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I only heard today that my brother is coming, but he hasn't told me or said anything to me. He hasn't talked to me, mom or anyone in family for about the past two years. The funeral director told me my brother called him about the service twice so that leads me to believe he has full intention on coming.
I already spoke to my pastor to please address the group and tell them not to talk to me about family at the memorial as I keep getting bitter remarks, astonishment that family isn't coming, etc. and then they proceed to share their own family bitterness. I don't want this to taint the atmosphere....so, I am heading all that off at the pass, by cutting it off in the beginning of service by having the pastor address this and instead of focusing on family, to turn all the attention to mom. I feel peace about this, but my concern is brother showing up. Since he still has no apparent need to talk to me, I am concerned about his appearance and possibly a desire to publicly shame, humiliate mom and me in underhanded ways....with biting sarcasm, schmoozing, etc. I am thinking it might be best to distance myself from him totally at memorial, with only a brief hello. Feedback? cadams

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Glad it worked out well. Hope he knows the will needs to be probated and could take a few months.
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Thanks for your support. It is now two days after the memorial. It went beautifully. My brother did indeed show up and was profoundly cold, hostile to me when I first saw him. I chose not to sit near him and afterwards, he met people on his own. I did not announce him. I gave an honest, heartfelt tribute to mom and acknowledged she was not a saint nor an angel, but human and then proceeded to share how I had been hurt by her but made a determination to turn things around.....through love and forgiveness. That worked beautifully. Afterwards, my brother softened up alot and wanted a copy of my tribute, but I suspect it was not so much to have a copy about my healed relationship with mom as much as to use to back and support his bitterness. Oh well..... He has to live with his choices. Now he is in a place where he has to talk to me as I am executor of estate so he came over yesterday and tried a pleasant exchange before he got right into the real reason he was over......the will. Sad. Very sad. So......here we go. Thanks for your support. cadams
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Why can't you keep him from coming. Could say it's private, invite only.
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When my daddy died, my oldest brother was on the outs with the entire family. He opted not to come to any of the events associated with the funeral. Instead, he wrote a letter for my nephew to read. It was a rambling, self-praising mess---so nephew just "skimmed it" and the service went on NOT being all about this brother. People realized he wasn't there and asked why and we all had the same pat response "He has chosen not to involve himself". People could think what they want.

When my FIL died, my MIL didn't acknowledge his passing AT ALL. She had divorced him 15 years prior and hated him so profoundly it was almost scary. People couldn't believe she couldn't put aside her grudges about him for 1 hr to support THEIR children. She stewed for months over what "might" have been said about HER. (Nothing) And she was mad nobody sent her flowers or notes of condolence. She wasn't a widow! She was a divorcee!

In neither situation did any of us get upset or defensive about the behavior shown. Funerals are tricky things---emotions are raw and if the family has had internal struggles--they often surface at this time.

I think talking to your pastor ahead of time was smart. Keep a cool head & say hello to brother and nothing more. I wouldn't give him the in to say anything. IF he does kick up a stink, ignore him. People are pretty quick to pick up on whose behavior is most appropriate.

Bless you.
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Cadams; funerals are awkward times. People don't know what to say. Forgive folks in advance, perhaps.

As Glad says, anything that your "bad brother" does by word or deed at your mom's service reflects on him and his character, not you and not mom.

Write out some stories about your mom that you'd like to share with people. Read them beforehand so that you know what you want to say and how to say it.

Make a list of polite responses: I'm so glad you came; thank you for sharing this time with me; I'm so glad for your support.

A wise woman once told me "respond, don't react". Keep that in mind with regard to BB.

You can do this!
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Well, he's found out when and where the memorial service is without needing to speak to you. I think it's a reasonable assumption that he will be capable of attending the service also without speaking to you, and that's mutual, and it's fine.

And anyway you couldn't stop him coming if you wanted to. So do your best to focus on what it's all about - celebrating your mother and her life - and let brother's doings pass you by.
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Hopefully bro will not act up. But, if he does his anger and bitterness will only reflect upon him. To bring anything up would be inappropriate in this time of loss. Anyone in attendance will recognize that.

I am sorry for your loss.
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You'll have to play it by ear, and see what feels right at the time. A brief hello sounds fine to me. He should be the one trying to figure out how to show his face after a 2-year absence. Not your problem.

If no other family is coming, that may limit brother's audience. He certainly can no longer humiliate Mom, and you can choose to be humiliated or not by his actions. His behavior at his mother's memorial service reflects on himself, not on any one else. Keep that in mind.

Could your pastor stay near you or keep an eye on you until all participants have left?
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