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October 19th, 2012, 12:28 PM
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Keakie Keakie is offline
Learning to walk in faith
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Near the land of cream cheese
Posts: 5,336
It really boggles my mind that people get caught up in such petty crap at funerals/funeral homes/etc, like who should be there and who should not. It doesn't mean everyone has to mourn together, but there are all sorts of relationships and people who are affected when a family member is lost. Everyone should have a right to say goodbye, in my opinion, and to give their condolences to other family members or friends that they are/were close with. It's so strange that something that should put our time on this earth into sometimes harsh perspective (like the loss of a loved one) can sometimes do the exact opposite.

Before my Grandpa passed in May, two of his sisters and one of his brothers came over from Scotland to say goodbye to him and to give emotional support to my Grandma. His diagnosis was very sudden, but there were a few weeks between diagnosis and his passing, and during that time he had made it expressly clear to my Grandma that she was not to have a funeral for him. He knew money would be tight for her, and did not want her spending money on a funeral. That's just how he was - he was always a very simple man who didn't want a lot of fuss made for him. My great aunts and uncle arrived after he was past the point of being aware/speaking very much, and they never asked about funeral plans until after he had passed. My Grandma had been planning to have him cremated, as that was what he wanted. She chose a beautiful urn (it's in the shape of a heart, and actually has two pieces to it so that her ashes can be added to the other half when she passes - somewhat morbid to have around the house now, but it has been a great source of comfort for her and it's what she wanted) and my family hosted a casual gathering to remember Grandpa at my dad's home after the cremation had taken place. A lot of people showed up, and it was really nice for everyone in the family. My great aunts were EXTREMELY upset that Grandma was not preparing a full, traditional funeral. When my Grandma explained that that had been his wish, and that he had stated it quite clearly more than once to both her and my Dad, she seemed to understand and said she had just been taken aback. Sadly enough, a cousin of my dad's who I had never met passed away while my great aunts and uncle were still here, and they ended up leaving early/before the gathering to attend to family back home. Grandma was okay with it because they were taking both losses very hard and it was to the point that she felt she was taking care of them instead of vice versa, but to everyone's knowledge they had left on good terms with my Grandma. After they got back, though, one of my great aunts made it very clear that she would never forgive my Grandma for not holding a funeral, and the three of them haven't spoken to her since. It breaks my heart for her, but what can she do? It makes me angry to watch them get so caught up in something that in reality is so unimportant around such a huge, difficult time for everyone. It isn't like no one did anything. My Grandma traded in her car and had to move to a smaller house because her income really *has* gone down that much. The urn is gorgeous, with a nice inscription and a Scottish thistle to represent their heritage, with both of their names on it. The open house/gathering for friends and family was lovely and emotional, and everyone shared their best memories of him. He is remembered and loved and is still remembered and loved. He didn't want a funeral, and he certainly would not want his family to be treating his wife of over 50 years poorly.

Anyway, all that aside, I'm happy that there was minimal drama for you and Woody and Lora, and I'm glad that you are feeling fairly positive about things with his family. No, you can't win them all. There are STILL a couple of family friends who don't speak to Andy because he got divorced. They will *never* be happy about our relationship. Most people, though, especially the ones who knew bm and who can see the difference in dh now vs. then... they're happy that he is whole and healthy. They're happy that he has the chance to be the husband and father he was always meant to be. They're happy that they, and I quote, "have the old [dh] back". As for the dissenters... whatever. I'm glad that there are a good amount of not-crazy family members who have embraced you and welcomed you.
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