The 'sperm donor's' funeral
Is saying goodbye to an absent parent an important ritual, asks Masanda?
A friend shared her dilemma: Should she allow her daughter to attend her father’s funeral

Why a dilemma? Because this father was never present in the daughter’s life and she does not see a reason for her to attend the funeral. But there is pressure from the family for her to allow her daughter to attend. The family feels that this will bring closure.

My question is closure to what? Sometimes families may not fully understand what we as mothers go through raising our children alone. They are there to lend support but they might not be hurting as much as we do. In this case I am standing by the mother and saying she must not allow the child to go there and cause further confusion in the child’s life. 

This man was alive and kicking and was never there for the child. What value does this bring in the child’s life when the sperm donor is dead? 

If she wants to visit the grave and get closure regarding her father – when she is older she can go 'ayobeka ilitye' - a process whereby you go and pay respects at the deceased person’s grave when you had missed their funeral. 

I do not see why the mother should be busy making travelling arrangements for the child to fly down to the rural areas spending her money for someone who was not there. Why should she be spending her hard earned money on this? Sometimes in such situations you have moved on and forgiven the person but that does not make you forget. 

Speaking to other friends to get their view, one mentioned that she would send her son to the funeral because it is about the closure for him. She has a teenage son who knows that he has dad out there and she does not want the child to put the blame on her for not allowing him to attend the funeral. 

She goes on further to say at the end of the day no matter what, the deceased was his father whether we like it or not. She mentioned putting the feelings of her son before anything else and would not like to dwell on the past. 

In my opinion it’s either you are in this the process of raising your child wholeheartedly and you are an active participant in the process. If you decide to be out, then you stay out.

Read more by Masanda Peter

What would you do in this situation? Is Masanda right?

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