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My father has just recently passed away and my sister did not attend his funeral. I sent her all the details of his funeral but she just made the excuse, ‘Oh I have to work on that day’.

She lives only one hour away. Do you find this disrespectful and sad? I really want to say something to her about this but I don’t want to argue with her.


Posted by SpiritMum, 31st January 2022


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  • Her attending or not attending the funeral is completely her choice. Their relationship may have been strained or the feelings she may be having might be too big for her to cope with. We all grieve in our own way.


  • It’s was her decision also we don’t know if there was any issues between them for her not to attending it.


  • As others have said, everyone grieves in their own way and while I do this it’s a little strange, she obviously had her reasons why she didn’t want to go.
    What kind of relationship do you have with her? Are you close? I feel like it would have been nice and respectful to your famiily if she was honest and said ‘I’m just not up to going to the funeral’ or something along those lines, instead of using work as an excuse.
    I’d reach out to her now and see how she’s coping with the loss. If the situation presents itself I’d try and ask her the burning question.


  • We’re all different and you don’t know what goes on in her heart. How is your relationship with her ? Of course you can ask, but she may not want to answer on which I would suggest to leave it alone.


  • It could be that she didn’t have a good relationship with him or it could be completely opposite where she thinks it would hurt too much to attend.
    Maybe just have a gentle chat with her about why she chose to go to “work” instead.


  • I can understand how you must be feeling. Her “I’ve got to work” excuse is very poor and doesn’t make a lot of sense, so it’s hard to know what her motivation is/was for not attending. I would not make a big deal out of it. It was her choice. I would probably try to glean from her why she didn’t attend to get some sort of understanding, but I would leave it for quite some time. This is your time to grieve for the loss of your father, and I send you my sincerest condolences.


  • oh Wow I have no words


  • No. I don’t find it disrespectful and sad that she did not attend the funeral. It is meant to be a ceremony for the living, and it doesn’t always help the living. She needs to do her own thing. And you to do yours. People should not have to attend funerals to show their respect etc. for the deceased.. And those who think you ‘should’ are in danger of imposing their ways on others. There are a few funerals I’ve missed because of being too far away, and looking back it was not the end of the world for my grieving (although I did want to go). I’m sure plenty have coped with missing funerals due to covid. The more important question about your sister is whether she is doing okay now, how can you both help each other if not; and so be a living legacy to your father’s honour (not squabbling kids telling each other what you think the other should do).


  • Some people don’t like funerals and she must have had her reason for not attending. I wonder how close she was to your father. You would be best to sit down and talk to her without judging to find your out why. After my 14 year old daughter passed away I found it very difficult to attend funerals and couldn’t attend a few.


  • I think you have to say something otherwise you might struggle to get over the fact… some people can’t do funerals and grieve in different ways… I’d just send a text and be like I really need to get this off my chest but it made me quite upset that you didn’t come to dads funeral I really need you there and I don’t understand why you didn’t come….


  • It’s a sad time for everyone but you don’t really know what her relationship was with your Father. It may just be her way of coping but don’t lose your sister over it. She may come to regret not going to his funeral but that problem should not be on your shoulders. You’ve now lost your Father but I’m sure you wouldn’t want to lose your sister as well. If you feel the need to say something, just let her know you would have loved to have her by your side at the funeral and leave it at that.


  • It is such a sad and trying time when we lose a loved one, we all handle it differently, might be best to leave it alone, don’t harm your relationship. Your sister made the decision not to attend, she had her reasons, please respect that.


  • You made the decision to attend. You dont get to make the decision for your sister, whether you think it right or wrong, it was her choice. Her relationship may have been v different to yours. Yes it is sad, and she will be feeling sad regardless of whether she attended the funeral or not. I dont think it is worth falling out over. She will have her own real reasons, if she wants to share them with you at some point , she will.


  • What I’ve learnt is that we all have different relationships within our own family. Maybe your sister had a very different relationship to yours. There may be some emotional trauma or a bigger reason why she didn’t attend. Without all the circumstances, it’s hard to say. But she will be dealing with her grief in her own way, believe me.


  • Work is no excuse for that. You can get paid bereavement leave in most cases anyway. Regardless of that, it’s your dad and you really should be there.


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