My father’s service was last night. I did not attend.

I know that, in many people’s eyes, that makes me a horrible daughter. I’ve already heard it. But that’s okay. I did what was best for me. I made a decision that was in my own best interests, for once in my life.

What would going to a service do? My father is already dead. I know that. I don’t need to go there to confirm it. I don’t need to go there and talk to people and pretend that he was a great person, when he was not at all what he should have been. Other people can attend and mourn for who they knew him to be. I mourned for who I knew him to be long ago.

I could not go and see my mother. There would have been no avoiding it. While I may not be scared of her in the moment, I have younger parts that are still terrified of her. Why would I expose them to that? Why would I expose myself to that? It wouldn’t be fair for any of us. It is too much of a risk.

And honestly, I don’t trust my mother at all. I can’t say with any amount of certainty that she would not try to hurt me. It doesn’t matter that she said she wouldn’t do anything. The fact that people even had to ask her that question says a lot. She is predictably unpredictable.

I’ve made too much progress to throw that all into jeopardy for a few hours of faked grief. I am not grieving. I am not mourning. I’m not sad that he’s gone. I am relieved.

My absence doesn’t make me a horrible daughter. My absence doesn’t make me a bad person. My absence proves that I have grown enough to realize that I have choices.


8 thoughts on “Absence

  1. Absolutely. It is time to take care of yourself and do what best serves all of you. I would have made the same choice. Bravo to you for self care xo


  2. Why do the dead suddenly become the best people ever.
    I will not attend my mother’s funeral because I’ll be that person who is crying uncontrollably and who kicks the coffin while screaming, why couldn’t you love me. now you’re just gonna die and just like when I was a kid, there is nothing I can do about it…… No, I’m not going to her funeral. My attendance will be noticed and I may be spoken of abusively but that is better than showing up to see her rest in peace when she never gave me a moment of it. Then I think, what difference does it make that she’s dead? She’ll be in my dreams and in shadows.


    1. My mother’s death will be complicated. I know I won’t go, but the emotions will be totally different. And like you mentioned, she’ll still be there in ways, even after she’s dead.


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