Should my dad attend my mum's funeral?!

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Jess1982, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. Jess1982

    Jess1982 Registered User

    Nov 9, 2014
    75
    Hi
    My dad has dementia and 2 weeks ago my mum died of vascular dementia.
    They were in the same care home.
    Shortly after her death we brought him into the room where she was, explained what had happened.
    He wept and seemed to understand.
    However the next morning he said he'd seen her last night and that she didn't look too well. It had had a big impact as he would never normally recall anything from the prdvious evening.
    A couple days after this he had no memory of it and mentioned her as if nothing had happened.
    He doesnt really ask to see her often.

    So my dilema is, should he come to the funeral?!
    Part of me thinks definitely yes, they were married 45 years, how could he not be there?
    Another part of me thinks its kinder and less distressing for him to be kept in blissful ignorance.

    I'd really appreciate others views.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,839
    England
    #2 Katrine, Feb 21, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
    I'm so sorry to hear of the recent loss of your dear mum.

    If it was me I wouldn't distress him with attending the funeral. It's a ceremony that allows us to say goodbye, remembering a life, and bringing closure with dignity to the physical process of death. For some PWD it won't mean any of that, might be unsettling or even frightening, and I personally think it's kinder to be spared that experience.

    Their long marriage won't be over in his mind because he won't remember her death. So there won't be closure for him by attending the funeral.

    If he only remembers her sometimes I would focus on keeping him happy and content. He may think she's somewhere else in the same building so you could give vague but truthful answers to any questions about where she is: sleeping / not here at the moment / she's still in the same place / I expect you'll see her again later.
    That sort of thing.
     
  3. oilovlam

    oilovlam Registered User

    Aug 2, 2015
    388
    South East
    Jess, it's entirely your decision. If you think he isn't physically strong enough or would get unduly stressed then it may be best not to take him. I think with dementia there isn't such a thing as closure.

    I expect the extended family would want/expect him there but sometimes they don't understand. You have to plan for what is best. Is it a cold church, will you have enough support if he starts to get stressed and needs to be taken to another room or back to the CH?

    The CH may be able to guide you in your decision. They will have seen what families have done in the past and how the PWD coped during & afterwards.

    My dad died last September and I would have taken mum but she fell & broke her hip, so was in hospital during the funeral. I think having her there would have been for our benefit more than hers. But we would have taken her, I think.
     
  4. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,207
    My thought is to say, no he shouldn't go.
    If he's happy now, long may it stay so.

    Bod
     
  5. lemonjuice

    lemonjuice Registered User

    Jun 15, 2016
    1,535
    England
    I'm also suggesting that your father doesn't attend the funeral.

    As Katrine said, 'It's a ceremony that allows us to say goodbye, remembering a life, and bringing closure with dignity to the physical process of death. For some PWD it won't mean any of that, might be unsettling or even frightening, and I personally think it's kinder to be spared that experience. '

    Even if he attended he might not remember and so it wouldn't provide any sort of closure.

    Years ago one of my aunts was in a Home with advanced severe dementia and the family didn't even tell her of her husband's death. We thought it would only be distressing and she certainly didn't attend the funeral, even if she had been capable of doing so.
     
  6. Jess1982

    Jess1982 Registered User

    Nov 9, 2014
    75
    Thank you all so much for your replies.

    I spoke to my dad at the weekend. He seemed to have an understanding of what has happened.

    I asked if he would like to attend the funeral and he said yes.

    So a carer from care home will bring him and take him back.

    Hopefully it will all go OK! Wish me luck!
     
  7. lemonjuice

    lemonjuice Registered User

    Jun 15, 2016
    1,535
    England
    Ah, sounds as if he's quite early stage still then, with some level of comprehension. Have you got somewhere for the carer to take your Dad, should his behaviour become problematic?
    I know for my M-i-L's funeral we've got somewhere for D-i-l to take the new-born should she decide to have one of her 'crying sessions'! Not because it would upset us at all, but thinking of others who might be hard of hearing and need to concentrate or be disturbed/ offended by it.
     
  8. Murper1

    Murper1 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2016
    123
    We did take my mum to my dad's funeral in the summer. Apart from a repetitive noise that she emits, mum just sits still and says nothing. I hadn't come across Talking Point at that time so thought it was the right thing to do. I had planned for her regular carer to stay with her but as it happened the carer couldn't come. We decided she would use her wheelchair. Mourners were well and truly shocked by her deterioration but I was glad to see them all. During the service I held mum's hand and she even tried to join in with the hymns, but otherwise kept very still.
    We had the wake back in my parent's flat so Mum could be put into her reclining chair and family and friends could sit around her. I feel it was the right thing in our case.
    I do hope things go well for your Dad and the family too.
     

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