20 answers

Funeral - Attend or Not Attend

Hi mom's, my grandpa passed away this morning. He is in Ohio, I am in Idaho. I am trying to make the choice of going to the funeral or not.
I am blessed to have gone home over Christmas where I got to see him.
Like everyone, money is tight. To add to it, our car's transmission went out on Tuesday and we will need to get a new one.
My hubby is very busy at work right now and I am not sure how we could handle me leaving the kids.
I am leaning toward not going. I did just see him and when I said goodbye, I knew it would be for the last time. My real questions is: what would you do. IF I do not go, will I regret it?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your responses, and so fast! I was afraid I would not get any quick enough to help in the decision. I decided that I was not going to attend. I said my goodbyes a little over a week ago. Also, I believe he is gone, his body remains, but is just a shell. After learning he passed, I looked to the Heavens and "talked" to him. I know it might sound weird, but I believe he is up there looking down on us.
My mom actually told me and my siblings out here not to come. She said don't spend the money for so short a time. She and my gma understand.
He lived a good long life and left a wake of tears at this passing. I am grateful for the bond we had and that I was able to say goodbye that one last time.
Thanks again all.

Featured Answers

I had one of my closest friends from high school (and after) pass away unexpectedly this May. I live in RI, his family lives in MI. I could not make it do to not having anyone watch my son, as well as financially at that time, it wasn't manageable. His family even offered to pay for my flight. While I felt bad about not attending, I was able to write a poem for my friend, and his family. They printed it onto the pamphlet for the Memorial service. So, in a way, I was present. Maybe their is a quote or poem you could send them so they could read it at the funeral. Especially if you can't make it. They understand.

2 moms found this helpful

Funerals are for the living. It wouldn't have mattered if I went to my moms funeral or not....she KNEW I loved her.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I would not go. I had to make a similar choice last year. My Grandma had passed. I was planning on attending. 9 hour drive. Was having sciatic nerve flare up. Found out the day before I was supposed to leave that I would need to have back surgery the day after returning. I could have made the trip, but Dr. suggested I don't go. I didn't go. My family understood. Yours will too.

3 moms found this helpful

I make the decision on a case by case basis (lots of death in my life).

I always go to a child's funeral.

I rarely go to a friend's funeral (unless I'm close with the family, but most of the time I've never met the family).

I nearly always go to family wakes, but rarely go to the funeral itself. Actually, it's pretty standard in my family NOT to have funerals, but just to have wakes. We like to remember the person as they were in life. ((This is willed into most of our wills... no funeral. In fact, one member instructed everyone to calculate how much it would cost to attend his funeral; travel, clothes, sitters, etc... and to spend that exact amount doing something fun.))

I have never regretted my choices. Whether I go or stay, I've done what has felt right at the time. That's not always true in my life, I sometimes regret what seemed like the right thing at the time, but so far... in funerals as in MOST things, trusting my gut rarely leads me astray.

3 moms found this helpful

I have had several family funerals that I did not attend. I do not regret any of it. I have always lived out of state from where family resides so attending on short notice was not easy. I prefer to spend time with family in person while they are still living. What point is a funeral anyway? It is a morbidly acceptable tradition that is done for what reason? The deceased is no longer there, you will not be visiting them. So stay home and don't feel bad. If you visited at Christmas then you have already said good bye, especially if you knew you would not be seeing him again (even if only in your thoughts). Don't make excuses for why you shouldn't go, sounds like you have already said goodbye to him, let the funeral go. I had a great grandmother pass and I was very close with her, I didn't go to her funeral. I lived 1300 miles away and she had not been in her right mind in years. For me she had been gone long before that anyway. My grandfather passed, I lived more than 1300 miles away, I did not go. I had just seen him a few months before. My Aunt passed of Cancer, I went to see her while she was living when we knew the end was close. Don't feel like you have to go because it's what is expected, you know how you feel about the departure, you do not have to be "there" so that every one else can see you morn for him.

3 moms found this helpful

When my God Father died, I could not make it to the funeral. I am in VA, he is CA. I could NOT make it to the funeral. My God mother and family were fine with this.

When my grandmother died - she was in SD and I had just started a new job. To get to the funeral would have been a good 12 hour travel day as no carrier flew from Dulles to Rapid City, SD.

People understand finances and timing. If they don't? Tell them to pound sand. If I could not afford it - I wouldn't go. My God Father nor my Grandmother would want me to go into debt to see them laid to rest.

3 moms found this helpful

If you are ok not going, then you don't need to go. People say their final goodbyes in different ways. If you don't need to be at the funeral for that, then there is your answer.

2 moms found this helpful

I had one of my closest friends from high school (and after) pass away unexpectedly this May. I live in RI, his family lives in MI. I could not make it do to not having anyone watch my son, as well as financially at that time, it wasn't manageable. His family even offered to pay for my flight. While I felt bad about not attending, I was able to write a poem for my friend, and his family. They printed it onto the pamphlet for the Memorial service. So, in a way, I was present. Maybe their is a quote or poem you could send them so they could read it at the funeral. Especially if you can't make it. They understand.

2 moms found this helpful

Funerals are for the living. It wouldn't have mattered if I went to my moms funeral or not....she KNEW I loved her.

2 moms found this helpful

I did not go to my grandmother's funeral, same exact circumstances. So, if I were you, I would send flowers and a sympathy card and not feel any sort of guilt for not being able to attend.

