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Inconvenient funeral date

(18 Posts)
watermeadow Thu 19-Dec-19 14:26:07

I know no date will suit everybody but what do I do about this? A very close relative has died a long way away. I haven’t seen him for years but would certainly go to his funeral.
However, the funeral will be on my special birthday, when my entire large family has arranged a surprise treat, planned months ago as it’s hard to get us all together.
I don’t expect his widow to know it’s my birthday, she had to accept a date which suits her own family, but am I being unreasonable in saying I’m sorry but I can’t go?

Urmstongran Thu 19-Dec-19 14:29:58

Not at all. A very unfortunate clash.

Septimia Thu 19-Dec-19 14:33:53

I don't think you're being unreasonable.
If it was something that you'd arranged which clashed with the funeral, it might be different. As it is, the arrangements are somewhat beyond your control.

I'd be inclined to contact the widow, explain your problem and maybe try to pay a visit to her later, and take some flowers to the grave or whatever. Perhaps just have a few minutes quiet at the relevant time during your birthday celebrations to remember your relative.

jura2 Thu 19-Dec-19 14:34:12

Not at all - make sure you go and visit her in the New Year- she will probably enjoy a visit then more.

And enjoy your special BD- guilt free x

Yehbutnobut Thu 19-Dec-19 14:41:47

Yes, explain. But ask if you can go and see her instead in the New Year. Often it’s loneliest after the funeral.

Send flowers if they are acceptable ?

TrendyNannie6 Thu 19-Dec-19 14:51:24

Not unreasonable at all just explain to the widow

M0nica Thu 19-Dec-19 15:43:09

Send her flowers with a letter briefly outlining why you cannot come and how much you would have liked to have been there.

I find in many situations like this someone knocking at the door with a beautiful bouquet expresses true feelings better than words.

Humbertbear Thu 19-Dec-19 16:34:35

You have to stay and be with your family for your birthday. It’s not possible to fix a funeral date that suits everyone who might want to attend. However, if you know the widow maybe you could arrange to visit her at a later date and maybe visit the grave with her?

harrigran Fri 20-Dec-19 08:57:18

Not unreasonable, it is virtually impossible to arrange a date to suit everyone.
My niece died suddenly when I was on holiday in the south of France, I couldn't really just hop on a plane because we were on a driving holiday with friends. I visited the family the day I returned from holiday and they were fine about us not attending the funeral.

notanan2 Fri 20-Dec-19 09:00:58

If they dont know your birthday and werent going to your big family celebration for it, then surely they can't be that close a relative, so what's the problem with not going? I dont see it as a clash tbh

notanan2 Fri 20-Dec-19 09:05:03

In my workplace you only get compassionate leave for the funeral of immediate family: parent, partner or child.

Otherwise you have to arrange unpaid or annual leave if there is time for cover to be found. Or shift swap. 2 or 3 days wouldnt be long enough notice to take leave as all leave requires cover.

notanan2 Fri 20-Dec-19 09:05:41

Oops sorry my 2nd post was for the other funeral thread

sodapop Fri 20-Dec-19 09:05:50

I agree with others, its not at all unreasonable for you to be with your family on your special birthday watermeadow. Send a letter of condolence to your relative's family and arrange to go and see them later.
Enjoy your party and don't feel guilty, its the best decision.

Harris27 Fri 20-Dec-19 09:09:43

How lucky youareto have such a thoughtful family. I’m heading for mine on January at the end nothing planned. Go ahead enjoy if a funeral teaches us one thing it’s about the life we have.

Mollymalone6 Fri 20-Dec-19 09:10:17

watermeadow what a sad problem this is for you. But, like others have already said, I would send a nice card and letter now to explain why you can't make the funeral but will visit later. It's usually the case that after the funeral is when the real grief starts and the comfort of a loved one is most needed. It will give her a chance to just talk and reminisce. Something I wish I had had.

And you can enjoy your "special birthday" with a light heart knowing you are going to give her your time and sympathy when it perhaps matters most.

Mimidl Wed 01-Jan-20 12:22:13

As a funeral arranger I can tell you that when a family come in to arrange a funeral they are mostly still in shock and personally I try to gently guide them through the process.
When choosing a date I ask if there are special birthdays/hospital appointments etc., that they may want to work around, but generally their mind is all over the place and they can’t think of anything specific.

To be honest she will have so much to think about anyway that she won’t notice who’s there and who’s not on the day of the funeral anyway.
Why not send her some flowers and a card, apologising for not being able to be there.

Marvelfan Sat 04-Jan-20 22:47:53

No you are not being unreasonable.
Send a card expressing your condolences and if you feel close enough to his widow follow it up a time later when you can with a call.
We all know when someone dies there's a flurry of arrangements and sometimes a later call can mean a lot.

Dinahmo Sun 05-Jan-20 00:12:32

When my BIL died two years ago we couldn't afford to go to the funeral so we checked with his widow who didn't expect to see us. We figured that she'd be surrounded by friends and family at the funeral and in the weeks immediately afterwards and so we went over a couple of months later. She was very pleased to see us by then because contact with friends and family had reduced.