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OT. Uncle passed. Estranged from family.

Zenmode's picture

This might make me sound like a horrible person.  So, my toxic narcissist mothers brother passed away. Although I loved him when I was a child, I have not seen him or the majority of my biological family in nearly ten years, pretty much since the last funeral, for another uncle, I am close with that cousin.  My mother is in her 80's I have had zero relationship with her for nearly 20 years. I found out t just last year that the name on my birth certificate for father wasn't the man who donated his material to my conception, so that big lie is hanging between my mother and I along with many other "family" secrets. I don't want to go. I'm not close to his daughter my other cousin either, even as children. Ugh. (Edited) more added) 

I still haven't come to terms with the amount of lies and skeletons this family has perpetrated including my mother having a child (her 3rd) that I found out in my late 30's was put up for adoption. Faithfulness in marriage was NOT my moms strong suit apparently. Oh the cherry on top regarding the adoption.....the whole family knew. Aunts, uncles, cousins, she was adopted by one of the uncles best friend and his wife. When I found out (from a cousin)  I reached out trying to find her, called aunts and was stonewalled. No one would break the wall of silence around it, they protected my mothers secret. My sister died in 2016 after losing her adoptive parents fairly young age 12 mom (cancer) and 23 dad (unknown) without ever knowing that there was family that would have embraced her. I. Just. can't with these people. 


tog redux's picture

I don't think it makes you sound horrible - you are estranged from your family for a reason. It's not necessary to resume contact just because someone died, and arguably, it's the worst time to do that. Send a donation anonymously if you feel you need to do something. 

Zenmode's picture

I added a little more detail to my OP I still haven't come to terms with the amount of lies and skeletons this family has perpetrated including my mother having a child (her 3rd) that I found out in my 30's was put up for adoption. Faithfulness in marriage was NOT my moms strong suit apparently. 

ESMOD's picture

It sounds like you have a lot more compelling reasons for keeping your distance here.  If you feel moved to send a card to your cousin with a fond memory of that uncle fine.. but don't feel obligated to attend.  If you were particularly close with the cousin.. I might suggest a call to give your regrets and condolences.. but honestly.. I don't think you really need to feel guilty or really feel obligated in any fashion!  

Aniki's picture

Honey, you are not horrible. And I agree you should keep your distance for YOUR mental health. Send a card or make a donation. I'm sorry for your loss. 

Zenmode's picture

Actually as I wrote out and added more detail, I can see, why would I feel any need whatsoever to go to the service. The service is for the living and they are not my people. That ceased long ago. I'll honor THIS uncle in my own way because I do have fond memories of him. The rest of the "family" can suck it. I won't feel bad about it. 

tog redux's picture

Exactly - he won't be at the funeral, only the people who will likely make you regret showing up. Have your own memorial for him. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Idea: make a donation of time or money in his name somewhere. Don't spend your time and money on toxic family. Spend your energy putting good into the world if you feel up to it.

I'm sorry for your loss and the mix of emotions it brings. Do what you need and want to do to grieve.

Thumper's picture

My condolences to you. I am sorry to read about your Uncle passing away. 

Are you aware that you can call the funeral home and ask them IF you can visit with your Uncle in private? My sibling (RIP) worked in the industry. They are very compassionate and understanding. Sometimes people come a day or so in advance to pay their last respects because of work conflicts, travel conflicts and yes, family conflicts.

Exception may be the 'family' has given specific instructions to the funeral home such as,  --DO not allow so and so to view the body because it is a private ceremony and closed to public.

It would not hurt to call the funeral home. Maybe making that call is just too much. And that is ok if you don't call. . You are not required to do anything but mourn in your own way, on your own private terms. You owe no one an explanitation.


I am really so sorry.


Zenmode's picture

So what I ended up doing as my own way to honor him was reached out to a cousin who has helped him often over the last few years. So much so she has had his dog for the last 6 months or so that he's been unwell. I Venmo'd her 100$ and said in l lieu of flowers to the "family" I felt compelled to honor uncle by giving you some $ for the upkeep of his dog and told her what a good person she was for doing that. I'm at peace not going.