Stroke and the death of a loved one

How do you tell a mother who had a stroke that affected her cognition that her child passed away? Do you even tell her? How?


@Shefkc52 welcome to the forum, that’s a tricky question, maybe talk to the mother about the child and see what responses you get. if there is recognition keep talking, like most stroke survivors (s/s) will tell you, the brain needs to rewire itself depending when the stroke was you may need to give it time. Good luck

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@Shefkc52 welcome to the forum. That is so tricky. Will depend on how badly she has been affected I guess.

I agree with @chris67 re talking to her about the child & see how she responds.

You could also ask the drs / nurses to help you with this.

Best wishes.


Hi and welcome to the forum @Shefkc52.

This is a difficult question for anyone here to answer as we don’t know nearly enough about this mother or child from what you’ve posted.
Is the mother’s stroke recent; that kind of news runs the risk of another stroke.
Is she elderly; how would she have coped with such news if she hadn’t had a stroke.

You see, just because the mother has cognition issues, doesn’t mean she is not fully compos mentis…of sound mind…trapped inside her mind…I was that way for a few weeks. That news is going to break her heart if it has to be told.

I’ll say no more, because really it’s hard to say without knowing more, even harder for you I’m sure. I’m so sorry for this loss :pray:

Hi, thank you all. She has periods of lucidity and can hold conversations. She asks about him. Her long term memory is really sharp. Sometimes she forgets how old we are and thinks we’re still little kids/teens. Her stroke happened 2.5 years ago. She’s improved a fair amount, but now uses a wheelchair, can’t quite advocate for herself, and must rely on help for ADLs. We’ve notified the staff of the facility she’s living in, and will be speaking to a psychologist tomorrow, or the coming days. It’s looking more and more like she’ll be hearing this terrible news about her middle son. It’s so devastating. I don’t know how she is going to handle this.


Then it must be done! Not knowing why he’s not seeing her will be just as traumatic for her. The not knowing can be just as soul destroying for a parent, especially if there’s no good reason for not seeing or hearing from him.

I haven’t any advice but just wanted to say i’m sorry to hear your sad news and pay my respects for your loss x

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Hi, welcome to our forum. I am so sorry to hear of the situation you find yourselves in.

Our situation was slightly different but thought I would share it anyway. My mum passed away in August last year and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 8 years before.
My dad passed away before my mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but she had forgotten. She would regularly ask where he was and whether he still loved her. At first we were unsure how to deal with her questions and we were told to go with whatever she was thinking because if we had told her that dad had passed away, it would be like hearing it for the first time every time she asked
and would be very distressing for her. So we just played along and said he would be home from work soon and that they were going out for dinner and as much as we hated saying that, it did seem like the kindest way to deal with the situation and she would ask all over again the next day when we went to visit her.
It’s a heart breaking situation to be in and my heart goes out to you. Hopefully the Psychologist will be able to guide you through this situation without causing her too much distress. I wish you and your family well.

Regards Sue

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