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Do I Take My Delusional Father to His Sister's Funeral?

Hello!  I'm new here.  So my father had heart surgery back in December and he hasn't been well since.  The newest thing to crop up for him is that he's been delusional the past month or so.  Not all the time, he kind of goes on and out, although it's been more in than out lately.  When the delusions are happening, he gets very, very angry.  

Anyway, my aunt, his sister, passed away last night from cancer.  She's been in hospice care for the past several months, so we knew this was coming at some point.  Before my father's heart surgery, when we found out my aunt was going into hospice, he made it known that it was very important that he go to her funeral.  (We have a very small family.)  Now that it's time though, I'm not sure if I should take him or not.  I certainly don't want him to start screeming angrily during the funeral.  (Yesterday he was screaming that he wanted to kill himself, which would not be good at a funeral.)  Our family understands what's going on and understands if he can't make it to the funeral.  However, I don't want to hurt him by not taking him either.  I have no idea what to do 😞

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@NicoleB136507 wrote:

Hello!  I'm new here.  So my father had heart surgery back in December and he hasn't been well since.  The newest thing to crop up for him is that he's been delusional the past month or so.  Not all the time, he kind of goes on and out, although it's been more in than out lately.  When the delusions are happening, he gets very, very angry.  

Anyway, my aunt, his sister, passed away last night from cancer.  She's been in hospice care for the past several months, so we knew this was coming at some point.  Before my father's heart surgery, when we found out my aunt was going into hospice, he made it known that it was very important that he go to her funeral.  (We have a very small family.)  Now that it's time though, I'm not sure if I should take him or not.  I certainly don't want him to start screeming angrily during the funeral.  (Yesterday he was screaming that he wanted to kill himself, which would not be good at a funeral.)  Our family understands what's going on and understands if he can't make it to the funeral.  However, I don't want to hurt him by not taking him either.  I have no idea what to do 😞


Oh my, thanks for writing, Nicole. Poor man, and hard on all of you, however small your family is. My first question is, any theory as to why he is suddenly delusional at times? A quick visit with his doc, his internist, might get him off something that is making him less sharp. He also could have a urinary tract infection. Believe it or not, UTIs really affect mental status in older people. Who knew. 

 

Maybe something like haloperidol, for his delusions might help? 

 

I'd take him. Everyone knows he's a bit off, and he'll be surrounded by people who love him most. Don't try to counter the delusions, just reassure. If he's a veteran, and gets really out of line, someone can always bark, 'STAND DOWN SOLDIER!"   He's not in a good place, and he just lost his sister, so i imagine it will be hard for everyone.

 

Do try to see what can be done about the delusions. There is a cause. If they can be treated, it's a good idea to do that.

 

Write more? Tell us how it goes?

 

Jane

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Thanks Jane!  They've been working on the "why" with him, but haven't been able to figure out much.  They think it might be pain-related.  Not a UTI (that would have been too easy).  Great idea for a veteran, but he's not one so I don't think that would work lol.  (He was hit by a truck when he was 5 years old and has been disabled since so he didn't qualify for service.)

- Nicole

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Jane:

Unfortunately, my dad passed away Thursday.  We had just signed the papers to begin hospice care for him four hours earlier and then we got the call that he had passed.  So we have two funerals this week - my aunt's on Wednesday and my dad's on Friday.  It's going to be a very, very hard week.

- Nicole

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@NicoleB136507 wrote:

Jane:

Unfortunately, my dad passed away Thursday.  We had just signed the papers to begin hospice care for him four hours earlier and then we got the call that he had passed.  So we have two funerals this week - my aunt's on Wednesday and my dad's on Friday.  It's going to be a very, very hard week.

- Nicole


Oh Nicole. I'm so sorry. Oh my. The whole family must be reeling. I hope you all are supportive of one another. How very very painful. 

The only thing i ever experienced that came close was 1992; i was 32, and my nephew died of SIDS in April and our mother died (at the age of 55 of preventable causes, **bleep** Christian Science) on June 1. Our small family was completely undone for a while. Ugh. I had my sister and we are always backing each other up, decades later. 

You have tried to do the right thing all along. Your father was so lucky to have you and love you. 

Please try to take care of yourself. The grief will be intense. Make some room for it. Okay? I'm so very sorry.

I hope you feel surrounded by love even though your heart is aching.

Jane

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@NicoleB136507 wrote:

Thanks Jane!  They've been working on the "why" with him, but haven't been able to figure out much.  They think it might be pain-related.  Not a UTI (that would have been too easy).  Great idea for a veteran, but he's not one so I don't think that would work lol.  (He was hit by a truck when he was 5 years old and has been disabled since so he didn't qualify for service.)

- Nicole


So, how did it go?

Your poor father. Life has been pretty different for him, huh. But he managed to have you, and a full life i'm assuming, and hopefully whatever happened, he knows he's loved. 

 

Life is sometimes like a box of chocolates and sometimes just a complete whack job...

 

All the best to you and yours, Nicole,

Jane

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