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I reposted the question because I asked it in reply to my other thread but got no responses. I may not get any now, but at least I’ll know it wasn’t buried in my previous post. It is strange how she has survived these initial five days. It is as if the intense mental pain has cut through the fog of dementia and bipolar disorder, and she has moments of clarity that I have not seen in years. She and my father were married for 67 years. I am concerned about her surviving the funeral. I will be contacting her psychiatrist to see if he could prescribe her something for that day, but we don’t want her over-medicated. She already takes some powerful medications for her bipolar disorder. She is in a wheelchair, (two person assist), incontinent, and on oxygen also.

I was just going to ask a similar question of bringing my mom to her brother's funeral when I saw this question. My mom can walk and has no other serious health problems other than dementia. She knows who everyone is, but will possibly need to be reminded that she's at a funeral for her brother. Although we are anxious about this, we are bringing her because we feel that she would be upset if she wasn't there. My husband will remove her if necessary.
So sorry for your loss, I hope the day goes smoothly and you get a little break to grieve yourself.
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Thank you to everyone who responded. We will have plenty of help to get her into and out of the car. My mother has been remarkable in how well she has handled my father’s death. We all thought that she would be the first to go. Yes, that night was brutal to witness. I had spent all day with the two of them, prayed with them both, kissed the top of my father’s head and left them both sleeping. The nursing home called an hour after I left and told me that he had passed away. I live 30 minutes away and was one of the last to get there. My mother had awakened and demanded to see him and was told then. By the time I got there she was sitting by his bed stroking his face and crying. I sat down next to her and at one point, she looked at me in surprise and said, “He’s dead?”. I was shocked because I thought maybe she hadn’t actually been told, and repeated it in her native language. She had been told but in her shock, she couldn’t take it in.

Over the past six days she has demonstrated that she is very aware that he has died but is functioning, interacting, and eating a little. She even asked me tonight when the funeral would be. I’m telling you, I haven’t seen my mother so lucid in years. There are tearful breakdowns from time to time which is normal, and I told her tonight that I was proud of her. A wonderful moment happened yesterday. As my sister was leaving, she gave me a big hug but stopped to talk a few more minutes. I saw my mother watching her as she talked, then said to her, “Where’s my sugar?”. My sister leaned down and gave her a big, noisy kiss and hug and I heard my mother giggle. It was music to my soul.

She has had her hair and nails done and has a new outfit. I know the funeral will be difficult for her and I welcome your prayers for that day on Friday. Thank you for reminding me to allow myself to feel my own grief also.
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SisterSue1949 Oct 10, 2019
Dear Tree Artist,
It sounds like it's going to work out just fine. Funerals are hard on everyone, but sometimes I've found that older folks seem to be able to accept death more matter-of-factly than those younger. Even at this difficult time, I'm so pleased for you that you're getting some sweet moments with your real mother, not the shadow of herself this evil disease causes her to be. Hold on to those little blessings.

Best wishes to you and your family for a day to share your love and grief.
Sue
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This is a very tough question to answer.
It depends on your moms level of dementia.
Is she going to remember that he is dead in a day or a week?
Is she going to be so stressed out at the Funeral that she herself will need medical aid? (Not talking about the anti anxiety medications but heart and breathing?)
How well does she do with long spans away from her Facility? Will she be able to handle 4, 5, or more hours away from her "routine"?
If she can not handle the length of time for the Funeral maybe just the Wake and for a short period of time at that?

I doubt that anyone would question if she is not there, other than to ask about her and how she is doing. If anyone says anything else you can show them the door!
If you want to take her I would suggest that the people that are "in charge" of her be ready to leave at any given moment and either return her to her "home" or arrange to meet later if you plan on a lunch after the service. If this is something that she would want to do.

