The Dementia Diary

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The Funeral Trip (day 2) ……….

on February 5, 2012
Breakfast 1

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At 6am I can hear F i L , in the adjoining room, opening and closing his hotel room door and turning the keys.  I’d already found out that are very few people staying here at the moment, as it’s out of season, so I don’t have to go and stop him making a noise.

By 7am we can hear the basin tap running.  He’s true to his word and, in order to be ready for the funeral in time (as he only has 2.5 hours to get ready!), he doesn’t bathe or shower.  I make a mental note not to sit next to him.

He gets himself dressed and we’re relieved to see that he has managed to go out and get himself a replacement black jumper; that is until he turns around and we see that it is completely covered in white fur from his cat.  It looks like it’s been used as a cat bed!

We go down for breakfast and we have the usual meal ordering trick (I’m still waiting for husband to say “I’ll have a bag on my head” as he keeps threatening to see whether F i L still says “I’ll have the same as him”).

I can’t stand watching F i L eat.  I hate the way he pushes the food forward in his mouth with his tongue as he chews.  I did have to laugh though when he was trying to eat the sauce from the baked beans with a fork and couldn’t work out why it kept falling through the prongs.

We pack our belongings.  F i L has lost his flannel!  It’s the least of our worries and he couldn’t remember if he had really brought it with him.

In the car on the way to his brother’s house he starts fishing around from his seat in the back, under the driver’s seat with his walking stick.

“What are you doing?” I say

“I’m looking to see if my thing is here.  I might have left it in the car.”  He was looking under the seat for his flannel.

“It’s not there and you’re hitting the seat while [No. 2 Son] is driving.  Stop it! It’s dangerous.”

We arrive at the house in time for F i L to take his place in the cortege.  We weren’t sure we would be able to do that.  He is very jolly and happy which is unnerving to me for two reasons.  Firstly, it’s his brother’s funeral.  Should he be happy? Did he understand what was happenning?  Secondly, when he’s that jolly he usually says something really crass.

As it turned out it we didn’t really need to worry.  Pretty much all he did was exchange pleasantries with other guests so we managed to talk to family and relax a little, and even better he doesn’t take his coat off so they never got to see his furry jumper.

The last part of the day is the cremation, and this is family only.  We gather around the coffin in the crematorium and say our part.  As the curtains close around the coffin his brother’s wife finally breaks down and crys.  She had been so brave all day and it was heartbreaking to watch her weeping.  F i L looked at her aghast!  What was she crying for?

Outside we said goodbye to each other.  Brother’s wife gave me a big hug and said

“I think it’s good that [F i L] was here…..”  The unspoken part of that statement was ‘even if he didn’t know what was going on’.

We got back in the car and after a short while he’s fishing around under the seat with his stick,looking for his flannel again.

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