How to get through the Funeral

Discussion in 'After dementia — dealing with loss' started by Dragonfly10, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. Dragonfly10

    Dragonfly10 Registered User

    Jan 27, 2015
    My Dad died on the 25th January and it still doesn't seem real to me.
    We have got his Funeral on Wednesday. He is having a service at the Crematorium first, then a celebration of his life at a Church. I am really dreading it, although I think it become real then. I am not looking forward to the Wake part afterwards. There could be about 100 or more people there. My mum seems to think they will want to come up and put their arms around us. I am not really that sort of person, apart from with close family.
    Also many of these people turned their backs against my parents when my Dad was ill, hardly anybody bothered ringing her up to see how they were. Now my Dad has died she has received 75 Sympathy cards. My Mum would phone me up in tears because she couldn't believe how people she had known for years could treat her like that.
    In fact a couple she wasn't particularly friendly with became very good to them both, it turned out his brother had suffered from dementia.
    I just don't know how I will get through the day.
  2. VickyG

    VickyG Registered User

    Feb 6, 2013
    Thinking of you

    Hi Dragonfly10,

    I will be thinking of you on Wednesday. I don't know how you get through it, but you just do. I didn't think I would either, but I did. The way I looked at it was, it wasn't really the 'end', more of the next chapter. Mum was cremated and I have her ashes here with me, until we scatter them in April ( Her birthday is the 6th so we are going to scatter as near to the date, in a wooded area where the bluebells come up - Mum's wishes ) at the cemetery where she was cremated. So for me, the day of her funeral or 'special day' wasn't final........

    As for people who are going to be there and haven't really bothered or been there for you all, I guess there's always some of those ! It's your Dad's special day and keep that in mind, don't even worry about 'those' people !

    Thinking of you, hope it all goes well x
  3. Dragonfly10

    Dragonfly10 Registered User

    Jan 27, 2015
    #3 Dragonfly10, Feb 9, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
    Thanks VickyG for your kind words. We are planning to have some ashes buried in the Cemetery and then we are going to scatter the rest at two places that meant a lot to my Dad. Your plan sounds lovely, bluebells are so pretty.x
  4. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    My heart goes out to you. i'm so sorry.

    I have no experience, and therefore realise that this is very easy to say, but truly, my first instinct was for you to not go to the wake afterwards.

    Or change the arrangements and make it a smaller event with fewer people - but I suppose that's a bit naive of me, when it's so close.

    Will you have close family members at the wake other than your mum? If you do have to go through with it, is there any chance that you could ask a couple of them to be your 'bodyguards' and fend off any unwanted personal attention towards you?

    Grief is such a personal thing and I feel that no-one should have to do something they don't want to do, and your dad would surely understand.

    Thinking of you x
  5. SisterAct

    SisterAct Registered User

    Hi Dragonfly10
    So sorry to hear about your Dad and will be thinking about you on Wednesday.
    This is the last thing that you and your Mum can do for your Dad and I'm sure it will be special and emotional.
    Let all your anger and frustration about the people who didn't bother go. It only upsets you and your Mum and you can both do without that.
    Concentrate on the lovely memories your Dad has left you both and perhaps get someone to read out some special thankyous for all the people that did bother.
    Take care
    Polly xx
  6. Dragonfly10

    Dragonfly10 Registered User

    Jan 27, 2015
    Thanks, I feel like I have to go for my Mum and I would feel a bit odd if I didn't.
    There will be quite a lot of family there as well.
    I liked the 'bodyguard' idea, I might have to recruit my husband and sons .
    My Dad would totally understand, years ago before he was ill, he told me not to cry when he died as he had had a good life and I should think of myself and my family. I couldn't make that promise to him though as I knew I wouldn't be able to keep it x
  7. Dragonfly10

    Dragonfly10 Registered User

    Jan 27, 2015
    Thank you, what you said is very true.
    It's just hard to realise I will never see him again. He didn't know who I was but he was still my Dad x
  8. SisterAct

    SisterAct Registered User

    He will be always in your heart ❤️.
    Barb and I were in the same position as you two years ago when we lost our lovely Dad to Vascular Dementia so we know what you are going through.
    Cry like you've never cried before..
    Talk about the good times....
    Laugh at the funny things he said or did...
    This is his day...God bless him and you and your Mum
  9. Dragonfly10

    Dragonfly10 Registered User

    Jan 27, 2015
    Thanks for all your nice words, we've got plenty of funny things he said or did to laugh about. He was always making us laugh. I feel like I'm in a dream but I guess it will become real on Wednesday.xx

    WILLIAMR Account Closed

    Apr 12, 2014
    All I can add is try and imagine your father is doing something he likes now.
    Most of our family loves dogs.
    We say they are now throwing the stars around for the departed dogs to fetch.
    Mind you I think there must be mayhem if this is happening.
    The wider family consists of about 250 households and most of them have a dog.
    I would say there must be 1000 plus dogs who have been and gone within living memory.

