October 07, 2021
A son refused to attend his father's funeral after his brother was uninvited because of a birthday card. A few months before the father died, his older son gave him an unusual birthday card with an illustration of the "Grim Reaper" knocking on a door. Infuriated by what he did, his mother uninvited him from the funeral guest list.
The sudden death of a loved one can be too devastating to handle. All you're left with is memories of their good and bad times with you. One son realized that his dad would never come back to enjoy another laugh over a silly joke. However, he decided not to attend his dad's funeral because his sibling was uninvited.
The very sight of a funeral gathering can leave a lasting impact after you've lost someone dear to you. Reddit user throwawayfuneralmess was very close to his dad, and his death shattered their family. But instead of taking a wreath to his father's funeral, the Redditor decided to skip the funeral unless his mom allowed his brother to attend as well.
FUNNY BIRTHDAY CARD IDEA GONE WRONG
When his 63-year-old father passed away after celebrating his birthday a few months before, the unexpected death shook the Original Poster (OP)'s family. The incident from almost a year ago had been surrounded with emotional drama after the OP's mother held his oldest brother responsible for their father's death, he explained:
"My older brother[M35] got him one of those cheesy Hallmark (or generic Hallmark knock-off perhaps, I don't really know) birthday cards for older people. It had a cartoon grim reaper on it, and it said something cheesy about how death is knocking on the door."
On the dad's 63rd birthday, the oldest son gave him a card that seemed normal except for the grim reaper illustration on it. Shockingly enough, the mother claimed her son lacked respect for his elderly father and insisted that he should've been empathetic during such challenging times.
ABSTAINED FROM ATTENDING A DEAR ONE'S FUNERAL
The Redditor's mother then posted on Facebook about how ungrateful certain family members were and asked them not to attend her husband's funeral. When the oldest brother confronted his mom, he was asked not to show up at the event. OP explained:
"I stood up for my brother and told my mom that I wouldn't be attending either if my brother can't come, which appears to have made the drama even worse."
OP thought the online forum would help him figure out if he was right for abstaining from the funeral or whether he should get over it and pay his dad his last respects. Several people advised the brothers to attend the funeral to say a final goodbye regardless of their family's thoughts.
"I GRIEVED HER LOSS A LONG TIME AGO"
Some people abstain from attending the last rites of a loved one not because they're cold-hearted. Some simply find the very sight of the dead too emotionally shattering. In a now-deleted account, another Redditor revealed they didn't regret skipping their grandmother's funeral. The person wrote a touching post, saying:
"She has spent 98% of the last few years sleeping, and when she was awake, she didn't know any of us. I grieved her loss a long time ago, so much so that I haven't shed a single tear since she died."
Most people prefer to cherish funeral traditions to say the final goodbye to their loved ones. But for some, skipping the event to avoid having sad memories of the person is necessary. The Redditor explained that when she attended her grandfather's funeral when she was eight years old, it was too traumatic, and she didn't want to experience the same traumatic sight again.
SOME MEMORIES CAN BE PAINFUL & BITTER
The stories spark the question, is there anything wrong with not wanting to attend a dear one's funeral? A person posted the relatable question on a Quora forum, seeking opinions from others about whether he was wrong for not attending his mother's funeral. An anonymous user who abstained from attending their mother's last rites advised:
"I think it really, really depends...I know why I didn't attend my mother's funeral: it was because my relationship with her was so difficult and painful…I feared my family would judge me for not crying and appearing aggrieved."
Dealing with the death of a dear one is one of the hardest things we have to go through in life. Sometimes, certain challenging situations can provoke emotions and make it harder to say goodbye, turning funerals into painful and traumatic events.
SOME BARELY REGRET THE LOSS
Take Norfolk-based pediatrician Nick Schindler who realized his grandfather was unlikely to come home after a diagnosis and decided to live-stream his grandfather's funeral with 12 relatives watching from three countries. Following the event, the family had another virtual meeting and raised a toast reminiscing their stories. Narrating his experience to BBC, Schindler said:
"I don't think any of us felt that we could regret him dying."
Though the event seemed contrary to an in-person funeral, Schindler took comfort in assuming his late grandfather would've reunited with his wife, who died almost ten years ago. "He must be so happy to be spending time with her," he says and went on to add, "I don't think any of us felt that we could regret him dying. We felt like we'd held on to him for so long."
DON'T JUDGE BECAUSE LOVE ISN'T WEIGHED BY TEARS
Nobody can judge a person for not wanting to say a teary-eyed goodbye to their demised loved one. In general, some people don't prefer exhibiting their emotions by shedding tears. People like Quora user David Wilson believe the choice depends on you, and nobody has the right to blame you for not attending a loved one's funeral. Wilson explained,
"I did not attend my father's funeral. Some people cannot face the event. We're only humans, after all. Don't judge."
Being devoted to a relationship means facing numerous challenges, especially when people abstain from grieving over the loss of a family member. Does that mean they don't love them anymore? Well, to answer this emotional question, another devoted niece shared her touching story about why she refused to attend her aunt's funeral.
NOT WANTING TO GO THROUGH THE SAME EMOTIONAL STRESS AGAIN
For some, funerals can be a healing process, but others feel it's unnecessary to attend. Quora user Linden Malki attended her mom's funeral when she was 17 but couldn't bring herself together to attend her aunt's funeral a year later.
"Dad's sister passed, and I refused to go—I knew my aunt well and had no issues at all with her or her family, but I didn't want to repeat the experience of mom's funeral," Malki explained.
Some people take more time to process the reality of the death of a loved one. The very thought of the demise can place more stress on them, but they may get over it at a point.
The loss can leave a permanent scar, and some people prefer to abstain from attending another funeral. But that doesn't mean their love has diminished unless they have reasons to be bitter and then decide not to attend the final rights.
Sometimes, we tend to push down our grief and cry out loud at the funeral of a dear one, especially when their memories haunt us. The reality of their demise becomes too hard to imagine, let alone seeing them lay cold and lifeless in a coffin.
For some, it's more than just a painful journey from home to the cemetery. What do you feel? Is it okay not wanting to attend a dear one's funeral? We'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading!
September 30, 2021