Don't Make the Mistake of Skipping Weddings & Funerals -- You'll Regret It Later

Love & Learn 14

Why You Shouldn't Skip Big LIfe EventsWhile I wasn't personally invited to a family member's intimate wedding, his sister was, and while the ceremony was far away, requiring travel and hotel expenses, I was surprised when she was seriously thinking about not going.

She was his only living family since their parents were dead!

And yes, I understand that it can be a financial strain to attend weddings, funerals, even milestone birthdays. But if it's possible, I really strongly believe you should try to go, even if you have kids.

I'm the first to admit that I missed way too many important life events, with the excuse of being far away. Or having too many kids, which I do think is a pretty valid reason sometimes.

But now that I'm older, I look back and wonder what I was thinking. And I really wish I had taken the time out of my schedule to be there when I could.

It's important for friends and family to show their support with their presence at these types of events, especially since they don't happen every day and are really special to the people involved.

These close relationships are invaluable, and being there to say "Congratulations" or "I'm so sorry" is part of the deal with families and good friends.

But I've also got pretty selfish reasons too, I suppose, which I still think are valid: when we go to these parties and receptions, we're giving ourselves a gift too. At birthday parties and weddings, it's the gift of thankfulness and appreciation that we're alive and well. That we're able to share in someone's joy of a happy life together or another year of living.

And at funerals, it's closure. It's appreciation for the small things around us that we might take advantage of on a regular basis. I find myself leaving with a deeper understanding of my own life, where it is, and where I want it to be.

Now I'm not saying you lug all the kids to your second cousin's funeral. Parents need to determine if that experience is appropriate based on their kids' age and personality.

But I do think it's important to make the effort personally when you can. And if it's something that makes sense for kids, they should come too, even if it costs more than you wish it would. Because I truly believe that it's those memories, those times together, the acknowledgment of lives lived and lost, that really help give us appreciation for what we have and who we are. It gives perspective about our own experiences. 

And I'm certain that it gives our children the same, even if they might not exactly understand everything that's going on. They can still learn from example: Family and friends are important and we're there to support them when we can.

I can't really think of a more important value I want my kids to learn.

Do you try to celebrate and mourn with your friends and family?


Image via Epsos/Flickr

anniversaries, emotional health, funerals


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the4m... the4mutts

I dont do funerals, and I have never regretted skipping one.

Weddings? Depends. I wont fly to a wedding, no matter who's it is. I refuse to spend hundreds of dollars just to watch someone get married. Out of town, but in the same state? I would consider that, as long as kids were welcome at the wedding. I dont have anyone that can watch my kids for 2-3 days, so I would have to bring them with me.

All in all, I dont regret missing something that someone makes it difficult to attend, or something that I dont believe in, like funeral services.

I have only gone to 1 funeral in the last 15 years, and I only went for my dad's sake, when his father died. I didnt need closure, and I wasnt close to him. But my dad wanted me there.

caral... caralicious

A friend of mine who couldn't be bothered to send out wwdding invitations asked people on fb to spend $1400 apiece to see her get married in Mexico my first thought was "fuck that".

nonmember avatar Stephanie

I have big regrets for not attending a couple weddings in my past- one of them was a close friend many years ago and I was still wet behind the ears at a new job and didn't push hard enough to get the time off. I also try to stop by a viewing or funeral whenever possible- when my grandfather died I was stunned at how much it meant to me for friends to show up, especially people who didn't know him but came to support me.


nonmember avatar bgarrett

I am 63 and dont need 'closure'. I remember my close friends as they were, alive and I like that. I dont go to weddings or funerals and I have never regretted it.

Sean Smith

I was the last member of my immediate family still living in New Jersey when my third cousin died. My dad asked me to attend the funeral, and I did, albeit very grudgingly, as it was far from home and after a long day of work.

Years later, I met his widow again, and she told me how much it meant to her that I came to the funeral. I decided then and there to not miss another funeral if it was at all possible.

hapul... hapullymareed

I personally am ready to stop attending weddings. I think there r but a few truly stable marriages and it is just a real waste of money for these events when people don't truly even take the vows seriously. 3 of my friends from high school and I (1 girl & 2 guys) got together with myself recently and we all agreed that almost everyone in our graduating class is divorced, including ourselves. I would be glad to celebrate someone's 20th anniversary celebration, but I will pass on the weddings. As for funerals and other family birthdays...I can barely stand my family and why should I bother to shell out money to attend a service to gain closure on the end of their life. I can dance around my living room for free.

miche... micheledo

I have decided not to attend funerals that are far away. My grandfather is 91. My husband and I sacrificed to fly our family out last year to visit him . It was more important to me to see him alive, visit with him, and introduce him to our five little ones. I didn't want t osee him only i na coffin.

I think you are right about weddings. But if it is tough financially - go see your loved one now, while they are living . Don't wait unti lthey don't know you are there.

Alexander Mitchell

I've long noted:
If you don't go to your friends' funerals, they won't go to yours.

nonmember avatar L.B.

I wholeheartedly agree with this article, however reading the comment section it is obvious that many do not understand the message. Attending a wedding (destination weddings that put a financial burden on the attendees are selfish by the couple), funeral or other significant life event isn't about YOU... but at some point in your life it will be about you. When no one shows up to support YOU will you understand why? A little self sacrificing will enrich your life in ways unimaginable - try it.

nonmember avatar Saddened

Ok so this article really hit me hard as my dad passed away Tuesday. I drove home immediately to be with my family even though we didn't have the money. Spoke to his wife and got some closure that way but the funeral won't be until sept 7th because the church had other events planned. I can't come back on 2 weeks. His wife said that they will be taking a trip in October to spread his ashes and told me that she would love for me and the family to come since it was a lot closer to home. I don't believe I will regret not going to the funeral as I know my dad is already gone.

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