There are 5.4 million people who have Alzheimer's. It cost 183 billion dollars in annual costs. Alz's is the 6th leading cause of death.
To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.' When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence... 'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.
1 John 4: 9-10

Mom and Dad Happy Times.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


OK, I had a meltdown today. I am a little stressed because the kitchen sink it stopped up and I can't get it unstopped. And now I have to have my brother come in and unstop it. I even took the pipes underneath apart . They are all clean . I put it back together and still stopped up. That means it is under the house or behind the wall. That just sucks.
But the meltdown came while the nurse was here. I guess I am going crazy . For months all I think about is mom's funeral. How stupid is that? I think about it all the time. Music, food , preacher, pallbearers, the service. I know the chapel takes care of a lot of this but mom has been so out of the real world so long that her friends and family are already passed or have not been around in yrs. I worry no one will come . Or a lot will come and then how do I feed them. When my dad died we had a family dinner at church . But we have not been to that church for yrs. Our pastor comes to visit now and than but he is a pastor of a new church and the members of the old church that might still be a live have not been by for a long time. I have gotten great advice from some of you on this before . But it just bugs me all the time. The new thing is open casket or closed. Mom looks so different now. No teeth. No glasses , skinny, and her hair . Lets not go there.
I ask the nurse if she had been to a service lately for a Alzheimer's patient like mom and if the casket was open. She said yes. Than I lost it and started crying. I cry at home alone all the time. But I keep it together when someone is here. Not today. I am so stupid.
I think I will reserve a room at the Western Sizzling and tell everyone to come by if they want after the service . What do you think.? I have been to two services that did that. It was OK. Now what about the casket. Opened or Closed?


  1. Poor Karen ... I don't know what to say to be of help or comfort to you ....
    I wouldn't want the casket to be open ...

  2. That helps a lot. Thank you.

  3. Oh Karen, I sympathize with you. When my mom died I faced the same issues with many people already deceased or living in other states and also my mom's pastor had retired years ago, etc. It can make for a lot of guilty feelings. I finally thought hard about what I thought my mom would want and went with that. I feel pretty sure that your mom wouldn't want you to be stressed about it. I think your idea about going to the Western Sizzler sounds like a great idea. My mom's wish was to be cremated so I didn't face the casket issue. For what it's worth my advice again would be to think about what you think your mother would have wanted.
    My thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Whatever you decide, it will be right because you are coming at it from such a loving place.

  4. Oh, Karen, I wish I could give you a hug. I vote for a closed casket. You need to do what is easiest for you. Many funeral homes now encourage the family to make a pictoral collage or just a single (large) photo of the loved one in healthier days. This was done for my husband's parents and also for my brother's funeral. My brother's casket was open and I was so upset about that. He was to be cremated, but SIL wanted the casket open for not only visitation, but also during the service. My brother & I had a terrible relationship, but for Mother's and his family's sake, I did not show it that day. I remember standing at my dad's casket, 30 yrs ago, listening to friends & family make comments such as "he looks so natural". I decided then...CLOSED CASKET for me. I can just hear folks now..."Gee, I hadn't seen her since she gained so much weight" or "I know she would have wanted to wear something else, who picked out that outfit?"
    Do take care of yourself. Make the decisions that you want and not what others would have you do. You have been in the trenches...not them.

  5. I vote for a closed casket. I know for me personally...... I don't want people walking past my body and looking at me. In our area it seems like people are getting away from an open casket.

    I'm so sorry about the stopped up pipes. Sometimes something like this can flip us over the sure does me. I hope your brother can fix it easily.

    Karen, you've done so much for your mother for such a long, long time. Anyone who loves you won't expect you to put on a big feast. I think lunch at a restaurant would be stress about preparing food or worrying how many will come.

    As people get older, there's usually fewer people at their service.... for the reasons you mentioned...their friends and relatives have passed away.

    My suggestion: write down two songs ...two scriptures and put the paper away. The pastor who will perform your mom's service will help and give suggestions too.

