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Can't attend my nieces services

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My niece passed away suddenly due to a drug overdose. Her services are during our vacation thats nonrefundable and we can't attend! I explained to my parents and brother why I can't attend they were disappointed but not angry. I log onto FB today to share some pics of her and contribute my memorial to her. My cousin (who has never met my niece) demanded that I take the picture down and told me " this is not about you..it's about your brother..not everything is about you." All this was said because of the following statement "RIP sweetie I wish we could have had more time together".

She proceeded to rip me apart on FB for going on vacation instead of attending the services and because last night I went to a concert. First of all my brother and family live 250 miles from me. Second this was my husbands dream to see this artist in concert and the tickets were purchased months ago.. My brother told me to go and have a good time. He said I shouldn't put my life on hold because she was careless. My cousin is telling me I'm selfish and I'm trying to make my nieces death all about me! If anyone expresses any sympathy to me she tells them don't giver her sympathy it's not about her. If someone comes to my defense she'll say they are covering for me.. She's managed to convince allot of people that I think this is about me. I removed her comments the unfriended and blocked her but it didn't undo the damage. This has caused me so much anguish my Dr had to put me on anti anxiety medicine. I don't know why my cousin is doing this to me. We rarely see each other she's not close to my brother and she's never met my niece. I don't care what a few random cousins and friends think about me but I don't know what to do about the damage she caused. Am I really being selfish? I can't cancel a very expensive non refundable trip I tried to transfer it to my friend it's also non transferable.

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Dear Azaelatree,


I'm very sorry about your niece.


“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” is a quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt in a verbal statement in 1935.  It is a concept that has been expressed as far back, in literature, as 1838 by American clergyman William Ellery Channing.


I believe it holds true in this circumstance.


It is only you who must be ok with your actions.  If you have been in touch with your brother and you are ok with your communication with him, then you must learn what it is in you that makes this seemingly hurtful person disturb you so.  It's a difficult thing, I am sure, to not be there if you want to be, but your reasons are practical.  What the quote above means is that you could not be suffering this confusion and angst about your decision were you not unsettled in the decision in the first place.


If it were me, and I was unsettled as you are being now, I would do what I could to find out why I was feeling the angst and then change it.  If your brother has already reassured you, the rest is on you.  Are you that terribly worried what others will thing?  Are you feeling terrible on the inside because regardless of cost, you believe you should be there?  Specifically find what the piece that is unsettled is and see if you can soothe that part of yourself.


However, just to give you some outside perspectives on dealing with loss... my sister died the day before my niece, her daughter's, birthday.  My niece had birthday plans.  She decided she was still going to go out.  This did not mean she didn't still grieve, this did not mean she didn't feel the depth of pain we all did.  She made a choice to go and get drunk.  Not what many of us would have chosen but we didn't begrudge her her choice.


Another... my Aunt didn't come up for my dad's funeral.  It was quite disappointing to us, the children.  But her sister, my mom, decided she was not going to be angry with her sisters for not coming.  It was winter and it was a long way.  They COULD have made it and we, the children, didn't understand because we would never have stayed away; however, it was square between them and so we let it go.


Don't look at the person who is doing the gossiping.  People who are your friends, who know you, who care about you, will see the gossip for what it is.  And never try to understand that person - if you are not a vile gossiper, you will never be able to.  But you can accept that she exists and move on to not letting her affect you, without rancour.  Instead, just look at yourself and see what it is that you need to do to be settled in your own decision.


At least, that's what I would do.


Again, I am very sorry for your family's loss and that you have this drama associated to it.



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Some families hold a memorial service scheduled months after someone dies for anyone who could not attend the funeral.  It works out well.    

Some families have also put the funeral on Skype so people who are out of town can listen in.   

This post should offer an important lesson about non-transferrable purchases.   I don't think things like this should even exist and I try to keep away from them.


Your cousin should be helping you find alternatives instead of berating you for not being able to go to the funeral.  



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