20,071 posts, read 13,744,602 times
Reputation: 36712
It depends on how our finances are at the time of the death.

Unless the relatives are willing to pay your airfare, hotel, etc. they should not expect you to attend.

To hold a thing like that against you is ridiculous!
 
Old 01-16-2014, 08:36 AM
 
15,187 posts, read 16,035,343 times
Reputation: 25076
If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. I certainly wouldn't expect anyone to spend a $1,000 (or more) they don't have to attend an out-of-town funeral.
 
Old 01-16-2014, 08:39 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,194,930 times
Reputation: 45811
Relatives, yes. Select friends, absolutely.
 
Old 01-16-2014, 09:35 AM
 
1,480 posts, read 2,180,810 times
Reputation: 1611
I have done some research and the best way to get relatively low prices for air/hotel at the last minute is to use the VACATION PACKAGES option on Priceline. They pick your flights (you pick the days of travel) and you pick the hotels. In most cases the packages were much cheaper than airfare alone.

Next time someone dies and surviving relatives expect us to show up at the funeral, that is what we are doing!
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