Monday, October 5, 2015

Not Grieving

Yesterday my mother's brother died.

It wasn't totally unexpected. He had cancer and had actually just gone in to start a new and aggressive experimental treatment. From what my mom had explained, they either expected it to kill him or to help him recover almost completely.

And while I'm sorry for her loss, especially as he was her only sibling and last surviving family member, I do not have any strong emotions either way regarding his death. Nearly fifteen years ago, when Jen and I started dating, he made his (disapproving, to say the least) opinions clear. I believe it was just after we got married that he disowned me. Other than a very brief exchange at my sister's wedding, I have had no interaction with him since that time.

This place of not feeling affected by a family member's (I use that term loosely) death, is odd. I can see that people expect me to be sad. To be grieving. But I feel like I lost my uncle a long time ago. We were never particularly close to begin with, and any mourning period I went through has been over for a long, long time.

So far there has been no news of funeral arrangements. I am actually hoping that my mom doesn't even tell me about them. While I feel emotionless about his death, I think I would be repulsed by his funeral. He was in the military, and I'm sure whoever gives the eulogy will say something about what a wonderful, brave, courageous, honourable person he was. If that is the case I would have a hard time biting my tongue and not saying anything about how prejudice and hateful he was. Nobody needs to feel that or hear that someone feels like that at a funeral. Hopefully my mom understands.


  1. I have family members like that. My uncle died but he had become estranged to the entire family when he had a disagreement with my other uncle. I didn't feel sad but I had to attend his funeral with my grandmother to support her. It was awful. There was not one single picture of his family in the funeral. Not one with my grandmother at all (even though she never stopped trying to be in his life) and not even one with his first daughter from a previous marriage. Awful funeral.

    I have other relatives I've distanced myself from--my alcoholic aunt and her compulsive lying daughter. They were unhealthy relationships and I decided I didn't need that in my life let alone my children's lives. I always wonder how awkward I'll feel when one of them dies because I'm not attending the funeral.

  2. I am sorry for your mom's loss (current) and your loss (years ago).

    This is a hard thing to balance. I am in a similar situation with my family. It is so difficult to grieve someone who walked away from you for such hateful reasons. The pressure of family obligation. The internal struggle to forgive or not. Worrying what others will think. Thinking about your loved ones who maintained ties. So many conflicting emotions to navigate through.

    I am thinking of you during this time of not grieving.

  3. I'm sorry he treated you like that. I can understand how you feel you mourned that loss already, and I would feel the same as you about the funeral.

  4. I'm sorry that this event had to stir up old hurtful feelings for you and your family. I definitely would have a hard time attending such a funeral! Whatever you decide to do in the end will be the right choice for YOUR family.

  5. I completely understand why you don't feel like you've lost an uncle - he stopped being an uncle almost two decades ago when he disowned you (some uncle!). I wouldn't go to the funeral, either. I bet your mom will understand.