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Should I attend my lover’s funeral?

Dear Bunmi,

For eight years, I had an affair with a married colleague and we were very much in love. Though he said I was his soul-mate, he refused to leave his wife because of his kids – they meant the world to him. Last month, he died suddenly of a heart attack. The office had a copy of the funeral arrangements but should I go?

Everyone in the office knew we were an item and I’d find it really hard being there, but I’m desperate to say goodbye.

Naomi,

by e-mail.

Dear Naomi,

It’s every mistress’s nightmare, learning her lover is dead and not being involved in the ceremony to mourn his death. If your lover told you clearly he’d like you to attend his funeral if he died, you should honour his wish. If it’s expected of you, not going might make people suspicious. Also, if you think you need memories of the funeral to help you deal with your loss, then go, otherwise you’ll always wonder what it was like. Saying a proper goodbye could also help you get over him.

However, if seeing his family and friends celebrate your lover’s life would make you feel excluded, this could make your loss harder to bear. What’s more, your presence could alert people to what your relationship was and this could make you feel upset and angry. Why don’t you mourn him privately by going to a place that meant a lot to both of you, or visiting the grave alone after the funeral?

 


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