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It's over, mum is free of dementia, and so am I

Marnie63

Registered User
Dec 26, 2015
1,631
Hampshire
A rather upsetting phone call to the FDs. I was planning to meet a friend on Saturday and go and see mum again, but they have told me that she is not looking good. Of course I know that nature takes it's course, it was just shocking to hear it. In a way though I can relax a little. I was with her in hospital when she died, I went to see her again while she was still in the hospital, and I got to see her at the FDs last Friday, in her own clothes, and we put a few personal bits in the coffin with her. She's no longer there of course, it was just a way of still keeping in contact with her, going to see her again. It's probably yet another blessing in disguise - I don't have to put myself through that trauma again.

I'm not sure I've convinced myself, but there you go!
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
63,247
69
Dundee
I'm sorry to hear about that phone call @Marnie63. It must have been upsetting.

As you say you were with her when she died and you have seen her since. That must be a comfort to you.
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,613
Kent
That must have been upsetting especially having made plans to visit on Saturday. It does seem to me although that around 3 weeks seems to be generally a cut off time when kindly FD try to disuade. Because of circumstances around mum's death we spent a few hours with her at her house before the coroner's FD collected her and didn't see her as tbh she wasn't a good sight. I now have a very jolly photo of mum taken not long before she died and I prefer to remember that rather than how I last saw her.However we did sit with the coffin in the chapel of rest and that visit felt similar to seeing her...just a piece of wood between us so if you really felt you wanted to visit again...maybe an option. Having seen your mum 3 times maybe also that has given you enough comfort and to leave it there and take the FD well intentioned advice. Dad I sat with for a few hours after he died before the FD arrived and then once in the chapel of rest and felt I had concluded things until the funeral.
 

Marnie63

Registered User
Dec 26, 2015
1,631
Hampshire
It gets worse - another private phone call from one of the staff at the chapel of rest to tell me that whoever I spoke to made a mistake - mum IS OK to view. They were talking about someone completely different. This is on top of a conversation with another member of staff a week or so ago who got the date of the funeral wrong and said "you have to come and see her this weekend as the funeral is on Monday" - no, it wasn't, but that gave me a minor heart attack too.

This is a long established independent in town and I am just appalled at this. Big, big official complaint coming up …

I asked her if they will manage to get her in the right coffin and to the right funeral, I'm now wondering if I should check, just to make sure they put mum in the coffin and no one else.
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,613
Kent
It gets worse - another private phone call from one of the staff at the chapel of rest to tell me that whoever I spoke to made a mistake - mum IS OK to view. They were talking about someone completely different. This is on top of a conversation with another member of staff a week or so ago who got the date of the funeral wrong and said "you have to come and see her this weekend as the funeral is on Monday" - no, it wasn't, but that gave me a minor heart attack too.

This is a long established independent in town and I am just appalled at this. Big, big official complaint coming up ...
Oh dear...that's not very impressive! In that case ignore all that I have posted :rolleyes:
 

Marnie63

Registered User
Dec 26, 2015
1,631
Hampshire
The poor second woman who called me back got a good blasting from me, but she held up, bless her! I've calmed down now. There was a third thing that happened, and I cannot remember what it was, it was minor, but there were two issues already, and now this! I even had a long conversation with the first woman about whether the coffin is lined, she made it sound so bad! So there was no need for that, no need for my extra tears and nausea, and no need for the anger during the second call. Heads will roll, if you'll excuse the expression in this context.
 

vanny72

New member
Sep 17, 2018
7
After a calmish weekend, I launched into arrangements yesterday. Left early for the place where mum will be buried, sorted most detail with the FDs, booked the flowers, booked the venue and visited the stonemason. Stone and kerbs will obviously need to be removed. When dad passed, mum was healthy and young--ish and for whatever reason we didn't think to leave space on the stone for mum's inscription. I have asked if they can somehow reuse the headstone bit. It seems they could grind the writing off, leave it matt, turn it around, and do a new inscription for both of them on the other side. But, apparently at some point it all becomes almost as expensive as buying a new stone and kerbs. So will have to see. I'd rather not pay thousands for that again, hopefully won't have to.

The FD has quoted a £100 estimate to put an obituary notice in the local paper. Really?! Probably not necessary, but thought it was fitting and maybe it will notify anyone who may have known mum.

Most of the equipment was collected today. I found it rather sad to see the wheelchair folded up on the van. That little wheelchair was a big part of our lives for the last year. Maybe I shouldn't have hurried the equipment collection, but what's the point of holding onto the stuff? It also means there's more room in the house, and I can start getting things back to normalish.

