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
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.
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!
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.
I am sorry for your loss.
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?