J: I'm writing this post today hoping that my parents' friends who read it will understand when our parents don't show at the wakes or funerals of their loved ones. Just today I read that a close friend of theirs died and her service is being held today. Back in the day, our parents would have dropped everything to attend the service. Today is a different story.
As I thought about telling our parents about their friend's death, I realized the futility of it. I would tell them, and they would be surprised. Though we've discussed this person's illness many times, they wouldn't remember. Then they would be sad for a moment. Then they would forget. If we decided to go to the service, they would be flustered. The church would be unfamiliar and they would be confused by everyone around them. Friends would say hello to them and they would smile, but not really know who was greeting them. The surviving spouse of this friend also, unfortunately, has dementia, so our parents' presence would be lost on him as well.
So I'm not telling them. And we're not going. And I'm asking for forgiveness going forward for every funeral we don't attend. They loved you, they cared for you, you were their friends. They just don't remember. They're sorry for your loss. I'm sorry too.