How do you all handle not being able to go /do important things such as funeral?

my uncle died this week...he was almost 90 so he had lived a nice long life.. I had been his 2nd daughter, my cousin, only real friend all through elementary school, as well as her tutor. I figure she was dyslexic but at the time reading was very difficult for her, where as i loved it passionately!

It is confusing, because I was so close growing up with him and his family since they lived around the corner from my grandparents. Plus, he was always coming over to their house for one thing ...since he kept great amount of his stuff over there. He was always nice to me growing up....only once did I hear a remark that my sister and brother were smart because they had Jewish blood in them....but my remark was that my grades were as good as theirs( my brother and sister)!! But it felt funny and I know my brother and I knew not to tell my mom about it.

People are funny...they have good and bad sides. Well this uncle as well as all the other family members were against my dad marrying her since she been married and had 2 kids plus she been married to a Jewish man....a guy who my father was good friends with....in their eyes that was just fine but to marry was another thing.

This came up over the years mainly from this uncle to my mother who eventually just said that it is it i am not going where he is. She had good reason...and she never kept me away...just said if he said anything bad about her or our family let her know.

Both my brother and I loved spending time with my grandparents as well this uncle and their family....up until mid juinor high age. She went to different school, made friends and I was not as needed though i still went to stay with my grandparents and still see her and her father. I think it was hard for her knowing that my grandparents loved me in a very special way...though we always included her.

Well he(uncle) died this week....and i live over 5 hours away. I asked my older sister if she was going because than i could have had a ride half the way with her. But she has never gone to these things...i think she just cannot handle them.

My husband never knew him and my mother said she was not going even. I thought about over the years since my childhood and how whenever i would run into him and my cousins they were nice to me but that was it. I sent them Christmas cards and just because cards trying to keep a relationship up with them. They never answered.

My father wanted me to go with him but with out going into that history....lets just say my father has made it very clear that he does not want me in his life nor loves me anymore. So no i was not going to go with him....he just wanted me so it looked like one of his kids cared ....sad part is....i believe i loved this uncle more than he ever has... So yes a part of me wanted to go.

I wanted to go out respect of what had been in my life and his kindness to me as child..which believe me was not always there.

I thought about flying....but i dont have the money to fly into private airports and how much it would have cost plus rent a car.

SO i thought...well..if i can sleep well(haha) I will get up and drive there...get motel if have to....just sit in the back and leave when just the funeral is done. To show my respects...let his family know i loved him .

Well of course i did not sleep and could not go beside snow storm is now here...so i would have had to drive back in it.

I been feeling bad all day i missed his funeral. This is not first time this has happen. I missed a great friend and my 1st serious boy friend's father who still looked at me like his daughter he never had. All i loved greatly and wish with all my heart i could have been there to show their loved ones the same support i got when my brother died.

I am wondering how do you all deal with this? Yes i am sending cards off to them....and expressing it within the card but that is not the same and I know it.

There are other really great reason why i should not go...that would have created even more stress for me and odds are i end up getting sick on way home if any of those people where there.

But i still feel bad....and been crying off and on...partly remember ing well now is the funeral and now is the burial ...so like i was there in my heart.

I really wish with all my heart i could have been there. Do you understand....has this happen to any of you and how to do you deal with it?

My niece is getting married this June and i know she is having shower soon....so if i went to funeral than for sure i would not make the shower....and even now for how i been feeling i might not make it....and that is going to be such a hard loss for me if i cannot go. It is not like i get car and drive even hour ...more like 4/5 hours one way.

i just am curious how others handle this in their head....my niece i think will understand. the family...no they think i just was either too lazy or drive was too long....they do not have clue about how sick i have been. My father....cannot be trusted to get it our right ...he will say what ever makes him look the best.

so appreciate any advice and thanks for allowing me to let the tears in my heart about this out on paper for others to read. i apologize so long...i know i write long...teacher in me always trying to say it in other way so everyone hears it correctly lol!

thank you for listening and any advice. love lg


nderstand it.

But in all this uncle was grateful that his daughter had a tutor and a good friend to play with most of the summer. It confused me because my mother really resented him but than i did not know how he was against them marrying....how he made racial slur remarks about being married to a Jewish person and other ignorant remarks.


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I know just how you feel, Sisky. All of my family is in New York now and I am down in Florida, so I flew up for my father's and baby sister's funeral because I was so close to both of them. However, I was not able to attend my middle sister's (Eileen) funeral, nor my brother's (Thommy), two years before because of bad weather and low finances, respectively. I was able to send a funeral wreath for Eileen's, but since money was so tight for Thom's, and even a small funeral arrancgement or wreath is about $150 in NY, I instead typed up a poem I have always loved about grieving, framed it and sent it to my parents (since Thom was divorced when he died), and his adult daughter, all of whom were very moved by the poem too (I think I also posted it to the Grieving club months ago if you want to read it, but I since I don't know your tastes, I also recommend looking at some of the many poet sites on the internet for inspiration. Usually you can type in key words like "poems about grief.")

