Scattering Ceremony - Helicopter Family

Hi All,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, as my Gran passed from MND in February. I’d originally booked her ashes scattering ceremony for the first Saturday available after the funeral, but Covid hit before then and so it was cancelled.

I’ve managed to re-book today, for the next available Saturday (Jul. 4th) and I’ve sent the message to all family members that I know wanted to attend.
First response from my Uncle (Gran’s son) was ‘of course it is- it’s the day I go back to work’ He then goes on with some sob story along the lines of ‘it’ll be my turn to die next. I have been in and out of hospital with a heart problem’ (1) I reckon he’s exaggerating 2) I can’t recall having any conversation where he doesn’t turn it into an attention-seeking drama of his life in some way, whilst disregarding anything that’s said about anyone else and 3) I don’t particularly care- we’re not and never have been close, so not sure why he felt the need to say such a thing to me or indeed what kind of reaction he expected to get out of me.

Now, to be honest, my temper flared (I know it shouldn’t have, but I’m still grieving myself and have not heard anything from any family members since my Gran passed, even though I was there caring for her throughout her entire illness, whilst they did nothing to help at all).

I booked a Saturday slot on purpose- 1) I work Monday to Friday 9-5 and would rather not use any annual leave (I used loads when Gran was ill, running errands and the like, whilst others in the family don’t even work and didn’t bother offering at the time). 2) As I say, not a lot of the others work, so I figure that they ‘do their routine’ during the week and Saturday is like a ‘fair-for-all-involved’ day in this sense.

My Uncle is the only person who works Saturdays, as he’s a barber/hairdresser. To put it into perspective, he used to visit Gran for maybe 2 hours every couple of weeks, towards the end of her illness. Up to that point, he’d not long gotten out of prison and moved to an area that’s an hour’s drive away and didn’t really bother going to see her or to even call her much (much less when her voice started to go). So, you see why I flared up at this one inconvenience that has ever befallen him where Gran is concerned.

So, I asked if he could talk to his manager to see if he could get some compassionate leave, due to this being his Mum. I told him I can only do Saturday and that the previous ceremony had been cancelled due to Covid. I told him these exact words “Today, I’ve phoned to see if they can get us a slot and that was the only Saturday appointment they had in the near future. Sorry, but I can’t please everyone all the time and nobody told me there were days that they couldn’t do when everyone already knew that a scattering ceremony needed to be held- I’m not a mind reader.”

I am not naturally a confrontational person- in fact, I generally try to do everything possible to avoid it because I am frightened of upsetting people (childhood issues right there!) So, normally, I give in. Today, something snapped and I just couldn’t. I know very well that I could just book a day off instead, but I just can’t bring myself to do it because I am so tired of giving in to other people’s ‘requirements’ at the expense of my own desires and/or well-being.

Now, of course, I have a horrible churning feeling in my stomach (not least because my Uncle is actually a former alcoholic/drug addict and was sent to prison multiple times for violence towards women).

My question is, does what I wrote sound offensive in any way or does it come across as pragmatic? I am hoping it reads as the latter, as I don’t want to potentially face a hostile crowd when I have to go to this scattering.

Thank you all <3

Broostine, since you were the one who cared for Gran, who took time off work to support her and who arranged the date for the ceremony - I think you have the right to choose a day. Whether or not he asks for the day off is up to him.


Hi Melly,

Thank you for your reply- it makes me feel better to know that I’ve done the right thing by standing my ground.

Having sat and thought about it last night, I think he never intended to come and is using his work schedule as an excuse to ‘get out of having to go’.


Where are you having the ceremony and scattering her ashes?


It’s going to be in the gardens of the crematorium where we held her funeral- sticking to her wishes :slight_smile:

In that case, he may visit the gardens himself when he isn’t working if he wishes to say goodbye.


Doubtful, unfortunately- my Mum (his sister) is scattered in one of the other gardens in the same crematorium and he’s never been once in the 3 years since she passed. I think he was just looking for an excuse not to ‘have’ to go, sadly.

I’d have it when you want it. Up to him if he comes or not, imho.

Old topic, locked.