Is it wrong to refuse to attend the funeral of the spouse of someone who has cut you off from her life?
A woman who is known on Reddit as u/Dawn_In_Danger is caught in painful confusion over a recent event. One of her childhood friends accused her of being selfish and petty after she turned down her invitation to attend the funeral of the husband of her ex-best friend.
She started her story with, “8 years ago, my best friend since childhood (30F at the time, I’ll call her M) completely ghosted me. She fully cut me off without a word of explanation. I honestly still have no idea why she did it – there wasn’t a fight or any incident that I could pinpoint. I texted her 2 or 3 times to ask her to please explain what I’d done and to at least talk to me one last time, but she never did.”
For OP, it was heartbreaking and traumatic. It took her a long time to accept that M was gone from her life and for reasons she could not understand.
Years went by, and since M never bothered to get in touch with her again, OP felt she did not want anything to do with her either.
That was until another childhood friend who has remained in contact with M informed OP that the latter’s husband died. V urged OP to attend the funeral so they as old friends could both console M.
But OP was hesitant. The fact that 8 years have gone by without M’s attempting to communicate with her means she does not want her in her life. Also, in spite of her being told that M’s husband was a good guy, OP never met him.
“I thought about sending some flowers or something as a small olive branch (not in an attempt to rekindle the friendship, just to offer my condolences) but then decided against it because I figured that hearing from me, a person she obviously doesn’t want in her life, may make her feel worse while she’s already grieving,” OP shared further in her post.
But V does not understand her point of view. V thought that OP was being childish, continuing to bear a grudge against their childhood friend. OP tried her best to explain her side to V, but she left her in a rage.
OP does not mind losing V’s friendship for they had not been as close as M and OP used to be. But OP does want to know if she is really just being petty and selfish as V accused her of.
Well, many on Reddit do not agree with V, and they choose to side with OP, whose story must also be considered despite M’s sudden misfortune.
One Reddit user says, “NTA. Since you have zero clue why M ghosted you, you also have zero clue whether your presence would be a comfort or a curse. And no matter how close you were back then, you are not in her top 5 closest friends right now. So, certainly you don’t show up unannounced. If V wants you to go with, she should finally give up some information that she’s been keeping from you, and explain why she thinks M would want you there.”
Another member of the AITA community comments, “Somewhat analogous scenario: my best friend since childhood also ghosted me when we were adults. My mom died suddenly a few years ago, and I half-wondered if my friend was going to show up to her funeral since he knew her pretty well (as we were childhood best friends). I would not have wanted to see him then. That would be a whole other issue, and at the time I was consumed with my own grief and had no bandwidth to handle it. So NTA for sure. And V is a huge AH for butting into your relationship with M or lack thereof.”
Meanwhile, another person feels the same way, “The line from V accusing OP of holding a grudge over something that “happened almost a decade ago” bothers me. It didn’t ‘happen,’ it’s ongoing. It’s current. M never explained what was wrong and has continuously stayed out of contact for 8 years. She’s never expressed interest or permission to rekindle contact. If M asked V to bring OP to the funeral, that would be totally different, but even then it would be okay for OP to refuse. Without that, it would be foolish to show up somewhere that OP likely isn’t wanted during a hard time.”
And this Reddit user leaves another sensible comment, “I absolutely agree. I think back to the people I’ve cut out of my life, and I think the worst time to see one of them would be when grieving the loss of the person I am closest to in the entire world.”