How can my mother be so horribly insensitive?

I recently lost my uncle to suicide. He was my closest family member. My mother has booked his wake at a venue with steps up to every entrance and no accessible toilet. I’m in a wheelchair when I go out so this makes the wake impossible for me. How could someone be so disgustingly inconsiderate? At least the crematorium is accessible and has facilities for disabled people. I’m fuming. I’ve bought a bottle of whiskey and will come home and toast him on my own. Its all I can do.

Not judging your stupid mother; it is illegal for a building to restrict access for a wheelchair user; see I suggest you contact your MP. George

You have my sympathy tinglybadger. Both for the loss of your uncle and your incredibly insensitive mother. What a stupid thing to do. Regardless of legality or otherwise of access, she clearly wasn’t exactly being particularly inclusive when booking the venue. Is she in any way sensible? Ie. can she be persuaded to change the venue? Or is it too late for that? Or, in fact can you face bringing the subject up?

Bloody annoying, hurtful, inconsiderate, woman. I feel for you.


hey tingly have a quiet private wake just you and your uncle. it sounds a bit soft/daft but i often have a quiet chat to my lost loved ones, mum and my best friend, Kath. it makes me feel better. to be honest your uncle sounds the type who wouldn’t suffer fools gladly and he’d prefer you company to your mums.

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I’m not sure this applies to old buildings? I thought it just applied to new buildings?

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He attempted suicide 3 days before he actually did it. She asked him what he wanted and I’m sure he would’ve said that pub as he drank there all the time. I always thought a wake was for the living not the dead. Either way it really sucks.

your mum will probably not realise how awful her behaviour has been.

that old saying “ignorance is bliss”.

yes the wake is a help for the living but on the other hand if anyone behaves badly at my funeral i’ll bloody haunt the buggers!

The saying is actually “If ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise.” In this case, ignorance definitely isn’t bliss. At best, your mother wasn’t thinking when she chose the venue for the wake. You could have a word with her and see if the venue can be changed. Failing that, raise a glass to your uncle on your own, and the rest of them can go take a running jump.


Not sure of the date when this rule came into play or the exact wording, but newly constructed (public) buildings have to be disabled friendly, unless classed as a temporary structure.

I learned this from my company just last week after they decided to build a new lab and had to change building plans to suit.

Is there another entrance you could use? Very often there is a delivery entrance without steps. Your post says wheelchair user when you go out, could you access the toilet with the aid of another person?

Jan x

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People don’t always think straight when they are upset/emotional. Could that be the case here with your mother?


I have been all over ‘the House of Commons’ even in the public gallery and that building is old.

I believe that older buildings don’t have to be made accessible if there are structural reasons which make adaptations impractical. I’ve known tea rooms that couldn’t be made accessible because a ramp over the steps would have extended into the road. It’s possible that the venue chosen for the wake has similar problems. There’s no reason not to have accessible facilities, though. Not everyone who needs those facilities uses a wheelchair, and they often house the baby-changing facilities.

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TB Is your mother o.k. with your m.s. generally or does she have a ‘problem’ with it. If the latter I’d say she had done it deliberately to make things difficult for you. We often hear of partners/spouses having difficulty ‘accepting’ things but there are quite a few of us I reckon who have difficulty with parents/siblings. (and I don’t subscribe to the notion that these relatives have difficulty accepting things or need to have m.s. explained to them - they’re mostly self-centered people who are unwilling to go the extra mile.)

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hiya tb

so sorry to read about your uncle-a very difficult time for everyone affected. (my dad made the same decision)

i hope you find a way to celebrate his life.


Firstly may I say how sorry i am for the loss of your uncle it must have been such a shock. I cant imagine what your or your mother must be going through to loose someone through suicide. I am so so sorry for your loss hun.

You wrote:

He attempted suicide 3 days before he actually did it. She asked him what he wanted and I’m sure he would’ve said that pub as he drank there all the time. I always thought a wake was for the living not the dead. Either way it really sucks.

Am i reading it wrong is the pub you are having the wake at the one he frequented?

If so his sister your mother is doing his wishes. I dont for one minute think this is done in an insensitive way at all grief is a terrible thing you behave in ways you would never think possible. I expect she is in shock and just going through the motions. I really cant imagine how she must feel.

There could be ways you can get to the room. could someone carry you? Or hire a small chair they use for ambulances and you could be lifted up perhaps?

Toilet is another thing but there may be a staff toilet more accessible.

My mum was a bit like this to be honest. She never thought. there was a stair lift in her house for my dad who died years ago it was never turned on after. she didnt use it. when i visited the toilet was upstairs. It was really difficult for me i had to literally go up on my bottom. i asked her time and time again could we not have it serviced. Nope the thought of me using it was too much for her. I mean really. then she wondered sometimes why i didnt go to see her. it was only when she hurt her back that we managed finally to have it serviced and she used it. that i could then visit her with relief.

its a very emotional time for all of you. I think you should talk to her. maybe you could arrange for the closest relatives to come back to you for a drink?

either way i am just so so sorry for your family. xxxxxxxxx

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The building is hundreds of years old. I asked why no disabled toilets at least and apparently it wouldn’ve been impossible to fit them in.

It’s like she’s blind to it. I recently moved to be nearer to her as I was promised more help. Before this I lived about 90 minutes away. In the 5 years since diagnosis she visited twice. She had continual excuses. I moved here after coming out of a relationship because she promised to visit more and the one time she did she complained continually about being tired. I’m tired constantly but there was never any recognition of that. She’s always lived with her head in the sand and I think this was another example of that.

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What an awful tragedy for you and the family. I pray someone, somewhere will be able to supply a form of access for you T.B.

Take care



TB - I assure you I saw nothing irrational in any of your posts. If anyone criticises their mother there is always a flurry of people who defend ‘mothers’ as if on no account should mothers be criticised. I’m sure the vast majority of people have excellent mothers - some of us didn’t!