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AITA - Friend's Step - Dad funeral


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My friend's step dad died 3 weeks after my Dad. His funeral is next week. I'm obviously dreading it as it is bringing up raw feelings about my Dad and also the fact the I went out with his son years ago and he was physically, emotionally and sexually abusive towards me. 

I stopped speaking to her Dad when i left his abusive son as i needed to distance myself and cut his son out. Last time me and her step dad spoke was at her wedding a couple of years ago and we got on fine and even sat at the same table.

Anyways, I am dreading the son turning up (the family are not sure he will be there as he is a complete f**k-up). I never want to see him again. My friend says she understands if i can't go to the funeral given all the circumstances and we can pay tribute another way. She said she wouldn't hold it against me.

Am i an a**hole for not going to support her since she went to my dad's funeral? Her and my Dad got on great. I just couldn't cope seeing him and another funeral so soon if i am being honest. But worried it drives a wedge between us. 

Furthermore, I asked where he was resting as I would weirdly want to go and see him to say the things I couldn't say when he was alive. My friend said she had someone ask her if they could see him rest but didn't tell her as they had not been in contact with her dad for a couple of years. She said that her step dad specified family only for viewing his body (he had a funeral plan) and that he thought the whole thing was morbib. 

Part of me thinks she is just trying to stop me going to see him. Plus, is it fair for someone to try and stop me? I am all for respecting the family wishes but it has kinda annoyed me as I feel it would give me some closure going to see him. Her Mum and I have had issues in the past (she even went as far to think me and step dad were sleeping together even when they had been broken up for years) so not sure if she has an issue with me wanting to go see him. 

Maybe my head is just everywhere which has left me with these angry feelings. As mentioned, normally i would just respect their wishes and just leave it. 

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Oh what a rough and vulnerable situation for you ! I am sorry and sorry about your loss of your father. As I read your post my most important thought was “there must be a way to compromise “. So for example- attend the funeral and sit in the back to avoid his son?

plesse don’t pressure the family about showing up to the other event you mentioned. Respect their wishes and find another way to communicate.  To me that’s the right thing to do. 
again I’m sorry you’re faced with such a tough decision and situation.  Wish you peace. 

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It’s probably best to keep some distance from the family. Whether you go/see/visit anyone or anywhere won’t change the things that happened in the past. It won’t change the person you are or your ability to keep living on and healing. I am so sorry for what happened and what your ex did to you. 

As for your friend potentially not feeling comfortable with it, that is her right to feel what she feels, whatever that may be but don’t assume anything. My thoughts are to leave it and come back to each other as friends some time later. If she wants to open up to you and vice versa thats fine but now isn’t the time.

I’d keep some distance out of respect and also because it doesn’t stop you from thinking or speaking what’s on your mind. Do it in an empty room or go to the woods and say it. He is gone and in the wind. His empty body is just a shell of what he was. Whether you see his lifeless image or not doesn’t prevent you from healing. You’re much stronger than this. 

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1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

Oh what a rough and vulnerable situation for you ! I am sorry and sorry about your loss of your father. As I read your post my most important thought was “there must be a way to compromise “. So for example- attend the funeral and sit in the back to avoid his son?

plesse don’t pressure the family about showing up to the other event you mentioned. Respect their wishes and find another way to communicate.  To me that’s the right thing to do. 
again I’m sorry you’re faced with such a tough decision and situation.  Wish you peace. 

I was more thinking of avoiding the funeral service and if the son is a no show then go along to the funeral tea? I forgot to mention that my friend is fully aware what happened to me. I just don't want to be anywhere near my ex or see him again.

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1 hour ago, Rose Mosse said:

It’s probably best to keep some distance from the family. Whether you go/see/visit anyone or anywhere won’t change the things that happened in the past. It won’t change the person you are or your ability to keep living on and healing. I am so sorry for what happened and what your ex did to you. 

As for your friend potentially not feeling comfortable with it, that is her right to feel what she feels, whatever that may be but don’t assume anything. My thoughts are to leave it and come back to each other as friends some time later. If she wants to open up to you and vice versa thats fine but now isn’t the time.

I’d keep some distance out of respect and also because it doesn’t stop you from thinking or speaking what’s on your mind. Do it in an empty room or go to the woods and say it. He is gone and in the wind. His empty body is just a shell of what he was. Whether you see his lifeless image or not doesn’t prevent you from healing. You’re much stronger than this. 

I was thinking of maybe writing a letter to her Dad and read it out somewhere? 

I really think i'm best not attending the service and maybe looking at another way to celebrate his life with my friend?

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19 minutes ago, CrazyWife said:

I was thinking of maybe writing a letter to her Dad and read it out somewhere? 

I really think i'm best not attending the service and maybe looking at another way to celebrate his life with my friend?

This sounds about right. I'm so sorry for the loss of your Dad.

I would avoid complicating the grief of your friend in any way, as this would only complicate your own.

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28 minutes ago, catfeeder said:

This sounds about right. I'm so sorry for the loss of your Dad.

I would avoid complicating the grief of your friend in any way, as this would only complicate your own.

Yeah, there are other ways to show support to my friend without going to the actual service. Maybe i could look at something we can do after and maybe offer to put in a charitable donation to a charity he liked 🤷‍♀️

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There will be lots of people around during and right after the service for comfort and support but what about the next day or the day after that?  Many times people go back to their lives and the family are left alone.

