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I'm a horrible person

So just how absolutely horrible and wretched a person would I be, if I missed my mother's viewings, and/or funeral?

I hate to even consider this, I feel like I should be there, both for the added closure for me, and out of duty for her. But this whole... circus is tearing me apart. I'm getting used to the idea of her death, that she's gone, and not coming back. But even while I'm coming to terms with this, the thought of the viewings and funeral fill me with... dread isn't even the word. I'm shivery, shaky, spent today sick and at one point dry-heaving (although this could in part be due to the stomach flu, I really honestly don't know), and I really don't know how much more I can take.

I imagine part of it's that I don't really want to see her lying there, dead. I guess I'm apart from a huge number of the normal populace in that I don't find this comforting, or what have you. But a huge part is that I just can't deal with going out and dealing with so many people and all that, not right now. I just want... need... to rest and heal for a few days, and instead I'm supposed to be paraded out in front of everyone, be the good little grief-stricken daughter for everyone to commiserate with and feel so much warmer and fuzzier in their own little do-gooder souls for doing so. I just don't know HOW the hell I'm supposed to handle it. I need so badly to be alone and heal. Why won't they leave me alone?

I just really really loathe the way we deal with death in this country right now. Before you even have a chance to catch a breath, you're herded into a whole bread-and-circus situation, put up on display - you can't even be private in your grief. You can't do it in your own way, at your own time. Argh!

I'm just shaky, and near-panicked right now. So what the hell do I do?

Comments

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turnberryknkn
Mar. 17th, 2006 11:17 am (UTC)
So just how absolutely horrible and wretched a person would I be, if I missed my mother's viewings, and/or funeral?

You're not and you wouldn't. Nobody else has the right or standing to dare tell you what you "ought" to do, in any situation, or especially now.

Again, wish there was some way we could all help. But we're here reading, and we're here for you, now -- and always.
ceara
Mar. 17th, 2006 11:28 am (UTC)
I hate the whole circus, too. And if, after consideration, you're fairly certain you won't horribly regret not going, don't go.

But be sure. There's only the one chance for this.
dominicflandry
Mar. 17th, 2006 12:08 pm (UTC)
I have never gone to a viewing. Not for my father, my brother or any of my other relatives that passed away. I prefer to remember people as they where when they where alive.
I have gone to the funerals, my fathers for instance. But I don't go as 'the grief-stricken son', I just went to say goodbye to my father. A private moment between me and him.

I would take ceara's advice if I were you, it's good advice.
jsbowden
Mar. 17th, 2006 01:12 pm (UTC)
Skip the viewing. Or if you don't, stay out of the room with the casket. No one gets to tell you how to act, you're the distraught daughter, play it up a bit and take advantage if that's what you need to do to get through this and keep people off your back.

I don't know that I would skip the funeral. That one is tougher.
khaman
Mar. 17th, 2006 01:13 pm (UTC)
Ceara's last line is the most important. If you are SURE... then that is what you should do.

I will tell you this much - I hate funerals so much. I hate the pomp and the ceremony. But my grandfather's funeral last year gave me closure on the situation, and when my parents buried Muffin without me there this year... I still feel the hole and I am ACTIVELY angry that I wasn't there. All the shit aside, I would rather have been there.

You are going to be private with your grief in your own way and time for the next long few months to come. There is no expectation that a funeral is going to heal or make you feel fuzzier. It is simply this - a physical representation closure. The final closing door. It is a moment that marks the coming chance to heal.

It won't be today. It won't be this week. Nobody expects it to be. If they do, then THEY'RE the jerk and it's not your problem.
annewashere
Mar. 17th, 2006 01:20 pm (UTC)
I personally think viewings are a horrible ghoulish tradition and if anyone puts me up for "viewing" when I am gone I will haunt them forever. I'd say if you're worried about circuses that would be the thing to skip.

I'm not sure I'd skip the funeral, it's not as bad and easier to avoid fumbling sympathies or feeling like you are on display. You might need some sort of closure and that might get it for you.

But again, this is you and this is *your* mother, for heaven's sake do exactly what you feel you should do.
missysedai
Mar. 17th, 2006 02:08 pm (UTC)
Gonna concur with ceara and annewashere. Be absolutely sure, then do what is right for you.

When my Opa died, I felt much the same way you feel about the viewings, etc. I didn't want to be hugged and clucked at and cried on - I wanted to be left in peace to remember this man I loved so much. But in the end, I went. I stayed in another room during the viewings, and went out to sit with him and talk to him in between, and sat in the very back during the funeral service. I needed to be able to say goodbye on my own terms, and I'm glad I did.

Take care of you, hon. Love you muchly.
scifantasy
Mar. 17th, 2006 02:32 pm (UTC)
Unsurprisingly I'm joining the chorus of "do what you want to," and the counterpoint of "but be sure."

It's possible, as several others suggest, that you may regret not going, especially to the funeral, once the furor dies down. As cliche a word as "closure" is, I can't deny the concept.

(I went to the funerals, the shiva, the whole bit, for my grandfather, but there's a little part of me that's annoyed that Jews don't have open-casket funerals; I never saw my grandfather's body after his death, so I'll always have the tiniest bit of doubt...)
kjn
Mar. 17th, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
I've been to several funerals, and you won't be a horrible and wretched person for not going. But I can imagine you'll feel like one if you don't go, and I'm not talking about how other people view you, but how you'll view yourself.

Now, I have no idea which type of funeral this is going to be like, but in more than one way, it's your ceremony. Now, it's kinda hard to take back control of it once the ball starts rolling, but there are noones expectations you need to comply with other than your own.

I'm guessing the priest (or equivalent) has been in touch with you - or at least, he/she should have been. Try to talk with him or her, simply to get a feel of what to expect. Also, you don't need to stay around after funeral services.
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