Should I Attend the Funeral?

Updated on August 27, 2012
L.C. asks from Pearland, TX
20 answers

I just received word that my Aunt has passed and am torn about attending the funeral. It would be very difficult to go. My husband is a teacher, so this is his first week of school, and also my daughter's first week of first grade. I also have two younger boys who start Mother's Day Out this week. The funeral is about 3 hours away.

I really hate to miss the funeral, though. It is my Dad's older sister. I would like to be there for my Dad and other family that we don't get to see but about once every few years. My Dad lost his oldest sister and 2 older brothers several years ago, and I was unable to attend their funerals for other reasons. I just don't know what I should do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for your kind words and quick responses. It is difficult for me to know what to do when my routine is interrupted. I will try to go and take the boys. It doesn't seem all that difficult now that I've read your advice and had a chance to process.

Featured Answers



answers from Oklahoma City on

I would have a friend take the kids to their activities and go the night before the funeral. That way you can visit some too. Everyone will visit and enjoy the time even though it's a sad occasion.

This is not something odd or unexpected. A lot of times the only time families all come together is when there is a death of one close to them all.

I would also consider just making a couple of days out of it. I know when my older relatives passed away it was a big long deal that lasted several days.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I think you have to go. It's the right thing to do. You don't necessarily have to bring the whole family. Make it a one-day trip, or maybe an overnight. You'll regret it if you don't go.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Los Angeles on

Funerals are not for the dead. They are for the living. Your presence will be helpful for your dad. Go and support him.

Good luck to you and yours.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Can you go alone. Your hubby and kids won't have to miss school...might need help from a neighbor/friend for the day.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would definitely go to the funeral. I can't imagine not being there for the funeral of one of my aunts or uncles. In the past 10 years I have traveled 400 miles for several funerals: my grandma, 2 uncles, 1 cousin, and then 7 years ago I took a 10 hr Amtrak trip through a blizzard to get to my best friend's brother's funeral. I can just about guarantee that you will never regret being there for those who were closest to the deceased person.

Do you have a babysitter, neighbor or friend who can take your younger boys to their Mother's Day Out, and your daughter to/from school? It is just one day.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I would make every effort to go.

Can you take the 2 little ones with you and leave the first-grader with dad? Or just go by yourself? Can someone take care of your kids?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

It sounds like you really want to go so I would try to make it work.
Do you need to spend the night? I know six hours of driving is a lot in one day but maybe that would be more doable.
Ask a friend, perhaps the mom of one of your kids' friends, to take your boys for the day. This is the kind of thing my fellow moms and I are always more than happy and willing to do for each other. Reach out, don't be shy! You will be able to turn the favor someday I'm sure, and people (especially moms) really, really do want to help in these kinds of situations.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I would go, this type of stuff just tends to eat at you if you don't go.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I would go and be present for family. This is just one day of inconvenience for your family.

I remember when my great-grandfather passed away. I was 4 months pregnant, and wasn't sure if I should attend. I decided to go, and my grandmother was so happy I came. It meant a lot to her. I will always remember that, and am still to this day glad I went for her.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I am sorry for your loss.
Unfortunately, people don't pass away at convenient times, it just happens. And when it does you make arrangements. i would absolutely go to the funeral. When this sort of thing happens, it brings family together, and you should be there, especially if you feel you should.
Have hubby deal with the kids or have a friend help you, or go as a family. It's not like any of your kids are missing's first grade. It will be ok.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

funerals are a wonderful time for families to reconnect, you won't regret going. Would one of your family members be willing to make the drive up with you and the two little ones?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Find a way to go.
Be there for your dad.

When my father passed away, I couldn't attend his funeral. It was 3,000 miles away and I had a broken leg.

I regret not going, but my step mother made things really ugly for everyone and in a way, it's probably best I didn't put myself through any of that. But, deep in my heart, because he only had two daughters, I regret not being the one who was there.

However, I wrote the eulogy, which my uncle read, and was printed on my father's service hand-outs. I was very much there in spirit, but it still wasn't the same.

I think you should make arrangements and go.

Just my opinion.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I would go, either alone or with the two youngest.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

I would don't have to bring the whole family if you can find people to help out that day. I am sure your presence would be needed and appreciated that day.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

If it's only 3 hours away, I would put the effort in and make it happen.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Can you get a sitter forthe day.. you can drive 3 hours.. attend the funeral and get back home that night.. possibly late.. have someone watch the kids while hubs is at work.. hubs will be home int he pm to take over.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

My cousin's nephew died in his sleep at 41 yrs old. He had no life insurance and not enough money to spend lots on a funeral. My cousin spent 2 days cooking for the lunchen after the service. I never knew him, his Mom was a half-sister to my cousin, so when my uncle divorced their Mom I didn't see her as often. I went to the service as moral support for my cousin. I helped clean up the lunchen and the church kitchen. Even if you simply go to be helpful and don't say a lot to anyone --except express condolences. You can help keep track of little children -- take them out of they cry or need a diaper change. When you get there you will know who needs you where -- just jump in and help. It will be so appreciated. Even if nothing is said.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would look and see if you can make an appearance by yourself. Call a friend and ask if you can get help getting the kids to/from school for a day. Three hours is not impossible. I routinely drive 3 hours each way for day trips to see my relatives. If the funeral is early, perhaps drive down the night before, go to the funeral and explain that you can't stay for all the extended family events. I would try to make it for your Dad's sake. You would want him to try to be there for you, right? If your DH can't make it, have him sign a family card and take the condolences with you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Go by yourself, or leave the first-grader with your husband and just take the two younger boys. I agree it would be too much to disrupt your husband's and first grader's first week of school. Let them get into their routines while you go. Perhaps a neighbor/relative/friend can take your first-grader to school and pick her up if your husband can't.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Yes you should go - it will be a long day but you can drive out very early in the morning or go late the night before and stay somewhere overnight, then attend services, stick around for an hour or two afterward if they get together somewhere and then go home. Get a sitter to get your daughter to and from school if your husband can't do that with his schedule and watch your sons. They won't miss their program at all - at this age, this week is the same as last week is the same as next week.

Sorry for your loss.

1 mom found this helpful
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