I have moments now where I get incredibly sad about the fact that I won't speak with mum again, or feel her warm touch. If I held out my arms to her while she was in bed, she would always hug me and give me a gentle kiss on the cheek. I'm so going to miss that. It really hurts that I will not have that physical contact with her again. The hugs and kisses should last me a lifetime, but the fact that they will happen no more twists at my insides now and again.

The rest of the week is fairly quiet, a friend popping in, but no other plans. I think I will take stock of paperwork and start focusing on numbers for the wake. I'm hoping for around 30/35. Some people who I have not yet been able to contact may or may not come. It's hard when you can't ask people to RSVP for a funeral - or can you?!

The FDs finally collect mum from the hospital tomorrow, so will have to check on progress. I await a call to say I can view her there, and I'll be up again. I have an offer of company for the first viewing at the FD, which I have gratefully accepted. It will be easier with someone else there.
 

vanny72

New member
Sep 17, 2018
7
i am finding it hard to read all your posts. this is fairly new to me. although now i am a carer to my husband and not his wife anymore. i still can't deal with things, knowing it is going to get harder than it is now...i am crying again...i am finding it so hard. my life has gone...here we go again...i have to go...
 

Marnie63

Registered User
Dec 26, 2015
1,631
Hampshire
i am finding it hard to read all your posts. this is fairly new to me. although now i am a carer to my husband and not his wife anymore. i still can't deal with things, knowing it is going to get harder than it is now...i am crying again...i am finding it so hard. my life has gone...here we go again...i have to go...
Vanny - maybe it would be better for you to not read so much in this section if you find it upsetting. We are all at different stages of dealing with dementia. I had three horrendous years of it and for me and my mum it is finally over. I need to offload and TP has literally been a lifesaver for me at times, it's somewhere where we can share what we need to, and I am continuing to do so.

I'm sorry if this upsets you, so as I say, maybe another section like 'I care for someone with dementia' or 'I have a partner with dementia' might be a gentler section for you to post in? It's not for me to redirect anyone on here, that's not my job, but I felt I had to respond as you sound so distressed.
 

Marnie63

Registered User
Dec 26, 2015
1,631
Hampshire
I feel quite nauseous now about what has happened today. I have had a text from the second woman I spoke to at the FDs, the one who called to tell me it had all been a mistake. Very apologetic and assuring me that everything would be fine. I have sent the complaint to the MD. The funeral hasn't even happened yet, and I've complained already!

I really could do without this. I think I will go and lie in a darkened room now ….
 

Marnie63

Registered User
Dec 26, 2015
1,631
Hampshire
Feel a bit better now after the upset with the FDs. I am going to see mum again on Saturday after all, with friend. I went out yesterday and bought a display board to use to create a collage of photos for the wake after mum's funeral. I've decided a photo of mum on the coffin during the service will be too upsetting and disturbing for me, but will put up some happy photos afterwards at the hotel instead.

Apparently there will be someone I haven't yet met at the FDs greeting us when we go to see mum on Saturday. This will be last time, I have decided. During my tears I will try to purge the angry feelings I have about the mix up at the FDs. No reply to official complaint yet. Could have done without it and it will give me a bad feeling in the time left before and during the funeral, but I can't change that, just have to live with it.

Going out today to look for a smart black dress.
 

Sam Luvit

Registered User
Oct 19, 2016
6,005
East Sussex
Hope the shopping goes well & you find the perfect dress. I don’t know what to say about the FD mix ups, it must be so upsetting for you. Try not to dwell on it, but think of the good things & know they will be double checking everything from now on

It’s a surreal time waiting for the funeral day, time seems to drag & then speed up all at once. I’d sit down for a coffee at 10.00, take a sip, find it was cold & it was now 14.00 :eek: Other times it felt like I got up & it was Monday, but when I went to bed it was Wednesday & I had no idea where the time had gone. I remembered everything I’d done in those days, but they seemed to have flown by in the blink of an eye

Hugs & kind thoughts winging their way to you ;)
 

Georgina63

Registered User
Aug 11, 2014
968
@Marnie63
Sorry to hear of the problems with the FD, not what you want or need! Hope your shopping trip is productive and that your visit to see your Mum goes well tomorrow. Love Gx
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,613
Kent
I should imagine all the details will be checked and double checked now....try to put it to one side for now. It is not unusual for weekend staff to man the FD reception but the person will be there to help you with anything you need to ask.
 

maryjoan

Registered User
Mar 25, 2017
1,514
South of the Border
Congratulations! I mean that in the sincerest of ways. Congratulations on all that you achieved with, and for, your Mum. She would be proud of you, I am sure.

Relax, recover and remember Mum as the Mum she was when you were younger - that is the 'real' Mum.

