My mother passed away and her memorial service will be held two months later with a luncheon at a restaurant afterwards. I am sending invitations to the memorial service and a restaurant luncheon afterwards with directions and a copy of my mother’s obituary, if they did not see it.
With family and friends who live a couple of states away and some who are elderly, I want to let them know they are invited, but I also do not expect them to travel the distance to attend. I would let them know their caring is a great comfort. My intention is to let them know I would understand if they did not come. I do not want to be inappropriate. Is it okay for me to say something like this?
Most of these family and friends who live a couple of states away will have been in a similar situation before and will know how to respond. It is sweet of you to want to let them off the hook, but they’ll know you won’t expect them to attend your mother’s memorial service. In their own time and in their own way they will mourn your mother, even if they don’t attend the memorial.
A way to encourage them to attend would be to find friends who would be happy to put them up in their homes, alleviating much of the expense. You have two months to work on that.
In my opinion, you would save letting them know their caring is a great comfort personally for your acknowledgement for their expression of symphony, when you respond to the card, flowers or handwritten note they sent. This is all part of the mourning processes.
What you can do is to send out the invitation along with information about where to stay, and simply say that you have reserved a block of rooms in a nearby motel at a discount, or you have friends who will put them up. If people would like to attend and are looking for a place to stay, they will call you for advice. Again, in my opinion, I would not be too mushy, because it can come off as sounding like a guilt trip. State the facts, acknowledge and appreciate, but don’t overdo it.
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