Sunday, October 14, 2012

Crazy Days!

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.


Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

I hope all of this can come together as smoothly, or better, as possible. It's so hard to focus and accomplish things when there are opposing forces, and in the midst of grief.
Courage, humor, patience... you'll need these in abundance! May each of you find comfort in good memories and the warmth of the loved ones around you.

the veg artist said...

So sorry. I hope things don't get too complicated. Maybe his family will come to their senses now.

judy in ky said...

Thank you both so much. We spent a long time making arrangements at the funeral home today and all went well. We even spoke to David's family on the phone, and they participated.

Pam said...

So sorry to hear this Judy.Your last comment here gives me hope. This has been such a difficult time for you all, particularly your mother. It is wonderful she has you for support.