My sisters organized a "memorial" lunch for what would have been my father's 85th birthday next week at a pub in trendy little town near by. This is not my mother's idea and drinking will take place. Am I wrong to want to opt out?

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Help! My very large family has decided to hold a "memorial" lunch at a pub in a trendy little town nearby. This translate into a large group of very different people who do not blend well together. This is not my mother's idea although she will go along with it. It was organized by my sister and younger sister-in-law because my sister flew in for what would have been my father's 85th birthday next week. He passed away in July with none of them present except me. Neither of my brothers will be there. One is deployed in a war zone and the other is a doctor and probably won't show up. I am not ready for this mass pandemonium and the drinking that will take place. I don't think I can do this yet. I haven't seen most of this group since the funeral and we are not all on good terms. I am my mother's primary caretaker and was at the hospital most of the time with my father. I am still grieving in a very different way from most of my family except my brother who is a doctor. Am I wrong to want to opt out of this? I woke up crying this morning.

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Top Answer
I have a big extended family too. I actually tired of these massive get-togethers when I was young.
Take your Mom to the memorial. Stay a little while. Then say something like, "I have to do something for Mom." Then spend the day doing something for yourself.
Also, do not allow anyone to "bunk" in with you. Tell them it would just be too hard both caring for Mom and entertaining guests.
You do not owe anyone an explanation about your decisions, nor should they advise you how to grieve.
I had a very similar situation in my family. My Father passed away in July also. I was his primary caregiver we kept him at home. We had hospice for medication and equipment however they did not care for him. I really miss him, and I am my Mom's caregiver now. I would say if you can't don't!!! I know that I could not handle that and I would NOT even try...My sister recently got married again, and I am happy for her. It was sad for me! take care and I do understand the tears...
Wrong? Hell no. You are as right as can be right. You have revealed it all and I can relate completely. Your decision is right for you, for your Mom and for the memory of your Dad. The guests want an "Irish wake" and it is not your desires. Invite any of these guests for a personal and private meeting with you and Mom if they wish for your (plural) health and happiness.

I'm 90 y/o and can well relate.
I would say- if your insides are saying dont go-listen to yourself.
I definately wouldnt go!! for what? like u need more stress.??..
i believe your dad knows the deal- u dont have to prove anything to anyone- you were there for your dad, he knows
your feelings- why expose yourself to a situation where u know
ahead of time will not be pleasant? let someone else take mom -one of your sibs....the less stress in your life-especially if you have a choice, the better-u need to be good and take care of you. just my thoughts--karen
Just prior to our wedding 20 years ago, my husband-to-be and I were deliberating over options for the rehearsal dinner and the reception. There were things that I wanted to leave out that I didn't think were necessary; but my fiance' told me that most family gatherings, celebrations, memorials are about fulfilling the expectations of the guests, whether we are jazzed up for those event specifics or certain traditions. For whatever reason, other members of your family need to do this to feel that they are appropriately recognizing your Dad. It's just one night, not a month-long difficult task that will negatively effect your life. I agree with a previous post that you do not have to stay the entire evening. As long as you show up for a little while, drink some soda water, and allow for everyone to express their feelings for you and your dad, they won't care if you have to cut out early. The big picture here is that they mean well and it's a small, short-lived event.
i understand that point of view- but if it is something that is already causing a great deal of stress-why do it ?
it is fine if it helps others, its good-
maybe u should just make yourself go thru it,
, however , i have learned that it is better for me
not to subject myself to something that i know will be filled with stressful situations- its for my protection- but that is just another way to think about it- either way, i am sure u will make the right choice-
there is no wrong- it is what it is-k
Wow, Dinak, "most gatherings are about fulfilling the expectations of guests" ? How does your husband determine what the expectations are of all the different guests who might be coming to a gathering? I hope he has managed to do this in the 20 plus years of your marriage. Have the gatherings been what you wanted? Putting that aside, RLP, you are facing a real dilemma. If you wish to maintain a relationship with your sister (and sister-in-law), perhaps you could make a short appearance at the memorial as you drop off your mom (since she is willing to go along with the party) but have it pre-arranged that someone else from the family will look after your mom that day after the drop-off. What you will do while others are at the memorial party, I don't know. That will be a very hard time for you. Do you think you are being influenced in your feelings about the memorial because your sister wasn't there for your father and you were and now your sister is sponsoring this big hoopla that makes it look like your sister is honouring your father (when he is dead!!) more than you did (by being at the hospital) when he was alive. Incidentally, why is it that you are now the primary caretaker of your mother? (I can guess - it is because you live close to her). What is your sister going to do to help out with this care? Nothing? And then fly in after your mom dies and put on a memorial party for her? I would guess that this is how you might be feeling right now. Maybe a reason for putting in an appearance at the party is so that your sister can't turn sulky and say, because you didn't show up at the memorial, she doesn't want to have anything to do with you in discussing your mother's future care. However, if you don't think you will ever need or want your sister's future help and you don't really care about continuing a relationship with your sister (which sounds like a sad situation but may be reality), then do exactly what you want about attending the memorial. Do what will be best for you on that day and/or for the years after that.
I agree very much with Lilliput. Take mom, stay a short while then go do something you want to do for a couple of hours. The time on your own will feel wonderful! Take a stressful situation and turn it to your benefit. Hey, instant mom sitters for a short period of time! WOW! How often does that happen!? Mom will have fun, you will have fun ... win win situation. I also agree with Lilliput, in that you should not have anyone stay with you. It would be best to be able to have the seclusion.
i dont think it is fair to try and hold her relationship hostage when people are going to do and think what they want, and sometimes it doesnt matter if it is correct or not- peoples perceptions are their reality- and u cannot predict their future
behavior,although u would think it best to try and get along.
at least u would think so- for some reason , family seems to change and act so strange and different, when one parent dies.never in a million years did i think my brother would act the way he has. i guess i never knew him, i always loved him, but never thought he could become so nasty and irrational-so bossy and
so selfish and egotistical. but , it is what it is-i am still trying to deal with this---but it doesnt mean it happens always-i guess i am just trying to prevent more pain and stress-and also
i am projecting--i dont mean to be so cold-sorry if i offended anyone.k
LCS, you mock my response to RLPs plea for advice on her difficult situation. She wouldn't have asked the community for feedback if she were 100% certain on how to proceed. You took what was my attempted real-life, positive perspective for RLP on a single evening event and turned around and presented her with a mostly negative, self-absorbed, family warfare perspective. I am sure that harboring all of that resentment and acting out childishly over a memorial will make RLP feel great when she looks back years from now at the event and how she responded to it. Whether one likes it or not, most events are about guests' expectations and now best to fulfill them. Nothing is perfect - who said it was? But there are certain social standards that self-respecting people abide by. RLP did not present this situation as a horrible, negative event - she is not thrilled about it, but she also did not completely rule out going. She asked for advice, I responded. How about dealing with the problem presented and leave out the personal jabs against other community responders?

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