2 moms found this helpful

Who would you be going to the funeral for?

The last funeral I went to was my grandmother's. We have a very large extended family. (She had over 60 grandchildren, not counting greats...) I went for me-- because I wanted to see my brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts, etc.

If there will be no one there you need to see, and no one who needs your presence, why go? If you have recently seen those who would appreciate your presence and they would understand you not being able to return so soon, why go?

Maybe under the circumstances, if you DO go, would you regret it?

In your place, I would carefully consider and make my own decision about what I wanted to do. Then, I would discuss with my husband whether any arrangements were needed to make it happen.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm so sorry for your loss.

When my dad died, I couldn't go because of finances, not to mention the fact I had a broken leg and there is no way I could have flown and dealt with the airports, etc. I loved my dad dearly and I know deep down that he was okay with me not going.
I composed something that my uncle read as his eulogy at the service and that was my way of being there.

A year later, we all gathered for a family reunion and memorial service for my dad. It was wonderful.
You know, it's really up to you and what you feel you may or may not regret. Thankfully, you had time with your grandfather when he was alive and that was a precious gift. If your family, really, really needs you there...that's another consideration as well.
Only you know what you will feel right about.

I wish you the best and again, I'm sorry for your loss.

2 moms found this helpful

My husband always tells me funerals are not really for the person who died but for the people still alive... If I was you, and in your shoes right now, I wouldn't go back. My Great Grandma passed away last spring, she was 98 years old. I wished that I could have went to her funeral, but me too, money was tight and I was planning a trip up to Illinois in another month, so I just couldn't. I don't regret at all not trying to find a way. I know she's looking down and proud of me.

I'm so sorry for your lost, he's in a better place.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't know if you will regret not attending the funeral; but, I am almost certain that you will never regret having attending it. Take your kids if you can afford it but I would go.

2 moms found this helpful

Funerals are for the living. If your parent (I am not sure if this is your mom's dad or your dad's dad) needs you there, I would go. If they truly are happy that you saw him at Christmas and do not need you there, it's up to you. When my grandfather died, I got a bereavement rate on the airfare to fly to the funeral - I needed the hospital he died at to fax something to the airline - it made it quite a bit more affordable.

1 mom found this helpful

It depends on how close you were to your grandpa. If you got a chance to see him over the holidays, gave him all the hugs and kisses, and your budget is now tight, I believe if you chose not to go it would not hurt.

It may be better to leave with a happy memory than the one you would get attending the funeral. If it makes you feel better, you can probably travel later for your grandma or other family moral support, because they will need that when the day is over.

1 mom found this helpful

If I could find a way for hubby, in-laws, and/or friends to handle the kids (in any combination) and manage to go, I would. If not, you do what you can.

Sorry for your loss.

1 mom found this helpful

First, ((HUG)). I'm sorry for your loss.

In my mind, you did the important thing - you went and had a lovely visit with him while he was still alive. To me, that matters much more than a funeral.

However, funerals are not really for the person who died. They are for those left behind. Will your family understand if you are not there? I'd say call your mom and dad, and grandma if she's still alive, share sympathy, talk about the visit you had with your grandpa at Christmas, and then explain the impossible situation you are in financially and that because of it you cannot come. Also call any of your siblings and have the same conversation.

Ideally, your family will accept that you cannot come right now, though you would like to be there with them. They will explain on your behalf to anyone rude enough to question why you are not there. While the funeral is important, you should not go into debt to get there.

As for whether you will regret not being there, that very much depends on how your family behaves when you tell them you are not coming and on your own feelings about funerals. I think that by being there with your grandpa at Christmas, you gave him a much greater gift than showing up to mourn him after he's gone. But if you're the type of person with a strong need for closure, consider carefully how you might feel in a year if you're not there.

1 mom found this helpful

I regret a bit not going to my aunt's funeral years ago. What makes it ok is that my other aunt and my parents were supportive of me not going and it would have been an easier trip for me than this one is for you. Their thought was "she's dead now." People say a funeral is more for the living. So if you're ok with it and the rest of your family is, then I wouldn't go. If you think some family members will be really upset, then you might have to. ie: You don't say if your grandmother is alive etc. If she is and really really wants and expects you there, that changes the equation IMO... Then it depends on how you feel about your grandmother and all.

1 mom found this helpful

I have not read any other responses, so this may be repetitive. I adored my grandmother and was by her side when she died. Her funeral was in a different state as was her burial. I realized that I said good bye and had spent time with her when she was alive. I did not feel like I could leave my husband and young children, at that time, for a funeral. In retrospect I think it would have been nice for me to be there for my mom, but I don't regret not being at the funeral for my grandmother's sake or for closure.

1 mom found this helpful

It's a personal choice and depends on your situation.

For me when my grandpa died, even thought it was tight money wise and a big hassle, I went to support my Mom. She was an only child, so she has very few family members remaining, and my grandpa had outlived most of his friends.

I'm very glad I was there for my Mom. But if it were not for this factor I may have not attended.

1 mom found this helpful

M.,
If you can't, then you can't.
Take comfort in the fact that you got to see and say goodbye to your grandpa while he was alive. That is a blessing...for you, as it was for him to see you. No regrets. It's not like it's down the street and you're choosing to just NOT go. Logistics make it difficult for you right now, if not impossible.
I'm sorry about your grandpa.

1 mom found this helpful

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