  11. Dragonfly10

    Dragonfly10 Registered User

    Jan 27, 2015
    Thanks, that is a nice idea. He used to like gardening or singing, especially the song Danny Boy. He used to sing two lines from that song most the time. We are having that at the funeral.
    He used to love watching Westerns before he stopped being able to follow the storyline.
    May be he could be a cowboy up there.
    Wow, that is a lot of dogs.
  12. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    Dragonfly-when my Husband died I dreaded the funeral-I didn't think I would be able to hold it together. I did manage -although I did cry from the off! At the wake I just sat with the family and didn't do much! My daughter did a lot of 'meeting and greeting' but I just wanted to go home. I hope that everyone understood-to be honest if they didn't-well tough. Wednesday is about your Dad and his family-his life and the way the Family want to remember him. It will be sad but I hope you will also remember him with a few laughs and smiles. Forget the others- concentrate on your Mum and family.

    I hope all goes well on Wednesday.


    Lyn T XX
  13. Ladybird23

    Ladybird23 Registered User

    Feb 28, 2014
    Dragonfly, as people have said try to concentrate on happy memories with your Mum and family,I know its easier said than done, and my heart felt as though it was being ripped out. At my Mums funeral we had happy songs Like all things bright and beautiful, and I did a "speech" how I did that I do not know. My family sobbed and at the wake we had the most wonderful homemade sarnis, cakes and scones which my Mum would have loved to eat her way through.
    I squashed my sons hand going up to the wake, I had a big hanky, which just about managed to cope with all the tears.
    As we were walking back to the house, my Dad said "that was a nice ceremony and I would like something like that". And he shall.

    All the very best Dragonfly.

    WILLIAMR Account Closed

    Apr 12, 2014
    #14 WILLIAMR, Feb 10, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
    Hi Dragonfly

    Doing gardening and singing are other good activities.
    I am afraid the gardens generally belong to the dogs in our family. We keep them tidy and safe for the dogs but the dogs are the priority.
    Lets hope your father has a fence around his garden in the sky so the dogs are not wrecking his work.
    I agree that 1000 dogs are a lot but it is probably not the case when you consider the size of the wider family.
    Generally funeral directors and crematoriums are very accommodating. When you think about it the deceased funeral is interrupted if the dog starts barking but if he / she is a dog lover there will be no objection.
    Also the dog is a member of the family and is entitled to be there.

  15. CJW

    CJW Registered User

    Sep 22, 2013
    i looked at my mother's funeral as the last step of our journey together. it was something I could do for her and I wanted to make the day perfect, as she would have wanted. it was a small funeral with familly and her few remaining friends, some of whom had been very prsent through her dementia and others not, but they had all played a part in some period of her life. I took comfort from them being there and from the service. Although it is a sad day it does bring closure and helped me to move on from the initial distress of losing a loved one. it won't take away the grief but helps to put everything in context by remembering the person they were and the, hopefully good life they had before dementia.
    I will be thinking of you
  16. Dragonfly10

    Dragonfly10 Registered User

    Jan 27, 2015
    #16 Dragonfly10, Feb 10, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
    Thank you for your kind words, it's true about if people don't understand- well tough.
    I said to my Mum don't feel like you have to do anything you don't want, if there is a time you are allowed to be selfish then it is surely then x
  17. Dragonfly10

    Dragonfly10 Registered User

    Jan 27, 2015
    Thanks for the nice words.That sounds like you did your Mum proud.
    It's good to come on here and realise other people are going through the same things as well, you realise you are not alone x
  18. Dragonfly10

    Dragonfly10 Registered User

    Jan 27, 2015
    Thank you for your kind words. I hadn't thought of the funeral as the last step of our journey together. I like the idea of remembering the person they before they got dementia. At the moment I seem focused on thinking the Care Home brought his death about sooner than it should have happened and I still can't believe it is real.
    I think after tomorrow it will help it become real.
  19. Dragonfly10

    Dragonfly10 Registered User

    Jan 27, 2015
    Thanks William
  20. sunray

    sunray Registered User

    Sep 21, 2008
    East Coast of Australia
    I do pastoral care in our church so I go to a lot of funerals. A lot of families look at it as the last thing they could do for the one they love so much, so I often hear someone say:"she would have loved this" or to an old friend "Dad would have loved you telling that story, he always laughed when he heard it". Everyone at the funeral is grieving in their own way. Even people like me who hardly knew the person, except in their last few years. I grieve for their loss, the smile I got when I visited, the few stories Ii had the privilege to share.

    I went to a funeral on Monday and the daughter was the only one of three children able to attend but she and her husband read out letters from the other two siblings. It was different but nice. Tomorrow I go to anther, small family, low key, probably one eulogy, one hymn, for a lady who was very quiet so reflecting her personality. I loved her for her comforting silence when she sat next to me after my husband died.

    The funeral is hard to get through, it was when my Dad died in 2000 and then my husband Ray in September 2012 and Mum in 2012. But I really appreciated the effort old friends of mine and of the other person made to be there, some from quite a distance away. We all express love in a different way and for some it is to make sure they are there for the final good-bye even if they haven't seen the person in some years but still have fond memories of them.

    Hope it all goes well for you and you are comforted b the love others show for your family by being there. Do it for him and for your Mum too. Deep breath and be the person he would want you to be.


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