No matter what you decide it is going to be done with the very best of intentions and no one, even you, should question if what you are doing is the "right" thing.
Why put more stress and anxiety on an already stressful situation.
I am sorry for your loss
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I believe she should be taken. If she is a two person assist, please be sure you have that assist. As to the incontinence and the O2 they should not be a problem. I believe there will be folks there anxious to assist. I would not bother going to the burial if that is separate. She may not survive it, but they were together 67 years and this is her right. She should also be afforded the dignity to be allowed to grieve now in her own way whatever that is. To deny that this has happened after 67 years together would not work. I am saying this assuming she WANTS to go to the service. If she feels she is not up to that then that is quite understandable as well and she should not have to do it. So all said, do it her way. Whether she is operating on all cylinders or not, I feel she has a right to do this her way. I am so sorry for the grief of all involved.
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Lets not forget, she’s a two person assist. OP will need to find someone willing to help her in order to make this happen. As well as understand that she herself may not get to experience (I don’t want to say enjoy because it seems wrong to say that someone would enjoy a funeral!) her father’s funeral herself. I remember when my uncle died, I had no choice but to take my almost-two year old with me and it was not a pleasant experience but luckily my cousins girlfriend at the time, was a sweet young lady who liked kids & she helped keep her occupied.

OP I guess if you have family or friends or can hire caregivers that can help you get your mom in and out of the car and help with the toileting issues, you should try to take her. But I definitely wouldn’t do it without help.
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I say take her as she is and see how it goes. Have a friend or family member available to remove her if she says she has had enough - take her to another room or take her on home or the place where people will gather after funeral.
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Often we do things for "show"..not for the deceased, certainly, but for the living, to make ourselves 'look good' that we've done the right thing. Is this kind of in the back of your mind? That mom needs to attend so it 'looks good'? No judgment from me if that is what you need to do.

A quick consult from the doc wouldn't go amiss. And having plenty of helpers to move her around. Cemeteries have notoriously bumpy grass and pushing a wheelchair is daunting.

We don't know your mom's behavior or mental health status. You do. Just make the best decision you can.

My mother was strangely flatlined when daddy died. Of course she was 16years younger and able to walk. I know she had to take something to keep her calm, sheesh, so did I.

Try to keep the services short--funerals and gravesides are often way too long and just leave the mourners wrung out. That doesn't help the situation when you are also dealing with mental illness.

I'm sorry for your loss. I hope you get through the day with peace, if possible.
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Reply to Midkid58
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First of all, I'm very sorry for your loss. Remember to take care of yourself, too.

As for the funeral, it depends on your mother's current memory status, I think. Is she cognizant that her husband has died? Does she spontaneously bring up the fact that he died? If those answers are "no," perhaps you shouldn't take her. Funerals are for the living to satisfy their need to say goodbye, to be comforted and comfort others. To hear what their loved one meant to others and to honor that person. If she's not independently remembering his death, this is not a need she needs to fulfill. Especially if it's an open casket, she could be upset by seeing him there and not understanding.

My sister can't remember something for 5 minutes. She will call me every five minutes for a half hour and never have a clue we've already talked. So if she was at the funeral of a loved one and couldn't remember that they died, she would relive the moment of learning of their death every five minutes. That wouldn't benefit anyone.

If she's aware of what has happened and has "survived" the last five days without issue, I wouldn't worry too much about taking her to the funeral. Have a plan in place for her to be taken home if she becomes upset or confused. There's no point in her suffering through that. It's also important that YOU are able to properly grief for your father without focusing all your attention on your mother. I wouldn't institute a new medication because we never know how they will respond to it.

My sister often asks me if our mother or father are alive, or comment that she doesn't understand why her parents won't help her (both deceased since early 2000s), or she thinks her deceased husband (since 1998) is going to be upset when he finds out her kids have moved her from Ohio to Florida. If ANY of our family members died right now, I would not involve her in a funeral. There just wouldn't be any point as she's not capable of remembering and would simply relive their death over and over.

