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Old 11-15-2017, 05:26 PM
 
4,447 posts, read 2,623,195 times
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This may belong in a different forum, but I figure those of you who have retired have faced this.

My father called today to tell me my Aunt, my mother's sister, passed away today.

He's pretty shaken up, as she was exactly his age. He said he doesn't "do" funerals anymore as he's not sure he can "hold it together " for yet another funeral. They were close. I think I'm going to force the issue and make him go with me.

Also his brother, a lifelong smoker, has 4th stage ( I think?) Lung cancer, so he's facing losing him as well.

So besides the "usual", if there is such a thing, how would I consol him into better spirits, and to see it as a celebration of her life, not a death spiral, so to speak?

My mother passed long ago, and he's down to one sister in law, a brother and sil, and a cousin. All of his other contemporary relatives, both blood and via marriage, are now gone.

???

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Old 11-15-2017, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
8,408 posts, read 9,157,087 times
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Sorry about you and your dad’s situation I don’t think there is much you can say. Beyond being there for him. If he is religious you can remind him to look to the Lord for comfort and perspective. We all die and it was their time and his time will occur in due time. This is how life is. Coming from a Retired Christian Social Worker.

As a life lesson, to all reading this, get connected with community and friends. Family will die off, but friends and community will always be around. Takes some work, but we’ll worth it!
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:22 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Yes, sorry for his (your) loss,

I would not pressure him to go to funeral, but I would avail him your companionship / shoulder in case he DOES change his mind or NOT. (allow him the freedom)

Sometimes a funeral is NOT the right way for closer. Depends..

Be there for him (more than ever) Let him mourn at his own pace.

Discuss how he might like to memorialize (contribute, write a piece for the funeral, share pictures, meet with relatives apart from the funeral... do something your Aunt would have enjoyed...)

My 94 yo FIL just lost 4 siblings and close friends in 2 months. He chose to NOT go to funerals (2500 miles away), but he had been treated (by me) to 3 trips to see them this yr (usually went once every other yr).

He is sad, but he had some great times on the trips this yr, so he will heal, but there is a permanent loss (siblings were close / farm kids).

We do not 'swoon' over him (overload response), but we check-in 2-3x more often via phone (4 hrs away), and make an effort to have someone check on him and visit him. (as per above... don't let him become a recluse if he needs to talk. Being engaged to help others and / or show appreciation is a very effective way to heal (at the right time))
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:31 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
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You can’t counsel or escort someone out of grief...it takes time and is very personal. You might be able to find out the basis of his fears. He surely knows people who are survivors or who are healthily aging. Having a supportive social outlet might help especially with people who are his age.
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Old 11-16-2017, 01:37 AM
 
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For those against forcing the issue....he has made the trip to the Midwest, Which now takes him 3-4 days to get there,
( instead of the 9.5 hours drive in one day it would take me) during the summers, but each year has complained that:1) it will be his last trip, and 2) he didn't get to "see everybody" when he does go.

I have explained each year " you only get to "see everybody " at weddings and funerals." Since there are vurtually no more weddings, then that leaves funerals.

He also laments it may be his last time to "see everyone", himself, I thoroughly think he should go.

We'll see.....

I'll find out more tomorrow ( today now).....

Thanks
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:33 AM
 
Location: middle tennessee
1,926 posts, read 993,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Yes, sorry for his (your) loss,

I would not pressure him to go to funeral, but I would avail him your companionship / shoulder in case he DOES change his mind or NOT. (allow him the freedom)

Sometimes a funeral is NOT the right way for closer. Depends..

Be there for him (more than ever) Let him mourn at his own pace.

Discuss how he might like to memorialize (contribute, write a piece for the funeral, share pictures, meet with relatives apart from the funeral... do something your Aunt would have enjoyed...)

My 94 yo FIL just lost 4 siblings and close friends in 2 months. He chose to NOT go to funerals (2500 miles away), but he had been treated (by me) to 3 trips to see them this yr (usually went once every other yr).

He is sad, but he had some great times on the trips this yr, so he will heal, but there is a permanent loss (siblings were close / farm kids).

We do not 'swoon' over him (overload response), but we check-in 2-3x more often via phone (4 hrs away), and make an effort to have someone check on him and visit him. (as per above... don't let him become a recluse if he needs to talk. Being engaged to help others and / or show appreciation is a very effective way to heal (at the right time))


Just repeating this excellent post. Maybe help plan a reunion with people he would like to see later on after the funeral and help make it happen. Not too much later.
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Central NY
4,685 posts, read 3,256,586 times
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I just found out a funeral director who took care of my sister's funeral passed away himself. I don't know what happened to him. He was only 63 and a very fine man. I was planning to have him do mine when I die.

Life is full of surprises.
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:11 AM
 
Location: Location: Happy Place
3,697 posts, read 1,877,339 times
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Sometimes there is NO consoling someone. They have to work through their grief.

With the exception of my son, a few cousins I am not close to, and my husband, I have no living relatives. I'M NEXT on the Price is Right. And I'm ok with it. It is the progression of life.



[/quote]
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Central NY
4,685 posts, read 3,256,586 times
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^^^^ I am "next" on the Price Is Right. When I first realized it, I was a bit depressed. But I've gotten OK with it. As mentioned above, it's progression of life. I seriously do not want to live forever.
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:01 PM
 
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Well, we buried my Aunt today. Fine ceremony.

For me, and maybe For my father, there was some shade of burying my mother again.

My mother's last remaining sister, my last remain aunt, had a difficult time. She kept saying " I have to let her go ". She's But died all her sisters who lived to adulthood.

Maybe my father was right not to come, and I did Not force him to come.

I knew that unless everybody shoes up for our last remaining aunt's funeral, I will never see all my cousins together again. Only one was missing, " too busy to come".

Ah well this chapter is closed save for the memories.

She is with all who predeceased her.

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