You don't need us now, TP has done it's job, go out into the other world and enjoy life. When our turn is over, we will join in.

You will grieve, but I am sure there is such a thing as a happy grief. We all lose our parents, I was not able to say 'goodbye' to either of mine, but it is the way of things to lose someone, so it is a happy grief in that it is normal and, in a way, wholesome. Dementia is insidious so forget it now, and remember the 'real' Mum.
Good Luck in the days and weeks to come, and your onward journey through life.
 

Marnie63

Registered User
Dec 26, 2015
1,631
Hampshire
Hope the shopping goes well & you find the perfect dress. I don’t know what to say about the FD mix ups, it must be so upsetting for you. Try not to dwell on it, but think of the good things & know they will be double checking everything from now on

It’s a surreal time waiting for the funeral day, time seems to drag & then speed up all at once. I’d sit down for a coffee at 10.00, take a sip, find it was cold & it was now 14.00 :eek: Other times it felt like I got up & it was Monday, but when I went to bed it was Wednesday & I had no idea where the time had gone. I remembered everything I’d done in those days, but they seemed to have flown by in the blink of an eye

Hugs & kind thoughts winging their way to you ;)
Thanks Sam. The time does seem to be flying, nearly three weeks since mum passed. It's such a strange time, the mix of emotions - relief that it's over, relief that I do not need to watch mum in her dementia state any more, relief that she does not have to suffer it and relieved that it has stopped dragging me down with it, but of course a terrible sadness that she has gone forever. It's very strange waiting 6 weeks for a funeral, but it was just bad timing with the priest being away (others are available, but I wanted this one!). Nearly three have passed and I'm sure the next three will pass just as quickly, then we will, literally, lay her to rest, and this period will be over too.

I am very much looking forward to the rest of my life.
 

Marnie63

Registered User
Dec 26, 2015
1,631
Hampshire
Congratulations! I mean that in the sincerest of ways. Congratulations on all that you achieved with, and for, your Mum. She would be proud of you, I am sure.

Relax, recover and remember Mum as the Mum she was when you were younger - that is the 'real' Mum.

You don't need us now, TP has done it's job, go out into the other world and enjoy life. When our turn is over, we will join in.

You will grieve, but I am sure there is such a thing as a happy grief. We all lose our parents, I was not able to say 'goodbye' to either of mine, but it is the way of things to lose someone, so it is a happy grief in that it is normal and, in a way, wholesome. Dementia is insidious so forget it now, and remember the 'real' Mum.
Good Luck in the days and weeks to come, and your onward journey through life.
Thanks maryjoan. You are right, all parents die in the end and it was just unfortunate that mum developed this condition for the last few years of her life. In time the sadness will pass (in a way, it already is) and I hope my life will become normal again.

I saw your post about not feeling part of the outside world anymore. I experienced that too. What kept me sane I think was those few hours a week I had when I could go out, when the carer sat with mum. Taking a break, some kind of break, is key. You have to step away from something so intense, otherwise it will just swallow you up. It kept trying with me, but I clung onto the outside world, albeit by a very thin thread!

I wish you well too. There's no point saying it will all be over one day. I knew that, but it did not help me at the times when things we so very hard.

TP has been such a big part of my support network the last three years. I'm not ready to leave the room just yet!
 

Sam Luvit

Registered User
Oct 19, 2016
6,005
East Sussex
...TP has been such a big part of my support network the last three years. I'm not ready to leave the room just yet!
Hi @Marnie63

We had a minimum 2 week delay as booked up, the third week only had some slots available, so I opted for the fourth week & lots of choice. It also meant my cousin & the priest were both back off their holidays

People keep asking if I’m ok. I am. She’s not in pain now. I’m not helping her out of bed & pulling her fractures, it killed me doing that, I knew I was hurting her, but there was nothing I could do about it. A few days before she passed, was the first time I’d seen her cry. She just sobbed in my arms as I got her on the commode. She’s not crying now. It’s a relief to know that.

I’m not so sure about the big bad world. I still walk Pooch & chat with the usual suspects, but I went into town on Monday & I was praying not to see anyone. Of course I did & their first question was “how’s your Mum?” Standing in a shop is not the best place to get asked that :rolleyes:

Yes, breaks were key to surviving this. I worked full time the first 6 months, then volunteered a whole 10 hours a week for the next 2 1/2 years, it got me out of the house & forced me to see people. The last 6 months my breaks were shopping & Pooch walking :eek:

TP is like walking into a room & seeing your friends are around. You don’t have to listen if you don’t feel up to it, but you can talk & know someone is listening. I’ll be hanging around for a while too ;)