To set the scene my family are very strict on the idea of family and respect.
However, I do not wish to attend the funeral for a few reasons.
I did not visit this relative for at the very least five years prior to their passing
I experience heavy anxiety in large crowds
- I have never attended a funeral before
- I feel it's almost disrespectful to go as I never intended on visiting them again in future. Not out of spite but purely as they live over 60 miles away and is not what I would consider immediate family.
In-fact in my entire lifetime I believe I have met the relation in question three times...
Although I have not yet expressed my concerns to my father he has an explosive personality and I can guarantee he will argue with me regardless of the fact that I am no longer dependent on him.
In this situation, how would one go about declining a funeral invite?
I'll also add that I've not been contacted directly (and didn't expect to be) the only person insisting on my attendance is my father.
Some other important information: From a young age I have been subjected to both physical and emotional abuse from him. Although I have moved away he is still only around a 10 minute drive away from me. He would happily disregard these arguments and say that I'm being disrespectful, self-centered, lazy etc. Possibly even driving down here to escalate to verbal and emotional abuse. It could be my anxiety making this worse but this has happened in a previous occasion under different circumstances. It's probably also worth mentioning that most of my anxiety also stems from my childhood which is why this is such a scary topic for me.
Post answer update 1:
I'll be honest I didn't see these answer's working out well for me. Over the three days I waited (for responses/formulating my reply etc.) he sent me four messages all of which were variations of or incorporating the next sentence into unrelated messages which I also didn't respond to.
***'s Funeral is on ****
A very smart tactic from a communication stand point as it's a direct informative message and allows for no indication of an 'invite' but simply a command. It implies the recipient is coming regardless. I've decided to go for my own safety. Three-four hours of anxiety is infinitely better than being at the very least harassed over the next few weeks.
Post answer update 2:
For the sake of future sanity and to avoid attending for the wrong reasons I decided against attending the funeral. I didn't quite follow the answers below as I did reply to him but it was only to confirm that I would be sending my condolences to the family. He has tried to emotionally blackmail me. However, the lack of response seems to have left him stumped for now. I believe moving away from the house has lessened the amount of control he has and honestly I feel safer for it. Although this thread has made me realise I probably need to seek some therapy for my past trauma.
Thank you stack exchange!