Keeping Peace In The Family

I’d like to thank you for all the messages of gladness that I’ve returned! My email is overflowing with questions and this is the one that was at the top of the list this morning. It is not the typical question that I receive, but this might be helpful for other people going through the same thing. 

Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett,

This Christmas was very rough for me and I need some clarity. I am the only one of my family that is of a different spiritual path.As I am the only one of us that lived close to my dad, my father gave me power of attorney in all of his legal matters, including the person he chose to make his arrangements after he passed. He had been ill for a time and wanted no stress for the family. He did not tell me what he wanted as far as a funeral or celebration of life. I chose to have a simple cemetery ceremony when he passed earlier this year with no church service. This has caused a lot of resentment from my siblings, especially my sister. She confronted me at Christmas and let me know just what she thought about what she calls my evil decision.  I now have guilt wondering if I did the right thing? My Dad was not religious nor was he a churchgoer and I have not held to the tenets of the religion I was born to for many years. How do I deal with this as I want harmony again in our family?-B.W.

Dear B.W.,

First, my condolences on the loss of your dad. 

Second, I believe that you did the best you could. With no instruction and knowing what you did of his religious feelings, a simple ceremony seems to be appropriate. I also feel that your siblings could have done a separate ceremony should they wish. If no one offered, move forward knowing that you did nothing wrong.

Last, I will say that your goal of harmony is a good one.  I suggest that on the first anniversary of your dad’s passing you have a church service or Mass said in his honor? This might help to alleviate this tension. I wish you and your family the best and peace always..

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