Funeral traveling and grad schools

anonymoosesanonymooses Registered User new member
So my grandpa passed away and his funeral is upcoming. We knew he was not in the best health so a few weeks ago I traveled back home across the country to see him and spend some time with him and my grandma. I figured that if I can get some time off from graduate school I would like to chance to see him while he was still around rather than only for his funeral. However, a few of my family wants me to travel back for his funeral and are talking about me flying in the night before, attending the funeral, and flying back the same night.

A part of me would like to be there, but it is not easy to get time off in my position, especially since I took time to travel back. Additionally, I would have to miss a wedding of a friend from my school if I do so and I would feel bad to miss it.

Any thoughts on this?


  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    When you say it's not easy to get time off, what are the impediments? Classes? Teaching? your advisors? Have you talked to your advisors about this? A funeral is usually a hell of a mitigating circumstance.

    The wedding is a different story, but I don't think any of us can advise on which takes precedence.

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    Funerals are for the living. Some members of your family due to religion or personal grieving process need to attend a funeral. Whatever you do, make sure they're aware of the reason you're not attending, but do not let them guilt you into making a decision you think is wrong.

    I'm going to spoil the following, it's advice based on personal experience and not filtered through a very neutral lens.
    If you don't need a funeral for closure and you're happy with the way you and your grandfather spent time together a few weeks ago, then simply tell them that. If they're unhappy about it, that's some tough shit because it's really not their decision. Your grandfather doesn't currently care one way or the other, and if you were close and you believe he'd wish for your happiness, he would probably tell you to go to the wedding and finish your education. Maybe have a beer and say a toast in private (even by yourself) if you happen to know one he liked.

    Some people are just plain assholes who love drama and a death in the family is a great time to stir up some shit. Even if they didn't really know or like the person who died, be wary of getting drawn in to that sort of thing. "Who didn't come to the funeral." is one of the big gossip topics.

    dispatch.o on
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    Your advisor may be the type to say you can't go, but I guarantee that your graduate office or the business office of your department has a very specific plan for bereavement leave. Go talk to them about what you need to do. They have a plan set up for this.

    no no no no noo no no no no no
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    The 'funerals are for the living' thing is very true. Being able to spend some time with your granddad before he passed will trump any closure you could get from the funeral (I'm about 99% certain of this).

    The part that concerns me is where you say some of your family really wants you there. That's not very specific (and I'm not asking you to be more specific) but depending on who these family members are, maybe they need you their for their own closure. Are we talking your grandmother (granddad's widow) your mom or dad or other such relation with a very close relationship to both you and the decedent, or is it nutty aunt Beth who loves to control everything and everyone? Because I think that would make a difference in how far you should go out of your way to accomodate. Because if you attended it would be for that person, not for your granddad or for you.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Funerals are for the living, agree, and if you don't want to go, don't go.

    It also isn't beyond the pale, even in a position where it's hard to get time off, for a person going to a close family member's death bed AND funeral. It's one of the few times people can usually pull a personal card to get time off. So if you DO want to go, go.

    All about you.

    What is this I don't even.
  • lessthanpilessthanpi Registered User regular
    In my graduate experience I found that even if something allowed, such as bereavement or sick leave, actually using it will cause nothing but problems later down the road. If your Graduate Director or Adviser is at all hesitant to tell you to go, you might want to skip it.

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