Planning a funeral

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Actually Karen I don't disagree that this might not be the most appropriate board for this - it is a difficult subject. I'm not sure where WOULD be appropriate though. I would disagree that it is distasteful though. Not a happy subject, to be sure, but not disrespectful, and this board is all about dealing with loss, and we all deal with loss in our own way.

So sorry you don't agree.

Love

Jennifer
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Skye said:
....... to store the body. It would probably incur charges.
'It'????? 'It'???????

Forgive me ..... time out methinks .....

I reiterate my thanks Jennifer ..... my mother's funeral whenever it happens will be a small and 'tricky' affair .......

Karen
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Karen I'm sorry if you find my post distasteful. It was never my intention to offend anyone, or cause distress to those who have recently suffered loss.

I think Jennifer's thread is perfectly valid. Obviously living at such a distance she has to do some forward planning. Should her mother die when Jennifer is in the states, it is going to take some time to get over here, let alone make arrangements. It makes perfect sense for her to have as much as possible worked out in advance.

The question of delaying the funeral is also valid, in the circumstances, and I was trying to address that question.

You apparently object to the word 'body'. I can think of alternatives, as no doubt can you, but I doubt if any of them would be acceptable to you. I'm not sure how I could have answered the question without using one of them.

To those of you who are grieving, you have my utmost sympathy, and I would not deliberately have done anything to hurt you.

To anyone else who was upset, please try to understand that this is just one of the problems of long-distance caring, one which most of us do not have to face.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Sorry you don't like it Karen, but this exactly the kind of information I was trying to get. Frankly what else would you the process but "it"? "The funeral" is "it", any action is, gramatically, "it".

This section of the boards are about dealing with loss - this is my way of dealing with what appears to be fairly imminent. It may not be yours, or anyone elses, but it is mine. If I wanted platitudes I would have posted differently, but I don't. I'm sure expressions of sympathy will be more than welcome when the time comes, but at the moment I'm holding it together by getting my facts marshalled, not only because I probably won't be in any state to deal with them at the time, but because I shall have little or no access to the internet.

Jennifer
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Just a note to - well, everyone here, really.

The whole area being discussed here is, by its nature, highly sensitive and emotional.

It is highly sensitive in different ways for each and every person.

Each person approaches it, and has to do that, in a way that they can handle.

Nobody can tell any other person that the way is wrong that they view - or express views about - this painful but necessary aspect of life.

Just chip in calmly with an alternative view if you disagree; if the subject is really too painful to consider, then please don't consider it and then steer clear of the thread... there are plenty of other threads here on TP.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Thank you Bruce.

As you say we all have our different ways of dealing with end of life issues. One of the difficulties about NOT having a religion is that most of life's rituals are religious based. When the time comes, I want to say goodbye to my mother appropriately, but without religious trappings that would not only be irrelevant to her remaining family but also, if she were there to see them, be irrelevant to her.

Having been to a number of "open casket" funerals I, personally, have no difficulty in referring to what is left after the essence of what makes up a person has gone as a body, nor do I find it in any way disrespectful. For me it is simply an accurate non-emotive description. As this was a thread started by me, dealing with my peculiar circumstances, I reserve the right to make that call for me and mine.

I would be disappointed if these sort of issues could not be raised here - I have found this discussion both comforting and illuminating, which is, I suppose, what dealing with loss is all about.

Jennifer
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,363
Kent
I have found this discussion both comforting and illuminating, which is, I suppose, what dealing with loss is all about.

The heading of this section is quite ambiguous.

`After dementia-dealing with loss` could be interpreted as loss due to death, or loss due to dementia.

Both are areas none of us would discuss from choice, but I too, would be disappointed if we were unable to have an adult discussion about our concerns.
 
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daughter

Registered User
Mar 16, 2005
824
`After dementia-dealing with loss` could be interpreted as loss due to death, or loss due to dementia.
Dementia really is that double-loss, isn't it? Personally, I could not look at some of the posts in this section in the past, when Dad was alive. Part of Dad had already gone with the dementia, but I was holding on so, so tight to all that remained of him, and I could not look that far ahead.

