First, my condolences for your mom's cousin. now that you know, you can grieve over him, and honor his memory.
i have seen this taboo thing in action, and it is crazy. a family close to mine here covered up both an accidental death and a suicide in ways... "to spare the children" supposedly - but more likely to spare themselves from disturbing societal scrutiny. well, probably making the wife "pretend" to the kids that her dead husband (traffic accident) was on vacation
, among other things they insisted she do/not do, prevented her from grieving properly. i cannot help but feel it contributed to her suicide a month later. sure, she was fragile. but it seems to me the others that were more crazy. they were the ones who wanted to make reality what it wasn't, leaving her as an Alice in Horrorland. so sad. well the suicide was covered up even more - her last wishes not honored, her note removed and the intended recipient never allowed to read it, the children immediately transplanted to relatives in a different region - cut all contacts - so they'd not hear of their mother's suicide............. sigh. so........ i know what you are talking about.
i am sorry your extended family is so judgemental. don't worry about their crazy-making rationalizations or their stupid NYE celebration. there's a a saying... who wants to go where you're not wanted?
It It wouldn't matter even if
they had good reasons ... let them keep their stupid party if they don't want you there. Their loss, HA!
May i suggest, however, that your grandparents' refusal to intervene may not
be a question of choosing sides. if they are quite elderly, or even just getting on in years, they have surely weathered their own troubles and many a family dispute in their lifetime. may be, at this point they do not feel inclined to fight others' battles, and simply prefer to leave it to the younger generations to sort things out for themselves. just a thought.
take care of yourself and feel better soon. take lots of warm drinks and vitamin C, you know the deal...
~ waves ~