Sunday, October 7, 2012

Funeral Interruptions

Dementia can remind you of things we take for granted.  For instance, when you go to a funeral, you show respect.  You know that the family is grieving, and you honor them by being silent and show  your support by being there.  Grandma attended a funeral and her dementia took over.

Daddy arrived with her.  I didn't realize he was bringing her to the funeral.  The funeral was for one of our family members, but I just didn't think he would bring Grandma.

It was a nice warm day with a slight breeze.  The cemetery was quite and very peaceful.  The funeral was a simple graveside service.  Grandma wore her best Sunday clothes.  She knew exactly where she was when she arrived.  Not far from the cemetery was the house that she first lived in with my grandpa.  She made comments about going home and pointing to her old home when she arrived.  She even told Daddy that he took the wrong street.  She was directing him to her old house and didn't realize that she was attending a funeral.  I guess she thought we had finally giving in and taken her home.

She arrived and immediately recognized Molly and I.  She got out and wanted to know why we were at the cemetery.  I told her who had died and that she could sit under the tent.  The immediate family had not arrived at this point.  She sat on the front row.  She started asking again..."Who's funeral?"  "Was she married?"  "Did she have kids?"  I patiently answered her questions and tried to get her to talk softly.

The family started arriving.  Daddy was getting ready to perform the ceremony.  I made Grandma move to the second row under the tent.  At first, she refused because the second row was in the sun, but she finally gave in and moved to the back row.  When the row didn't fill up the funeral director motioned for me to fill in the seat beside Grandma.  He must have known that she was going to be a handful.

Daddy started reading the obituary.  He basically spoke two sentences when Grandma started.

"Speak up, Honey!  No one can hear you."

Daddy kept on talking.  He was less than 10 feet away from us under the same tent at the graveside.

I hushed Grandma.

She got it out one more time....."Honey, you need to speak up. No one can hear you."

Daddy giggled and said ok.

He started back and she interrupted for a third time.

"Speak up! Honey we can't hear you."

At this point, Daddy chuckled and let everyone know that was his momma.  Leave it to my grandma to speak up and interrupt daddy while he is preaching a funeral.

She continued to moan and mumble.  I told her to hush, and patted her on the back to distract her. I think I told her to shut up at one point.  I was embarrassed but I knew the family realized that I was handling her.  She finally settled down towards the last 10 minutes.  Unfortunately, the funeral was about 30 minutes long.

My Uncle R.H. was there.  Uncle R.H. looks very similar to my Grandpa.  She had made many comments to Ellis being at the funeral and standing over by the casket.  I reminded her several times he wasn't Ellis. He came over to hug her neck and I said "This is Uncle RH." She looked at me and had a frown "I know RH. You don't have to tell me."  Uncle RH and I giggled.

After he left, I directed her towards the truck.  She looked at me and wanted to know when they were going to serve the food at this reunion.  I just shook my head and told her soon.

She went and got in the truck.  Daddy took her to eat with the family.  He said she ate like a horse at the family's house.  She ate everything on her plate and asked for dessert. They had a good visit for about an hour.  They got in the truck to head home.  She looked over at him and wanted to know "How much did you have to pay for all that food?"

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