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Non religious funeral

My husband ( gay couple ) was completely non religious and hated the church. Sadly he died 6 years ago in a car crash and he had a will that left the content of his funeral, and his personal wishes involving his funeral, to me, and I followed his wished to a T.

We had been together for 15 years and in all of that time, his family wanted nothing to do with him because he was -

1 ) gay

2 ) non religious

3 ) liked to do drag 4 ) was living with HIV

5) and had told his family to either accept or fuck off, and they chose to fuck off.

We live(d) in Ireland and his family - and there are a lot of them - are strict - and I mean STRICT - Catholic and he was considered the disgrace in the family for not following the church and for pulling away from anything religious. It seemed that that sin was worse to them than being gay although that stuck in their throats as well and as for me - not a single word to me in 15 years, not one, until I sent out the funeral invites and then the calls started, mostly about what he had done with his house and possessions, which I just answered that at the moment I didn't know but I am sure the lawyer will sort out - when the truth is he left - legally - everything to me.

They attended the funeral expecting a Catholic service but this was totally without prayer, hymns or anything religious and they went ballistic - AT THE FUNERAL - raised voices, screams of tears at how his soul was now lost - while they didn't give a fuck about his mortal soul while he was alive - and it was one big drama from beginning to end and so much attention seeking by his Mother trying to claim all the grief for herself through Crockodile tears - and he had warned me in advance that it would be like this and encouraged me to see the funny side of their behaviour even at a tragic time. He was a wonderful man and always laughing and saw the loss of his family as their problem and not his.

His Mother ranted at the funeral - ' No one loved and cared for him as much as I did and I am the only one truly suffering at his loss' - which got the reply from me -

' Then how come you hadn't seen or spoken to him in over a decade if you were so close and you did so much. Not so much as a Christmas or Birthday card in over a decade :- Not so much as a single phone call, not a single word or deed - so cut the crap about being the only one when you were the cause of a great deal of his unhappiness and why he pulled away from the family was because of YOU - and because of your denial of his life choices. You put church above and beyond that of our own son and how Un Enlightened and Un Christian is that ?'

This was shared at the after party, standing around at the hotel we had chosen in advance and with cups of tea and cakes and no booze - and where his Mother tried repeatedly to grab all the attention for herself and I was not having it one little bit. Besides the fact there was 18 of his family members there and something like 30 gay friends and his workmates etc and where they were his family were outnumbered

Various people tried to intervene and support the Mother but I am louder than them and put them all down and in their places with something like

'You gave up on him over a decade ago, You have not visited, Not written, Not seen and clearly not cared one tiny bit about him in all these years and now these fake tears and these fake emotions are all about how much you hope to get from him now he is dead. What a horrible, HORRIBLE bunch of un loving religious hypocrites you are.'

There was an audible cheer from his friends at that as they all knew what an appalling family he had and many attended as a way of showing the family how much he was loved .

Now THAT didn't go down too well and Mother started screaming in fake tears while his father tried defending her and various family members tried to claim that was not accurate but as I repeatedly reminded them,

'NOT ONCE IN OVER A DECADE HAS ANY OF YOU EVER BEEN IN TOUCH, SO CUT THE CRAP - and I can tell you here and now, I GET EVERYTHING, the house, the two cars, the country cottage ( which they knew nothing about ) and everything comes to me and ( pointing to his Mother ) he left you one penny. One penny is actually written into his will for you as a sign of his utter disappointment and contempt for you and that shows you the depth of his love and family commitment towards you - doesn't it - ONE PENNY.'

They started all this about contesting the will and that I had no rights at all until I pointed out that WE WERE MARRIED - Husband and husband - and legally I would get everything anyway and the reason we married, was solely because he knew they would fight to get your hands on his wealth and he simply wasn't having it... so we married - out of love for each other but also as a way of protecting his assets from his money grabbing family.

More shouting and screaming and carrying on and I was loving it. I could say anything and everything he had always wanted to say but out of family commitment didn't want to rock the boat, but I could say what I wanted and so I did.... I could visualize him in the background egging me on to say more and go further and loving every moment of it.

It was when I pointed out that ' YOU HAVE ALL BEEN DEAD TO HIM FOR OVER A DECADE ANYWAY - he never spoke of you, never mentioned you at Mothers / Fathers Day - never at birthdays or Christmas, he simply wrote you all out of his life just as you did with him, and now you gather like vultures to pick at the bones and grab any money you can. ???'

Because I was not baking down and not tolerating the lies and made it perfectly obvious I was not going to tolerate bullshit - ,the screaming actually stopped and some realizations began to sink in and it was at that point I chose to leave them to it and went home.

The phone kept ringing for days after that with various family members saying I owed it to his Mother to give her his house, his cars, his country cottage and when I pointed out they were now not his to give away as they belonged to me, and there was no way I was handing anything over except the penny to the Mother, - that the court papers started arriving and the contesting of the will, which went in my favour and they even had to pay the costs in attempting to contest which was thousands of £ and that did make me laugh and I could hear him laughing in the background as well.

His family never forgave and never forgot. The penny was sent in the form of a cheque which she actually banked, which says a great deal - and while at every turn for some years after that, they bad mouthed me, I moved into the cottage which was hundreds of miles away from them and they didn't know where, so that was the end of that.

Appalling family. Bigoted homophobes who assumed they would get rewarded for treating their son / brother as a sinner.

This was some years ago now but I thought you might like to hear about it and it did me good to revisit it while writing to you John. Thanks for the Newsletter and the nudes, cheers me up no end. Oh and I have a new love in my life and we are happy as it has been years since he died and time to move on.

I promise I will return one day to HH and say hello to you John as it was years since I was there last.

Thanks John for all you do.



John Bellamy Responds:

Thanks Robert. Sincerely and from my heart, thankyou. I appreciate what it must have been like revisiting this from the past to share with us. Much appreciated.

I can honestly say this is not the first time I have heard such stories from lovers left behind. Some times they loose everything to the family as there was no will - and I cannot stipulate strong enough about MAKE A WELL - especially if you have a money grabbing hate filled family you want to avoid.

Usually this happens within religious families where the son / daughter was gay / lesbian and disowned until dead and then the thought of what they might leave crops into many peoples minds and not the loss of son, brother, sister etc, but more what is in it for them... and that is not love at all.

Some families know very little about love while claiming to be good Catholics and the hypocrisy is outstanding yet they cannot see it. They are blinded by their fake faith and their vacuous attitude towards anything with any true meaning, is lost on them.

Some times we are best off without family.

Having said that, I personally had a very welcoming and open family and my Mother - dead now for a decade, LOVED my gay friends and was a fags best friend. She knew all my friends and what I did as a sex worker and was absolutely fine as long as I was being careful and eating enough - usual mother stuff - and she adored my boyfriends and I could not have wished for better.

Bless her, a Mother in a million.

Not everyone is as lucky.



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