My dad just passed away a few months ago. It was a really difficult situation and caused a lot of trauma for me. Lately, planning my dad's service has been a disaster. I wanted to do something to honor him, but I've been surprised just how awful my family has been. My uncle let me know how much he hated everything I planned and how I don't think of anyone else in the family. My aunt proceeded to act like it was a strain for her and another uncle of mine to even come and just yesterday asked me if I'll be coming to visit them with a family member they dislike. I said why would I be doing that? We are planning my dad's service HERE, I don't have time to travel to your house when everyone is traveling here for the service! It was a ridiculous question. She wants to make sure that family member doesn't come to their house to visit and that I basically need to make sure that doesn't happen. I told her no way is that my responsibility and she needs to handle it. Since my dad has died, I've been met with rude comments and some of the worst behavior from my family. I've honestly thought of canceling the service, but want to proceed for my dad to honor him. I know I just have to set boundaries, but when you're in pain and your family treats you badly it's so hurtful. I feel I won't look at them the same after this. Just feels like another blow after dealing with one of the worst things. 😢

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I was a Family Counselor at a funeral home. I saw a lot of this ridiculous behavior. This is your father, you know best how to plan his service. PERIOD. If others don't like it, tough.

You would be surprised at how dramatic funerals could become. (To the point of authorities being called.)

I hope you can find peace through all of this.
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to VictoriaMcD
NeedHelpWithMom Mar 23, 2023

The last time that I went to a funeral for a friend, I was casually speaking with an employee at the funeral home.

The sister of my friend that died was telling this employee that she hoped there wasn’t any ugly drama at her sister’s funeral because some of her family members are nuts!

The funeral employee told her that she hoped that her funeral would be peaceful. Then she said that she had seen fights break out between family members in the funeral home.

It is truly sad that some people are not able to be respectful during a funeral and forget about their differences at least until the funeral is over.
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Sorry for your loss.

I was a son taking care of my mom. Each year, mom and I would review important documents: POA, will, healthcare proxy, and funeral arrangements, including her obituary. We would then sign a sheet I prepared noting our review. Her funeral arrangements were simple: No visitation, no church service. Just a small service for immediate family at the funeral home and cemetery. She had her outfit picked out, along with a pair of shoes.

On the day of her death, while I was extremely upset, I was prepared as I knew her wishes. Only after I had touched base with the funeral director did I notify my siblings (They had no role in her caregiving). I told them what was to happen and when. If they wanted to see mom, they needed to be there at the appropriate time. End of discussion.

They showed up and were surprised at how great mom looked at age 93 (She looked years younger and the funeral director did not have to do much with her appearance). The service at the funeral home and cemetery was brief and dignified. My siblings left the cemetery and I stayed until the cover to her vault was secured. I never brought up the cost of the funeral with my siblings and they never asked. The funeral director worked within my budget, and mom received the appropriate send off to her eternal rest.

Think about your dad, and forget the rest of the noise.
Helpful Answer (16)

First of all, I am so sorry for the loss of your dad.

Go ahead and plan for the service to honor your dad. It’s your wish to do this for your dad. I wouldn’t let them stop you from doing that.

After it is planned, give them the time and date and as you say, let them work out their personal differences. You shouldn’t have to be involved in their squabbles.

What a shame that they are being so ridiculous at this time instead of thinking of your father and you.

Wishing you peace as you mourn the loss of your father.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
reg1234 Mar 24, 2023
Thank you
Arrange the funeral, and if you want, tell them where and when via email. Don't answer their calls prior to the event. It's their choice to come or not, and I'll bet they behave if they do show up. You have other fish to fry rather than engage in their drama.

Or, just tell them it has been called off and proceed with your plans without them.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to MJ1929
InFamilyService Mar 28, 2023
Perfect advice, absolutely.
I’m sorry for your loss. Please tune out all the comments, have the funeral you’ve planned and listen to no compliants about it at all. Surround yourself with people who bring positive encouragement to your life
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Daughterof1930

plan your memorial. Ignore the manipulative relatives and refuse to engage in the petty squabbles.
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Reply to JeanLouise

Let me start by saying I am so very sorry for the loss of your Dad. You clearly loved him a lot and wish to pay him tribute. But the honest fact is that your dad is gone.
Poet and Undertaker Thomas Lynch tells us in his books that when someone is dead there is nothing whatsoever that you can do FOR him, WITH him, ABOUT him or TO him that will make the slightest difference whatsoever for him. Ultimately our "services" are for us, to comfort us, to join us in love and memory. And clearly your family doesn't WANT that.

Your beloved Dad is gone. Why should this now be about his bickering family? For me it would be to celebrate my loving memories of my wonderful Dad on my own, in my own way, and with great peace and comfort and joy in what we had shared.

I think that many in your family are seeing "services" as some sort of burden. It seems that they have already mourned in their own way.
I think you are right. Cancel it. Dad has been gone now for some months. Hold your own services, your own celebrations of him yourself and in peace.

I am left to wonder if just perhaps your family has ever been much different?? I doubt they descended into chaos suddenly only because of or with the death of your Dad.

Leave them in peace. Celebrate yours and your Dad's great love alone. And again, I am sorry for your loss. If he was as fine a man as my own Dad I think he will ever be with you in your heart.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to AlvaDeer

So sorry for your loss. Just plan the service. It is important for you that you honor him. Whoever shows up, does. Distance yourself from all this infighting.
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Reply to Hothouseflower

I'd just joined a carpool for my new job, and one of the members had a horrible old car that had holes in the floorboard so bad that we could see the road underneath. The second week I was in the carpool on the day he was supposed to drive, another woman picked me up. I asked where he was, and she said they'd all told him the carpool had disbanded and that she and I would be driving to work in her car for the next two weeks. Then we'd regroup with a new member driver. They'd asked him before to drive his other newer car, but he'd refused. And we were traveling almost an hour each way on a 70 mph road. I was a paying carpool member, not a driver, and was relieved that the unsafe car was gone. Never saw him again.

What does this have to do with this funeral situation?

You could cancel the funeral, regroup, and do it without the troublemaker(s). Just sayin'.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Fawnby

If you are the one arranging the funeral/memorial service (or paying for it), do what gives you comfort. The memorial is not for the person who passed away but for those still living. If family members give unsolicited advice/"help", the diplomatic answer is always, "Thank you for you input and concern. I will consider what you have said." Saying this makes the other person feel valued, but does not obligate you to doing anything that person requests. After the service, take some time to process your feelings and do what is most comforting/healing for you. Unfortunately, it usually will be a private process or may include only a few trusted friends/family.
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Reply to Taarna

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