I tried briefly to explain to Mom what had happened, that her husband was dead but even standing in the room looking at Dad’s body, Mom could not comprehend what had happened. I tried another track.
Mom frequently talks about her parents. Of course she always talk about them in the present tense, she’s going to see them or talk to them… as if they are still alive. They died decades ago.
I told Mom that Dad was leaving on a trip to see her parents. Mom understood that. She just couldn’t fathom why he was going on a trip and leaving her behind.
As I saw Mom to bed this evening, she worried about me eating enough and we laughed together over something silly.
I won’t be able to take Mom across country to the service and burial, too hard to travel with her. I’m thinking though of a separate event after I return, local to us which both Mom and the nursing home staff can participate in. A picnic or something. The staff has become like family and they are grieving Dad’s death as well.