Get Out of Funeral Free

My grandmother’s nearly 96 year old sister just died. She struggled with Alzheimer’s for years and her passing was not a big surprise.

My 90 year old self sufficient grandmother says it is still hard to lose a sister. I believe her but don’t want to find out anytime soon.

My mom wants me to go to the funeral with her and my grandma in a town about two and a half hours away. I do not want to go. I am tired of doing the *right* thing when I feel it is rarely reciprocated, evidenced a few weeks ago when my entire family descended into town. I do the *right* thing a lot and my siblings who live 3,000 miles away get to live their lives as they please, interrupted with the occasional delivery of bad news. I am the one accompanying my mom to her doctors’ appointments, consoling my grandmother, being the good loyal daughter.

I never really knew my great aunt and the stories my grandmother has shared paint her in a less than flattering light: she was an abusive mother, competitive and bitter sister and overall bitter person. So when my grandmother thought I should name my unborn child after her, I smiled and thanked her for the suggestion. There was nothing redeeming in my great aunt ‘s legacy that I have heard that I want my daughter to follow. When my child would ask me about her namesake, I would be at a loss to find one positive story to share.

So, therefore I am passing on the funeral. My mother called and asked me to reconsider going out of respect for the other family members. (At least two of her five grandchildren are not attending.) I did find a jewish tradition that prohibits pregnant women from attending funerals of non-immediate family members. It is not so much a law but a superstition about warding off the evil eye. I’ll take it.
And I will still continue to do the *right* think when it really matters.


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