Best wishes on making your choices. There's no easy answer with this rotten disease. I'm sorry you have to deal with it in additional to everything else.
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IMO, I would not consider taking anyone who has dementia and substantial medical issues to a funeral. Unless, it's in the very early stage, I wouldn't consider live streaming either. Most of the people that I know who have dementia, are not able to focus, process or handle emotional issues. It only goes to confuse, sadden or cause anxiety. This is also an experience that she will forget, so the suffering would be pointless. I might question the doctor about if people who have dementia are able to go through the normal grieving process, due to memory loss and inability to use some parts of their brain properly.
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My mother has Alzheimer's and both parents were in assisted living/memory care facility for 2 days short of a year when my dad passed away ( at 94 yrs). I believe my dad willed himself to live to see their 70th anniversary. I had the funeral, per the instructions dad has written down decades earlier. Most of their family and friends had already passed but I had the funeral primarily to insure mom "understood" he was gone. Although she 'appeared' to understand within a few months mom was asking when dad would be back from his trip, when he was coming to pick her up to take her home, or the one that sent me "over the edge" was when I learn she was telling staff at the facility that my dad was having an affair because he hadn't come home that nite!

I framed the memorial card and obituary from dad's funeral and hung it in mom's bedroom thinking that would be a reminder-- didn't help at all.

All I can suggest is pack your patience and be prepared for almost anything during and after the funeral.
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If she seems to understand what is happening I would hire a couple of aides for the day, provide separate transportation and let her say goodbye. Doing it this way would enable the aides to take her back to her home and let you attend to the service. This has obviously triggered something in her head. Don't leave her with no closure.

I am sorry for the loss of your dad.

May God grant you grieving mercies and wisdom during this difficult time.
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smeshque Oct 8, 2019
very good advice
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My parents were married for 68 years when my father died, leaving my mother alone for the first time in her life. She's Italian, from a long line of hysterical women who tend to scream and cry and throw themselves on caskets at funerals. I was super stressed out wondering what to expect from her at dad's funeral, being held at a military cemetery, complete with taps. I mean, WHO can get through taps without breaking down? I had written the eulogy and planned to read it at the service, as the only child.

Mother has dementia, used a walker at the time, and was in so-so health 4 years ago when dad passed. I made sure she took a Xanax before we left.

Mother was fine, as it turned out. She held court with family and friends who were there to pay their respects. She didn't even need a tissue as I struggled through the tear jerker eulogy which left me feeling like a basket case. She smiled and thanked everybody for being there.

At the reception afterward at the Assisted Living community, she again remained composed even when a flower arrangement was delivered with a card signed by .......her deceased husband, my father. I thought I was going to literally have a heart attack when I saw that card. It turned out to be from my stupid uncle, dad's brother, I found out much later on, who thought it would be a touching gesture!

I didn't see her shed a tear the entire day, and she was no worse for the wear for attending the funeral, as it turned out. Personally, I think she was happy to be rid of him, but who knows?

It's hard to gauge how your mother will cope. If she wants to go, use your best judgment to decide if she's up for it. She may surprise you.

My condolences on the loss of your father. Best of luck
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Reply to lealonnie1
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From the way you wrote your question, I'm assuming her spouse is not your father. In her stead, someone representing her should go. I see no good coming from taking her to the funeral.
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Treeartist Oct 9, 2019
I’m sorry it was poorly worded. Her spouse was my father.
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At her age, and being a two person assist on oxygen & incontinent, & from the sounds of it needing to be medicated in order to attend, I would probably not take her to the funeral. I would seriously consider live streaming it or recording it for her. But that’s just me.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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I’ll answer to see if I can help, but I have no experience of this. The closest was bringing Grandma to a wedding, and we hired a competent friend (her cleaner) to bring her and take her home almost immediately. Her presence was as much for the bride as for Grandma, not so relevant here, and it let the other close relatives focus mostly on the wedding. If you could manage the same – perhaps one neighbour who would settle her back at home, and another strong helper preferably with a wheelchair lift vehicle – it might work for you. Perhaps it doesn’t matter so much if she is heavily medicated – perhaps the main reason for doing it is that you can say truthfully later that she was there.
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