Sorry you’re hurting.
That must be hard to feel that in your moment of greatest need, some of your family won’t be there by your side to be supportive.
It will probably hurt right now, but people also handle death differently. There are times I haven’t gone to funerals, and people have tried to judge me for that.
When my father died, I know I didn´t attend his funeral. We were never close, and I am in a wheelchair. Transportation, especially accessible transportation here in Mexico is almost non-existent. It would have been an international flight, VERY hard.
I also am estranged from my family. We aren´t close. Times I HAVE gone to reunions, often I feel like an outsider. I feel excluded, and then, economically, it’s expensive for me to do all that, and for what?
I feel uncomfortable, to put it mildly, whenever I am with my family. I don´t feel free to express my opinions, and I doubt anybody missed me at the funeral, truth be told.
In my family, I have sent e-mails and such, not be answered. Over the years, it takes a toll. Some Mexicans ask me about my father’s funeral, and they are basically shocked I wouldn´t go, judge me, terribly. Say that we Americans are “cold”.
I had reached out to my father for years and years…wrote him letters, and he wouldn´t reciprocate. He never, not once, answered me.
Now, even if it hadn´t been that way, I feel it is my right to attend, or not, a funeral, grieve in whatever manner I please. If I feel more comfortable grieving alone, I wish people would try to understand we don´t all grieve in the same manner. I did grieve my father, alone. I cried by myself.
I realize a lot of folks will probably never understand that, but my father, even to the end, wouldn´t even speak to me.
However, even if it had been wonderful between us, I think I have a right not to go. I once had a dear friend, who has long since passed away, God bless his soul. I think he didn´t go to…believe it was his own mother’s funeral.
However, he was VERY close to his mother, visited her, took care of her, and he just didn´t want to have his last memories of her in a casket with everyone looking at her and saying how wonderful she looked…when, to him, he asked how anyone can look wonderful when dead.
So, his family judged him up and down and sideways, but he said he had already had a good relationship with his mother, that they had already said everything they had needed to. He said he had, in his own way, grieved, had closure in his own way. He was disappointed when people, some of whom wouldn´t even visit his mother while alive, judged him for not going to her funeral.
He said a funeral is a personal thing.
Now, if your relationship with your family is strained, this will only add fuel to the fire. It might go a long way towards healing your relationship if they would go, but apparently there are some deeply held wounds on both sides.
Try to accept your family, and if they don´t feel like coming to a funeral, for whatever reason, I don´t think they should even be expected to elaborate on why they don´t want to go. I think it needs to be accepted, left at that.
Some people also just hate certain places. My ex-husband for a long time refused to go into hospitals, even to visit a sick/dying friend. Some don´t want their last memories to be one of a hospitalization or funeral.
So, in my friend’s case, he carried a lot of emotional baggage with regards to death. A lot of us, most of us, are deathly afraid of it. It can remind us of our own mortality, and some don´t like that reminder.
My ex-husband was saying how, at funerals, they would say the rosary…and he found that prayer, monotonous, repetitive, long, didn´t understand why we would do that.
My ex-husband said he didn´t want a depressing setting when he died, that he wanted to be …forget what…I think cremated…and have people celebrate his life with a beer and hamburger!
So, I´ve noticed people have all kinds of reactions to death, and dying.
One aunt of mine said a lot of people like to go to funerals for people they never even visited in life. She told me, in so many words, she didn´t even want people at her funeral who never bothered to take the time to visit with her during her life. In fact, her attitude was…visit me in life…and don´t even bother visiting me after I die!
One friend of mine saw the body like an empty shell once the spirit had left, thought erecting a monument would be akin to erecting a momument to a beer can after the beer was gone.
I had one friend who was killed here in Mexico…run over…his truck stolen, and they didn´t even have a funeral, per se, because he didn´t want one. They respected his wishes.
So, grief is a personal matter, in a sense. Some people prefer to grieve in private rather than in public. Some carry baggage with regards to death. Some are in conflict with family members, and getting together causes additional stress and tension, for what? Some believe life´s too short already, don´t want to bother with their own funeral arrangements, let alone those of others.
I am, now, trying to prepare, have a casket paid for, for my own funeral one day. I suspect there might be a family member here or there who might attend, but I wonder why. To me, if they won´t be bothered with me during my life, why the sudden rush after I’m gone.
I expect sparse attendance at my funeral, because I don´t think I´m well loved, anyway, but really, I´d rather they visit me during my life rather than at my funeral. I suppose I agree with my aunt on that one.