I decided not to attend a funeral on Wednesday for an 83-year-old lady who I liked and respected. It felt very weird to not go and pay my respects. But I believe it was the right thing to do in this case.
The notice was in the paper on Monday morning and my natural instinct was to consider attending any services once I found out when they were.
Monday night I received a phone call regarding the death notice. The son of the lady who died had phoned a mutual acquaintance and asked her to call me specifically and let me know when the full obit would be in the paper so that I could attend the services.
For various reasons, this son raises red flags with me and many years ago his mother told me she had said to him that he needed to leave me alone. My gut was right and to be trusted on this thing.
So, basically, she was dead one day, and his first thought was to try and contact me.
This made me very, very angry.
But I still had to fight my beliefs. I have always been one to attend funerals to pay my respects. So I felt guilty for even considering not attending. I turned it over and over in my mind all the way until the middle of the night on Tuesday.
I pictured myself getting dressed in black and parking the car and walking in and having to go through the receiving line and greeting the son and another of his siblings who I used to work with.
I pictured myself having to greet the woman who he had call me and wondering how I would explain why I no longer attend meetings of the organization we are both members of. Then I pictured meeting up with other members of this organization and having them say, “Oh, how have you been? Oh, you’re not working any more? Maybe you have time to come to meetings now!”
All of these people have had a toxic effect on me and I always used my job as a reason for backing away from the organization.
Now my only excuse is, all of you diminish me. It is not your fault. But you have a draining effect on me and I am no longer willing to welcome such people into my circle.
I thought that if I attended in spite of my misgivings, it would give a mixed message. I don’t like it when people send me mixed messages. That’s just wrong. And it would also show the son that his clever manipulation had worked. It would open a door that must stay closed.
And so by Wednesday morning, I was firm in my decision not to attend.
Once it was too late to change my mind, I started to beat myself up about it. How can you not attend a funeral service for such a humble and nice woman? What kind of person does that?
I started to get scared. Maybe people would judge me. Maybe they will give me the cold shoulder in public. What if they retaliate? These are things I have experienced in the past. These are the reasons I have kept myself a hostage to toxic people.
But in the end, I had to shut down those thoughts. I was right to stay home. I was right to be careful with my emotional health. I have never thought I could do that before. My own personal concerns ALWAYS came last. All my life I automatically disregarded my needs at all times. I felt that my needs were not actually worthy compared to the needs of others. Boy, was I brainwashed!!!!!
This was difficult for me. In fact, the rest of my week has been devoted to resting up from the stress this caused me. And it would not surprise me if there were some repercussions to come at some point, though I hope I am wrong about that.
I really hope that by making better decisions, finally, that this will leave room in my life for better people and better experiences.