    Big hugs to you Karen!!!

  6. I think that caregivers can have melt downs. We have a hard road. It's good when we let other people know the stress we are under. And plumbing problems are so annoying--just the tip of the iceberg for what is concerning us sometimes. Thanks so much blogging and being real, Karen.

    Hugs and prayers,

  7. Karen I vote CLOSED. Let people remember Mum in her glory days.
    I too would choose some songs and readings now and put them in an envelope for when they are needed.
    MELTDOWN... well all I can say is it is the Carers condition. I want to cry every morning wondering what the day will bring and my situation is in no way as intense as yours.
    Know that you are understood by so many people Karen and that whatever you decide will be the right thing.
    Big hugs across the water for you xxx

  8. Thank you so much. I am all better today. Closed it is. You don't know how this helps. Thank you again.

  9. I'm a bit late here but I think the restaurant is a good idea and I would go with the closed casket too but I too think whatever it is you decide will be the right thing.
    Your mom wouldn't want you to worrying about it all.

    Hope things worked out with your drains.

  10. Oh, Karen,
    Glad you are feeling more at ease to day.You so deserve to.
    Felt your anguish yesterday. Sometimes these things build to melt down and need release in these intense situations.
    Hope the the practical 'drains' last straw is fixed now.
    Agree with all the other responses...remember there can be no 'right' or 'wrong' way here and when the time comes you will with your grace and love 'move through' it , hopefully with much support for you. The restaurant idea sounds great and flexible. 'Closed' is the tradition here in UK. Think Dolores' idea great about hymns/ scriptures...
    Would suggest taking the idea further and very simply put all your present decisions on pieces of paper, fold and place them in a treasured lidded box/jar or pot and place that 'aside' in an honoured place. If you have any further thoughts later (for example positive memories of past shared laughter etc,)write them down too ' fold the paper and pop them in too as a little personal ritual. Sorry this is long but thought it might help.
    Chris in UK

  11. Thank you so much. Great ideas.

  12. I think the decision is yours on weather to have the casket open or closed. Don't worry about the food or the place to have the family after, Dean and I will take care of all that. You need to remember that we are all here for you and Grandma. Just enjoy the rest of the time that you have with her and don't worry about the other stuff until later. love you.

  13. If your mothers appearance has changed a lot since she got ill I would suggest to do what in the Netherlands has become acepted. Find a lovely portrait of your mother from shortly before the illnes, say, not more than a few years, and place this on the closed casket. People who did not visit your mother in her illness can not claim "the right" to see her as she was in her last days. People who did visit will see her as she was in happier times and take that remembrance with them as well as the last time they saw her alive and ill. I wish you all the strength you need, my MIL has Alzh. and lost loads of weight, we will certainly have a portrait on a closed casket.

  14. Oh Karen, I'm so sorry that I'm so behind in my reading. I just read this now. I used to obsess about my mother's funeral too. I'd lie awake at night going through the whole list of things - church, music, flowers, speeches, cemetery, guests, how to notify everyone, food and reception. Even worse, I'd obsess about how she'd die/how I'd find out/if I'd be there. G*d, this disease takes its toll on caregivers. We went with open casket and the funeral home did my mom up really nice. She actually looked really good. We gave them a picture of how she used to look and they made it so. I think we did "open" because it's a big thing with us to "see" the person one last time.

  15. thank you City girl . I need all the advice I can get.


Thanks for visiting my blog and I love reading your comments. Please come back soon. Karen

The Early, Mild to Moderate and Advanced stages of Alzheimer's in the brain.

The Early, Mild to Moderate and Advanced stages of Alzheimer's in the brain.

Seven Stages of Alzheimer's

1. No sign of congnitive impairment. 2. Very mild congnitive decline. 3. Mild congnitive decline. 4. Moderate congnitive decline. 5. Moderately severe congnitive decline. 6. Severe congnitive decline. 7. Very severe congnitive decline. (Congnitive pertains to the mental process of perception, memory, judgement, and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional and volitional processes.)

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