Make Your Loved One’s Funeral Your Observance 

Were you left out of a family ceremony? Did you feel slighted, rejected, and totally trashed? Did you have thoughts of rage, contemplating warm and cold revenge? Yes, you should feel upset – but you need to get better. So, here’s a tip.

Let’s start with an example. One of my clients has had lifelong difficulties with her mother. Her father just died. Mom didn’t want to go to the funeral, then she changed her mind and invited her friends but not my client’s children.

Of course, my client was furious. She didn’t know what to do. So I suggested she do the following: Go to the cemetery after they left. Say what she wanted. Bring her child when she can come over. Go home and light a candle. Say prayers. Do what it takes to make her father’s death and funeral hers.

This happened to another client as well. She couldn’t attend a sibling’s funeral. So I suggested she get together some friends and say a prayer and light a candle.

The idea is to take care of yourself and your needs, but not at anyone else’s expense. We all go through many transitions in life. There are births, graduations, engagements, marriages, and deaths. It helps when we can all participate in these transitions. In an ideal life, we’re all going to get along, hold hands, and sing Kumbaya. But people fight, families disagree, and people hold grudges and have long memories.

You may be left out. Still, you want to observe, and, if appropriate, celebrate. So do it alone or with willing family and friends. Candles, prayers, and celebrations are important for you to observe some event, some milestone, or the passing of someone. Treat yourself to something, if it’s appropriate. Don’t seek revenge—that just keeps bad cycles going. But take care of yourself by celebrating your relationship to the person or people involved. Don’t stew—mark the occasion.

2 Responses to “Make Your Loved One’s Funeral Your Observance”

  1. I really appreciate your post about this.
    I have recently experienced some very tragic deaths in my family and complete agree that it is so important to take care of YOU and not let family squabbles get in the way of your goodbye.

  2. Glad to read this. I have already made a decision that I won’t attend my sister’s funeral. Being present at the funeral of someone who I deeply resented and avoided in life would feel too false.

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