When Dad was dying in hospital, I did not have much of a clue about what happens next, in what sequence, what was acceptable and so on. I was lucky because I had my Mum who knew the order of events, she had been through the whole process with her parents many years before, but if I had been on my own at that time I may well have been asking the same kind of questions as Jennifer.
 

Kayla

Registered User
May 14, 2006
621
Kent
My mother died quite unexpectedly, nearly two months ago and we arrived at the hospital too late, because everything happened so quickly.The next day, my husband was ill with a tummy bug and was quite unable to leave the house, so I had to deal with the death certificates and funeral arrangements all by myself.
Fortunately I knew just what needed to be done, having helped Mum to sort everything out seven years ago, when my father passed away. It certainly helps to know about the procedures and formalities which have to be negotiated on behalf of the deceased and if a friend recommends a good Funeral Director, then the funeral can take place with no problems.
I think that information on arranging a funeral and what to do when someone dies is just as important and helpful to people, as knowing about the every day problems of dementia. Being a little bit prepared for the inevitable, will at least make dealing with the practical issues easier, even though the pain of bereavement is still there.
It must be very hard to live so far away from the person being cared for and Jennifer has problems to solve which other people don't have to worry about.
Perhaps there needs to be another Forum which just deals with the practical issues facing bereaved people, so that anyone who finds the topic upsetting can opt out of reading it.
After losing a close relative, it would be good to be able to talk to people about it, but everyone tends to avoid the subject in conversation, which makes everything even harder. It is almost as though the person never existed and I would like to remember my Mum and keep her in my memories.
Kayla
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Kayla said:
After losing a close relative, it would be good to be able to talk to people about it, but everyone tends to avoid the subject in conversation, which makes everything even harder. It is almost as though the person never existed and I would like to remember my Mum and keep her in my memories.
Kayla
Kayla, that is so true. People do go out of their way to avoid the subject, I think it's one of the few taboos left.

Talk about your mum here as often as you like here. No-one feels awkward about it, it's a fact that we have to face every day.

Love and hugs,
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,363
Kent
Kayla said:
Perhaps there needs to be another Forum which just deals with the practical issues facing bereaved people, so that anyone who finds the topic upsetting can opt out of reading it. .
Kayla
Dear Kayla.

This section is for those dealing with loss, and whether the issues are practical or personal, whether the loss is because of dementia or bereavement, all who need support should feel free to post.

I would like to remember my Mum and keep her in my memories.
And this section is also for remembering, for as long as you wish.

With love xx
 

blue sea

Registered User
Aug 24, 2005
270
England
Jennifer
This section of TP seems to me to be exactly the right place for your posting. I come to this section becuse I have lost my father through a dementia related death. I do so in order to gain strength and support from other people who are bereaved but also to offer what support I can to those who have been bereaved, and to people like you who are becoming anxious about that final and inevitable stage. Death is hard to face and accept. We all deal with it differently but I suspect there is a commonality in our shared fears. We fear how we will feel when it happens. We fear the loss of a part of ourselves. We fear the consciousness too of the reality of our own mortality. Life is precious but fragile. There are practicalities to deal with too. I cannot speak for others, but I don't feel offended by a discussion of these. When you come close to the death of a loved one, you deserve and need the support of all of us on TP. When that death comes your world shakes and re arranges itself in a different way. It is frightening, disorientating, shocking. If you can plan how to deal with some of the practicalities in advance, it can be helpful as it gives you some control and can be a mental rehearsal for what will happen. I think many people find this relieves some of the anxiety. We all share a fear of death and dying and loss. To me, TP is about offering support to each other as we travel this journey. It is a journey we all face, though we do not know its duration. Losing someone who has had dementia is a particular type of loss. No-one can say it is worse or better than death from any other illness, it is just different. It leaves you with different issues which can be complex. There may be a sense of guilt, that we all probably feel - could we have done more as carers? There is the difficulty of regaining the memory of how the loved one was before the dementia. There is the ambiguity of feeling relieved and thankful for the death. There is the huge hole left by no longer having someone to care for and worry about on a daily basis. Above all you just miss them.
You will cope. Your mother will live on for ever in the way you live your life.
Blue sea
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,240
65
Toronto, Canada
Whatever makes you feel better

