What about the Funeral? ~ When Your Abuser or Estranged Relative Dies

Yes, what about the funeral.  Are you expected to attend, expected to pay for costs, feel guilty and makes excuses for not attending?  It’s a crappy time for everyone.

My narcissistic mother is not in the picture anymore, however, if she passed away how would the funeral be handled?  (I’ve already answered that, but will keep my answer private).

Searching high and low for a detailed answer, I came across this well-written article:

One of the biggest dilemmas faced by escapees from abusive families is what to do when our abuser or estranged relative dies. Should we make an appearance at the wake and funeral, or not? Should we go to the burial?  Should we send flowers? Should we offer our condolences- and if so, to whom?

To the very people who took our abuser’s side against us or shunned us from their family?  What kind of an act will we have to put on if people offer condolences to US?  How will we be able to pretend that the death of our abuser was a great loss, when we can’t even come up with one nice thing to say about him?

See the remainder of this article at:

(reposted with editing)

Published by


I am a Mental Health Advocate for mental illness Stigma. In 2007, I created the "Living in Stigma" blog, with the purpose and anticipation of educating people about mental illness. Depression is part of this illness, which intertwines with those struggling with PTSD, chronic pain, and other invisible illnesses. I am a chronic migraine sufferer myself, and a sexual and emotional abuse survivor. My passions are writing, poetry, and art. All abuse Survivors are also Warriors.

8 thoughts on “What about the Funeral? ~ When Your Abuser or Estranged Relative Dies”

  1. I say, do what your heart tells you to do. I had to go to my fathers funeral when I was about 16 but as everyone was crying over his death I busted out yelling that he was a child abuser and that he raped me. Probably not the best thing for me to do but hell… I was 16 and pissed. My mother passed when I was 32 and I arranged for her cremation and made sure that all of her affairs were in order but there was no funeral.


    1. Bet you couldn’t hear a pin drop, kudos to you for having the guts and strength. You struggled with all of the pain from this trauma, why shouldn’t everyone know he wasn’t a saint (hope they stopped blubbering at this point). I’ve chosen not to attend my mother’s funeral, and I don’t care what people think. Thanks for commenting, appreciate it. 🙂


  2. Last December my violent and abusive father died. It was an emotionally tumultuous event for me and somehow all the things I’ve seen in entertainment media came back to me. It was an oppressive weight, like somehow I am expected to forgive him for years of pain… and I felt guilty begrudging him forgiveness now that he can no longer hurt anyone… This post resonated with me. I will go into reading the article that you attached here.


  3. This is something that has weighed on my mind from time to time. I think the answer varies depending on each person and the situation. I would go to my partially estranged mother’s funeral but would not go to either of my sisters’. Those abusive relationships are long gone and I feel no need to pay my respects to people who greatly and cruelly disrespected me. It sounds harsh, I know, but it is how I feel.


    1. I feel the same way. It’s your life, your choice and your decision. You do what’s best for YOU. The people who judge should keep their trap shut, they don’t know the situation, and frankly they probably don’t care, just want to give an opinion or stir up trouble. It’s not harsh when people have hurt you, for me I will not be attending the funeral of my mother, she was a bitch and treated me like crap all of my life. Am I supposed to stand there and do what at the funeral? Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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