A merry question about funerals and late-stage Alzheimer's :(
October 2, 2011 5:16 PM Subscribe
How to handle the funeral/remberance of my father, with my mother who has late-stage Alzheimer's?
posted by anonymous to human relations (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My parents have been a couple for over 50 years. Sadly, my father recently had a severe heart attack. He is in a coma and the doctors say his chances of survival are under 1% - and that his chances of non-comatose survival are significantly less than that.
This has come as a large shock to my siblings and I who "assumed" that our apparently healthy father (well as healthy as you can be in your 90's with a 10-year old triple heart bypass) would be here a while beyond my mother. We are looking for advice (we are also, obviously, seeking professional support, but would appreciate your help too - especially if you have been in a similar situation!) about how to deal with thel funeral / remembrance arrangements.
While my mother is very happy and friendly in her life - she has late stage Alzheimers disease and she is in care - she lives in her own world and is no longer capable of having a sustained (where sustained is the length of a conversation) interaction with anyone except possibly "that lovely man" who will no longer be visiting her as he is now dying and in a coma. My mother could probably travel, with assistance, to the funeral - but she is not going to understand what is going on and the whole event is likely to cause her only significant distress and disruption as opposed to anything positive, so we are tentatively proposing holding the funeral/remembrance without her.
At the same time, they have been/were "together" since the 1940's. They were undoubtedly the most important people in each others lives for longer than we have been alive and it is important to us that their relationship is at the heart of our remembrance of them. We just don't know how to handle this process without feeling like there is a huge (living) hole in the middle of it. So - If you have gone through something similar or have additional advice - beyond seeking professional help - it would be most welcome.