As I prepare for mom's memorial, I am shocked and heartsick that family has no interest in coming. Any advice?

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I am unsure of just what to tell the public about this as it is sooo embarrassing and I feel sure that is just the intent of family... to tear down mom publicly... as if to tell the public that mom isn't near the loving, kind person that is perceived by the vast majority. They are a bitter group, do not forgive, though she admitted to her faults and asked forgiveness years ago in a personal letter to each child. I tried one tactic with a helper by just stating that mom's family is just like everyone elses. Why should mom be any different?" That actually seemed to suffice and stopped further questioning. Any feedback?cadams

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I'm sorry that your family is not coming to the memorial! That must be very hurtful. My advice is to simply plan the memorial that you think your mom would have wanted, and plan things that are meaningful to you, and that will bring you closure. Whoever is supposed to be at the memorial, needs to be there, and wants to be there, will show up. Don't worry about what people think, and there's no need to offer any explanation for your family's absence.  Just focus on your mom's service, and your relationship with her. You can't control what your family does, thinks, or says, you can only honor your mother in your own way.

I'm sorry for your loss, and I wish you peace!
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You stated that your mother had to ask for forgiveness for something. Maybe they couldn't forgive whatever it was she had done. You can't fault them for that and expect them to be at a memorial for her just for 'show'. Or they could just be hurtful people. Either way why would you want them at a memorial. You can't dictate how others will act. My own father did not attend my grandmother's funeral and there were some tongues wagging. So what. My grandmother had been a difficult woman all her life and my parents were just done. They did not see the point of pretending. Have the memorial you want and stop worrying what others think. Their opinions are not important.
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I felt a rush of embarrassment and annoyance for you when I read your post just now. Your family may be bitter. Does that mean they also have to be rude and intentionally insulting? Honestly!

Two things to remember if people are giving you funny looks. One, you are not responsible for the social and moral compass of your family members. Two, it's actually nobody else's dam' business.

And if anyone is actually crass enough to ask "where is so-and-so?" just smile sweetly and say "no idea! Busy, I expect."

You have enough to deal with without concerning yourself with them. Hugs to you.
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Both my parents said no funeral and an immediate family only ashes scattering. Even with just my two brothers, their children and their young families - plus hubby and me - I was more than a little nervous that their would be some kind of scene at my moms scattering. My oldest brother was very bitter and angry where my mother was concerned - had been for years and made no secret about it. My other brother pretty much adored my mom and always gave her a pass no matter what she did. This brother always thought our oldest brother was an ungrateful jerk when it came to our parents - that he should just get over it.

So - with both brothers knowing how the other felt - and each knowing the other knew they knew - about how they felt - as I hauled my fat a$$ half way up the summit of Mt. Hood to scatter mom - I don't know what I worried about more - me having a heart attack or my brothers coming to blows.

To my surprise it all went fine - everyone rose to the occasion and behaved themselves.

Maybe your family will rise to the occasion, too.
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Cadams, you can only control and/or regret your actions, not those of others over whom you have no control.

Are you comfortable with how you cared for her? If so, then let the others go. You'll never be able to change their opinions and it will only stress you to try.

And forget about "tell{ing} the public". Intelligent, wise and experienced people will either understand and accept, or not pass judgment. Those who don't aren't your friends and you don't need to worry about them.

If "the public" does ask where your relatives are, just sweetly say that you don't know, or that you've been so busy caring for your mother you haven't had time to keep up on the activities of your family. Then thank them for coming and move on to talk with someone else.

Just be comfortable with your own actions with your mother.
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It's sad, isn't it? But, I agree with what others have said. Just do what you think is best and forget about the rest. When it comes to death and grief and loss and mourning who really cares what anyone else thinks. And if anyone has the nerve to comment, just smile sweetly and say "that's nice" and walk away.
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Quote: "My own father did not attend my grandmother's funeral and there were some tongues wagging. So what. My grandmother had been a difficult woman all her life and my parents were just done. They did not see the point of pretending. Have the memorial you want and stop worrying what others think. Their opinions are not important."

This is a good and valid point. I didn't attend my grandmother's funeral, because she had been horrible to me most of my life. It wasn't about me "not forgiving her", it was about me processing her death in my own way, and not having to go to the funeral and pretend and "put on a good face" just for show. That would have been really painful for me.

Cadams, we obviously don't know your family, but I agree with all of the others that you don't need to make excuses for anyone. Your situation is not entirely uncommon, and most people will understand, without you having to say a word.
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Dear cadams,

My deepest sympathies and condolences. I know you are doing your best to organize the memorial for your beloved mom. I know families are tough and we would think during this sad and difficult time people could put aside their differences but I know that's not how it works.

With my father the reason the family couldn't come to his service was because they all lived too far away. His two remaining siblings were elderly as well. I had the same concern. I felt my dad deserved to have everyone show up and pay their respects. But in hindsight, it was mainly for me and my siblings. I would have been satisfied if it was only the 4 of us and our families. We were lucky that a few friends and colleagues had shown up to support us.

Sending you love and hugs. Do the best you can and don't worry about what others think.
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Cadams--
I am sorry for your loss.

This is a difficult time for anyone..and if you weren't in a good place with the deceased, sometimes it's just too much to ask people to come to a ceremony and act in a way that seems fake to them. Even though your mother had asked forgiveness of some people she'd wronged, that doesn't mean that suddenly good feelings abound. Death does not suddenly make all things "right".

My mother---she is 88 and will not live forever. I have vacillated back and forth over what I will have to do/say/act like when this time comes. We aren't "in a good place" she has now developed dementia, so the chances of us GETTING to a "good place" are now nil. BUT, I will respect she's my mother and behave.

I have already been "disinvited" to my MIL's funeral. She hates me that much. I don't know how hubby will explain that to people.

Don't worry about what people think. It's a service to honor a deceased person's life. Not ever single person your mother knew was her best friend. And also, some people, like my daughter, don't DO funerals. Simply, never go, no matter who passed.

I'd just keep my chin up and deal with the day. It will be emotional enough as it is, don't borrow trouble. (easy to say, hard to do)

Good luck.
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My heart aches for you and you have my deepest sympathy, not only for the loss of your mom, but also what appears to be the loss of your family as well. My husband was part of a family business and was always more interested in what they wanted and needed than what his wife and kids wanted. When he had a stroke and went back to work, the problems started, and when he had a life-threatening heart infection in 2013 and his work began to suffer, he was unceremoniously fired by his twin brother with the blessings of the rest of the family. We became estranged at that time. When his twin brother died unexpectedly, we had to go through the motions of his wake and funeral. We felt grief and shock, but we expressed it privately, not in the midst of people who didn't want us and had treated us so badly.

Plan the service around what your mother would have wanted and what you like. Do it for yourself. Your devotion to your mom will mean much more to people than wondering why the rest of the family isn't there.
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