I think your idea to do something with your friend just the two of you a few days later sounds like a great idea for both of you.

 Were you thinking of meeting for lunch and then possibly taking some flowers to the grave site?

Either way I am sure she understands and means what she says when she said she wouldn't hold it against you.  The brother/ex might show up at the get together after so...

 Lost

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Sorry for the loss of your father, but I wouldn’t make the loss of someone else’s father about your issues with the family. Send flowers and don’t go. Write your letter read it out loud at home and burn it. 
 

When my dad died two years ago one of my maternal cousins intruded on our grief ( long story) and left a letter for him in his room after he was comatose. I want to throat punch her even though I haven’t seen her in years. I still have some resentment 2 years later. 

Short story stay out of other people’s grief when it isn’t about you. 

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10 minutes ago, lostandhurt said:

There will be lots of people around during and right after the service for comfort and support but what about the next day or the day after that?  Many times people go back to their lives and the family are left alone.

I think your idea to do something with your friend just the two of you a few days later sounds like a great idea for both of you.

 Were you thinking of meeting for lunch and then possibly taking some flowers to the grave site?

Either way I am sure she understands and means what she says when she said she wouldn't hold it against you.  The brother/ex might show up at the get together after so...

 Lost

Thank you. I know what you mean about being left. To begin with i was inuadated with support but now people get back to their lives and I am left with the grief. 

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7 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

Sorry for the loss of your father, but I wouldn’t make the loss of someone else’s father about your issues with the family. Send flowers and don’t go. Write your letter read it out loud at home and burn it. 
 

When my dad died two years ago one of my maternal cousins intruded on our grief ( long story) and left a letter for him in his room after he was comatose. I want to throat punch her even though I haven’t seen her in years. I still have some resentment 2 years later. 

Short story stay out of other people’s grief when it isn’t about you. 

Yes I am going to stay away from her father resting and just write the letter. I want to respect her wishes and she certainly doesn't have to explain her reasons either. 

I will definitely send flowers with a nice card, maybe to be delivered the day after the funeral? I think that's when it really hits you.

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Just send condolences. It's important to address your own grief first especially since it's a relapse trigger for you.

It's also important to not engage in weltschmerz or latch on to every tragedy, etc.

People who are drowning themselves shouldn't be trying to help others swim

Hopefully AA is helping you address triggers and medical care and therapy is helping you address the underlying issues.

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I so love the idea of a charitable contribution. 
 

80% of supporting someone is - as they say - is showing up. Whether you show up at the funeral or after or show up with your thoughtful charitable donation she will know you care. I’d skip the flowers and spend the $ on either food she might need and or your donation. Just my personal opinion. 

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12 hours ago, CrazyWife said:

I was thinking of maybe writing a letter to her Dad and read it out somewhere? 

I really think i'm best not attending the service and maybe looking at another way to celebrate his life with my friend?

Yes if that’s what your friend also wants. I’m not a fan of letters but if it works for you then that’s fine too. I’m sorry for the loss of your dad.

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I'm very sorry for your loss.

Your friend said she understood that you are unable to attend the funeral given all of your reasons and you can pay tribute in another way.  She won't hold it against you.  <== Remember this.  

No,   you're not an ____________ for not attending your friend's late stepfather's funeral.  It won't drive a wedge between you and her because she told you that she understood your stance.  Don't risk yourself by attending the funeral and seeing the son who will only dredge up horrible memories for you. 

If your friend doesn't wish to reveal her stepfather's final resting place, respect her decision whether you like it or not.

If I were you, I would postal mail a heartfelt sympathy card to your friend and her family.  Sending a floral bouquet befitting for death is a nice gesture.  If you're so inclined, a gift card to their local grocery store or reputable takeout meal place or restaurant takeout would be very considerate to give.  Bereft people eventually become hungry.  Satiating their hunger conveniently is a thoughtful and kind gesture from you.  You can either give this to your friend in person post funeral or postal mail it securely to avoid intercepted theft.  I've postal mailed gift cards in bubble wrap, packaged it ver securely in a small box and required signature confirmation upon receipt.  If no one is available to sign for it upon delivery, then the package is to be picked up from their local post office with required signature confirmation.  This will guarantee no theft en route to her and her family.   There are ways to express your sympathy from afar.  If you can't work with some people, work around them and find a solution this way. 

My late FIL (father-in-law) passed away earlier this year and the viewing is not for the faint of heart nor is an open casket funeral.  It is indeed very morbid and my son absolutely refused to see his dear grandpa in this state.  It's not how he wished to remember him and I understood emphatically.   He never approached the casket.  He sat in the pews and made sure he was nowhere near the casket.  However, he attended the burial at the cemetery complete with military veteran honors.  (Military men in formal uniforms, TAPS bugle, folded American flag ceremony which was presented to my MIL - mother-in-law, doves were released, etc.)  It was a very freezing cold winter day. 😪  🥶 

Your friend said that her late stepfather wanted family only.  You're not family.  Respect your friend's decision, her late stepfather's wishes and don't argue nor question.  Don't insist.  Back off. 

You and your friend's mother had past issues.  Don't attend.  Stay home.  Know your place.  I'm sorry for the horrible accusations.  If I were you, I would not go and wouldn't want to. 

You can keep the deceased or living in your thoughts and prayers.  Leave it at that.  You can be supportive in your own personal, private way. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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