Sunday, October 14, 2012
My 89-year old stepfather, David, died in hospice Friday night. Thankfully, he died peacefully in his sleep. It was not a surprise as we had been warned he was getting weaker and his vital signs were a little worse every day. My sister drove Mom to see him three days last week. She is a doctor so she was keeping track of how he was doing and helped Mom to understand. I took care of her girls so she could go with Mom.
Now my sisters and I are helping Mom plan a funeral... so many details. She was overwhelmed and didn't know where to begin. Yesterday I drove up to her house, about 90 minutes away. Another sister was there, and we talked to the minister and the funeral director. We made a list of things to take care of. Today I am going back up and we are going to the funeral home. We are taking clothing for David, photos for a slide show, and content for an obituary in the newspaper.
David's family has been estranged and we don't know how to approach them. He has two sons and two grandsons. We should ask them to be pallbearers. They didn't want to be involved in planning the funeral, so we're not sure how much they want to participate. When their mother died they didn't have a service or anything. It's kind of a dark cloud over everything.
Oh well, we are doing the best we can. Mom loved David and wants to do the funeral right. He was an officer in the Navy so she would like to have an honor guard, but we can't find his service records. We think his son took them to get him admitted to a V.A. hospital. I found a form online where we can request a copy. I hope we can get it in time for the funeral. One of us will probably have to work up the nerve to call the son and ask him. When we have contacted him in the past, he was belligerent, accusing us of interfering. Mom has the best of intentions; she just gets confused and feels helpless. So now I am getting ready to go visit the funeral home, drive Mom there and plan David's funeral.