Minerva's Breakdown: Apologize 

Dear Minerva,

I lost a family member a couple of months ago and I live out of state. The family didn't have a funeral after she died, but had been planning a get-together for everyone in her memory. The date has been set but due to my schedule, I can't attend as it is set now. I reached out to ask them to reschedule but was met with hostility, and now several family members are attacking me for asking to have it changed. They are refusing to change it and now I'm the bad guy for asking. I don't see it this way. How would you respond?

—Sincerely, Booked

Dear Booked,

If I were you, I would start off by saying, "I'm sorry that I was unreasonable and I should never have asked you to change the plans to accommodate my schedule after the date had been set. That was really self-centered and insensitive of me and didn't take into account the feelings of everyone else involved. I will try to make it to the memorial as scheduled, but if I am unable to attend, please know that my heart and my thoughts are with all of you as you celebrate (enter your late family member's name here)." When something like this is scheduled, adults know that it won't always work for everyone. By respecting that, you are honoring both your family and the deceased. I am sorry for your loss and I know that your sincere apology will correct the hurt feelings. Now, you have some calls to make.

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