My mother particularly loved this because other than the mass cards (a Catholic thing) she had printed for all of these deaths, it's the only remembrance she keeps out and reads all the time, unlike the cards she put away after the funerals. She says it has helped her so much to know that someone else took the time to so perfectly describe his grief (the poet) as to make her feel less isolated by it; and she's even passed it on to others when their loved ones die, so I know it must mean a lot to her. It's really come in handy since Thom's death too, as my sisters' deaths were within six months of each other two years later, and my dad's the next year. Think I paid $3.00 for the frame at HomeGoods, plus postage. It also taught me that sometimes little sentimental things mean as much, or more, as the big, expensive efforts.

The most important part is that as long as your sentiment is from the heart, you must forgive yourself for not actually getting to your uncle's funeral and move on so you can remember him fondly. Seems like you have the same habit I sometimes have of expecting too much of myself, then feeling guilty when I can't meet those expectations. To encourage me to follow this advice, I keep this quote on my bulletin board above my computer to remind me:

"Do as the heavens have done, forget your evil. With them forgive yourself."

--William Shakespere (As You Like It)

pax, pj

Hay Ann, sorry to hear about your loss !!! One thing that i know is that GOD knows the HEART !!! and even though you were not there personally , the spirit of your presents was there .. and that's what counts ... We as people can't always be where we would like to be at the moment , (reasons be of GOD's will ) . So pull yourself together and just THANK GOD for the thoughts of you wanting to be there - even though you were there in spirit - THANK GOD !!!! smile Only he know the true heart and blessings have come to you for that . And pray that there maybe a way for you to go to the wedding shower , and if it doesn't happen either , well just look at it as if "It's GOD WILL " and that's something that WE can't change .. Don't STRESS , he knows your HEART .... Beverly L.

Ann, I am sorry for the loss you are feeling. The important thing to remember now is the history and memories you had with your uncle. Do something special to commemorate those memories. You don’t have to physically be there. Those with true love in their hearts will understand your predicament, those that don’t…well it simply does not matter. Write a long note with your feelings and memories and make copies to each family member you need to include along with some photo or something that would remind everyone of your uncle. We have to accept our circumstances and modify around them. Pushing ourselves to do what we cannot or should not does not help anyone, and your uncle would not want you to.



I have missed many birthdays, showers, funerals etc etc. I feel sad about it, but the world does go on without me there.

I totally agree with you Flutterbymare, the world does go on without you being there !!! Time don't stop and gatherings won't either even if you are not there to attend them ... And if they understand about your health problem it really should not be a fuse for you not being there at all ... There are many things that i don't go to with my family , for this same reason but they always try to find something else for them to do around me , which don't include alot of people ( noise - really get to me ) and that i can be at home just in case i have to rest. Which i do enjoy that !!! well hope that you find comfort in this , and keep your spirit up , talk with you later .... Beverly L.

Flutterbymare said:

Ann, I am sorry for the loss you are feeling. The important thing to remember now is the history and memories you had with your uncle. Do something special to commemorate those memories. You don't have to physically be there. Those with true love in their hearts will understand your predicament, those that don't...well it simply does not matter. Write a long note with your feelings and memories and make copies to each family member you need to include along with some photo or something that would remind everyone of your uncle. We have to accept our circumstances and modify around them. Pushing ourselves to do what we cannot or should not does not help anyone, and your uncle would not want you to.

I have missed many birthdays, showers, funerals etc etc. I feel sad about it, but the world does go on without me there.

Thank you all for your kind words plus ideas of memorializing those we loved.

So part of me i realize is grieving loss of trying to be there for others as i have always done in my past but having some hope that I might be able to in the near future when i calmed down and thought honestly about it.

It just brings up great sadness....funerals...i guess as many of you may know there are funerals and than there are FUNERALS! my brother's was huge one that i will never forget all the people who showed up that people where standing! Even now, I have people who did not find out about his death until later express great sadness that they missed his funeral to show their respects to his wife and I. All, that genuine kindness made a huge impact on me. even before his death along with him, we were the 2 that would attend funerals for family members. But after his death, I so much wanted to repay or show the same respect and love that i was shown at his. It is kind of hard..but it was like I saw such a great goodness in people...I want to pass that along.

I appreciated all your ideas and helpful thoughts. i was raised Catholic so understand..well was weird..i was mainly Catholic but also attend Jewish events. sorry i meant to say the poem is great idea...i kept those cards as well..His wife might actual really appreciate that and with computer i can easily print it up so it can be kept even like book mark for her.

Anne, i am sorry you got confused with me but thank you for being so generous! I really appreciate your words about my father. That is very difficult subject for me and one that I do not feel brave enough to open up about in public forum. But your words meant more than you will know.

The gardening one....i have done that my grandparents died. I actually took slips of favorite plants from their garden...they each had flower gardens of their own....than shared huge vegie garden! My mom started that with begonia plant from her mom...who died when i was 4. Funny because i barely knew her but sure felt kindred spirit with her...both huge dog lovers and guess bit our own person.

Thank all of you so very much....it was very hard time last weekend....my body finally just gave out which happens with stress as all of you know. I wish i could really express how much it meant that to have you all be so kind and share your thoughts, words of wisdom and kindness. love loree