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Family Bereavements and Weddings

Have been umming and ahhing about whether to post on this issue for a while but have spent a lot of the weekend thinking about it and would appreciate some opinions. And in the event that you know me or even if you don't then all I can do is apologise if I am being insensitive on this issue.

My cousin died in completely tragic circumstances last August, he was 39 and left behind a widow and a 3 year old daughter. Naturally the family were absolutely destroyed and distraught. However in the time that has since passed, his widow, his parents and sister have not really made any progress at all. Not even sure anyone can really expect them to have done... Of course my wedding had been planned before any of this happened - RSVP date passed at the weekend and none of them are coming. They don't feel they can bear to be at a happy family event without him. I am really pretty upset to be honest, his absence will be missed on the day of course and I would cancel the whole thing if it would bring him back but it won't. I can wholly understand for his widow and even my Aunt and Uncle to a point but it is my other cousin - his sister - who I am struggling with. She is back to work, back socialising with her friends etc. and has two wee boys and I would have loved to have had them there... Just feel really so sad about the whole thing and would appreciate some views. Thanks xx


  • HydrogirlHydrogirl Posts: 809

    people  handle grief differently, its a shame they cant move on. whilst i agree it must be devastating for them i also think that they need to start moving on and going to events since he has past - and at a wedding there is a happy vibe with something positive to focus on - much better than  any other family event in my eyes

    sorry you are in this position.... i know there are people who have lost parents etc and yet still manage to get married within a few short years after the passing of a loved one.

    i may also sound insensitive but i think life moves on...

  • TadpoleTadpole Posts: 2,134 New bride

    Thank you for your replies, it has helped a lot just to let it out to be honest. I think it helps to hear that people deal with grief differently, I just seem to see sadness and grief everywhere but also with people getting on with it and doing amazingly well - but maybe just on the outside whereas with my family it is all out there and very raw.

    Guess also I just wonder at what point they will feel able to come to family things again or is this it? We are not the sort of family that has a party every week but there will be weddings, christenings, birthdays going forward. What are they going to do about that? And will it be a big thing forever? Will it always be acknowledged that I got married and they didn't come.

    I think my own sadness might be a bit of my own grief too as I've not really dwelled too much. My Mum has dealt with a lot of loss in her life and is very stoic so she is all for just leaving them to it and my Dad just gives me a hug and says not to cry! xx

  • Sarah C89Sarah C89 Posts: 368 New bride

    Oh Toad, how horrible image I don't know what to say to you to do, other than speak to other members of your family who might have some insight into the situation.

    i can speak from personal experience though. My cousin died very suddenly when she was 13 and it was awful for everybody. Her parents had waited until later life to have a child so everything was set up for her, and her mum didn't work so she could be there for her all the time. Her dad, my uncle, was devastated but dealt with his grief by simply working through day to day tasks and he was back at work within a fortnight. Her mum just fell apart, she forgot how to speak and couldn't feed or wash herself, she basically gave up. My uncle did everything he could for the first six months to hold it together but his wife just wouldn't respond and couldn't pick herself up and start again - her whole world had disappeared.

    Eventually my uncle couldn't do it any more, and he moved out, for his own sanity I think. It was very traumatic and tore the family apart. Gradually things have gotten better, we know that Susan is now back looking after herself and my uncle has remarried and has a whole new life. There was a big anniversary party that the whole family came to a few years later, and he couldn't make it, I think it was too hard to see everyone together and have his little girl missing. When he got married me and my brothers weren't invited because they couldn't face having the younger generation there, it would be too painful. We assumed that he wouldn't come to our wedding either, but he has actually expressed a great wish to be there, but we've been told that he will probably find it difficult.

    I guess what what i'm trying to say is that even 8 years on, he is still grieving, although he was dealing with it better than she is. unexpected deaths damage people and you can never tell what will be tough and what will be easy. The best thing to do is to talk to them, find out how they feel or what they were thinking. It will be devastating if they aren't there, but then you have to bear in mind they are going through hell and will be for a long time, and being happy hurts without the person you loved most being able to share it with you. Some people are good at putting a positive face on it, but underneath it's still sore, and they will have good days and bad days ... I hope it works out for you xxx

  • :D:D Posts: 1,805

    I am so sorry you are in this situation. At my Sister's wedding they had booked their wedding close to the anniversary of her  partner's cousins sudden death. His Aunt and Uncle attended but you could tell they were not particularly happy and they did not attend the evening as I guess it was a bit too much for them. 

    I can understand his wife and children not attending as watching young love which you have lost would be difficult, but I would have thought the others would have made the effort. As others have said, everyone responds differently. My Sister is the most important person in my life as she has shared so many moments and experiences and knows me inside out.

    If they feel this way it probably is best they do not attend as you don't want them to force themselves into a tricky situation and it is not something that can be changed.

    A really good friend of mine got married two years ago, her other halves Aunt died suddenly the Saturday before. Everyone attended and her death was mentioned during the groom's speech. 

    I understand that this will not help, but let you know that you are not the only one to be stuck in a sticky situation.

  • Spam88Spam88 Posts: 1,001

    It's a very sad situation and I'm so sorry image As others have said, everyone deals with grief differently, and whilst I think it would be good for them to come, it may just be too hard for them.  Would it be worth suggesting to them they could come along for as much or as little as they wanted to?

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