Jennifer,
My sister & I have discussed this a fair bit. We've decided that my mother will be cremated immediately. We will hold a memorial service right away where I live and later, depending on the time of year, we will have another service in Quebec (we're originally from Quebec) and bury my mother's ashes with her parents in their plot.

It took a while for us to come to that decision, but it feels right for us. In my opinion, what is important about funerals is that they are for the survivors, not the deceased. It always troubles me when people try to carry out last wishes, even when it is extremely difficult and/or emotionally painful. Whatever makes you feel better and gets you through, that's the right way. It's very individual.

As for your children, I think they are old enough to make up their own minds. I personally think it would be good if they went, it's not something they can change their minds about later and they might well regret not going.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Thank you all - I'm finding this very valuable (and reassuring).

The primary problem with the children is: my son's passport is somewhere in the maw of the state department, and has been for some weeks. Shaking it loose, even for something as important as this will be difficult, if not impossible (currently it's taking approximately 5 months to get passports back, particularly as his comes under a "new" passport application as his old ones were issued when he was a child).

So - it may not be POSSIBLE to get him over if this happens soon.

Have to go, will post again later.

Jennifer
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya all,
dearest Karen, once again you are trying to protect those that you see as vulnerable, and I thank you for that. (Kaz, someone just pointed out that this may have come over wrong - I do mean it - so often you jump in with both feet, trying to protect those that you know are already hurting, and I thank you for caring)

As someone recently bereaved though, I do not find offensive the postings in this thread.
I must say that when mum was dying, it would have helped me to know what to expect; what signs to look for, I had not witnessed death before, and medical staff are reluctant to say "she is dying and it could be imminent".
On Wednesday I went to see mum - but it was not mum. The undertakers have done 'a good job' - but it was a body. I do not know whether I believe in an after life or not - I hope that there is one - but certainly whatever had made mum, mum - even that gravely ill mum, was nolonger there.

Love Helen
 
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Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Dear Helen

Thank you so much for that. I would have hated to have caused you any more pain.

Having seen five much loved people after death, I agree with you. However well they have been prepared, the essence of the person is missing.

Like you, I'm not sure about an afterlife, but I do know that your mum lives on in your heart, and those of your family. She will never be gone completely as long as you live.

You are so much in my thoughts just now, and will be on Tuesday. Your mum will be so proud.

Love,
 

Tina

Registered User
May 19, 2006
420
Amy said:
On Wednesday I went to see mum - but it was not mum. The undertakers have done 'a good job' - but it was a body. but certainly whatever had made mum, mum - even that gravely ill mum, was nolonger there.

Love Helen
I too went to see gramps, Aunty Jean and Uncle Harry in the chapel of rest...I'm glad I went, they looked very peaceful...but it brought home even more the sense that they were truly gone.

It felt as though what made them who they were had departed after they had drawn their last breath. To this day, it is a very strange feeling. I wasn't scared, and it wasn't a frightening experience and I'm not having nightmares about it or anything. I needed to see them a last time before the funeral.

But even in a gravely ill gramps, aunty and uncle I could still feel a presence of what used to be there. At the undertaker's, that essence, as Helen and Hazel say, had gone. Hopefully to a happier place.

Tina x
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Amy said:
dearest Karen, once again you are trying to protect those that you see as vulnerable, and I thank you for that.
How did you know I was thinking most about you?

Can't fight my own battles - but yes - two-footed and unarmed I go wading in when I think someone else might get hurt ......

Much, much love and hugs and thinking of you .....

Kaz, x