Mom skips grandaughter's college graduation for distant relative's funeral

by Susie
(Seattle, Washington)

My mom, who lives about an hour away from where my daughter attends college, accepted an invitation to visit with us while we attended our daughter's college graduation. We were staying over the weekend and invited her and my dad for dinner with my husband's parents Friday night. The plan was to attend the graduation the next day and then re-group for a casual dinner with the grad and family. We then planned on traveling the one hour back to my parent's home to visit, as it happened to be Father's Day that Sunday. One week before graduation, my mom informed that a woman who was very distantly related to her had passed away, and she was going to travel five hours to the funeral and that she would be missing the entire weekend's function. At the time I told her I was sorry for her loss but was disappointed we would not see her for the graduation or for any of the visits we had planned. She lives over 5 hours from me and we do not get to see each other that often. My daughter, upon learning the news, also called her and expressed how much she wanted her grandmother to attend her college graduation-to no avail. Am I wrong to think she should have expressed her sympathy long distance and attended my daughter's graduation. Am I wrong to feel hurt over this? I have not communicated with my mother since.

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by: Ms P Etiquette


While I can understand your hurt feelings, please consider your entire relationship with your mother and do not make it all about this last disappointment.

Perhaps you can ask her why she felt compelled to attend the funeral. You may be surprised at her answer.

Even if I agree that her behavior wasn’t the best etiquette, what really matters is your relationship with her and whether or not you want to continue having a loving rapport with her or one of resentment.

Ms Practical Etiquette

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