We were pretty appalled when we learned that my uncle planned to leave town without even attending his mother's funeral, which decision we assumed he had made after hearing that he was not named in the will. But this kind of behavior, as bad as it seemed to us, wasn't really a surprise.
What did surprise us was my Grandma Anne's decision to return home with my aunt and uncle to continue her holiday with them, also missing the funeral.
Grandma Anne has money issues. She is stingy - mean, even, with her funds. When my Grandma Eveline died, she got a credit for her return flight, and drove back to our town with my aunt and uncle. She had been going to return by plane within a day or so of the car trip, so she wasn't technically out any money, and had in fact saved some by getting the credit. She could easily have stayed in town for the funeral, even if my aunt and uncle left early, since that would have meshed with her original travel plans. I don't know whether the credit had an expiry date, but I assume it could be used within a reasonable amount of time.
Instead, she decided to go back with them, presumably so she could use the airfare credit on the return ticket after spending some more time with my aunt.
I had very strong feelings when I heard about my Grandma's plans. I think I was genuinely disgusted. During the short time my Grandma Eveline had lived near us, my Grandma Anne had become acceptably chummy with her. They sometimes met when they were out on the town, spoke, and were getting along better and better. I have a picture of the two of them, arms around each other. They had been smiling and joking, enjoying their great-grandkids.
In addition to that, my mom has put up with a lot of crap from my Grandma Anne. A holy helova lot. Was it too much to ask that Grandma Anne attend her hostesses mother's funeral? She could just have recognized my mom's sorrow, respected my Grandma Eveline's memory, and been there.
She didn't send a card, and she didn't send flowers. She wasn't at the funeral. She wasn't kind to my mom, and she didn't even respect, just a teeny bit, the memory of the dead. I can think of no excuse that covers that kind of neglect.
It makes me think hard about the influences that formed me as a person.