This morning I was fortunate enough to pray the 5 Joyous Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Virgin with my grandfather. I recited the prayers, and he listened, probably praying in his heart. Afterwards, we chanted some Psalms together (followed by him repeatedly asking me if I was interested in the priesthood and me repeatedly saying, "No, Grandpa, that's not my vocation."...repeat).
I've been wanting and meaning to recite the Rosary with him for some time now as I wonder how much he continues to be able to participate in Catholicism since my parents aren't Catholic and who would take him to Mass and to Confession? Every time I ask him if he'd like to go to Confession, he says he just went (which isn't true but he believes it to be so because of the Alzheimer's) and I think that I should just pick him up and tell him we're going and that way he'll be more likely to do it.
What I'm concerned about is Christian death here. Will my grandfather have a Christian burial with the Sacrament of Extreme Unction and Requiem (Mass for the Dead)? The thought that he may not receive these Sacraments is very concerning to me and I'm to the point where I'm going to call around and see if any priest knows how to offer the Sacrament of Extreme Unction in the Extraordinary Form. I do not want him to pass from this life without being helped by the Sacraments... I know that my family wouldn't bother too much about this because they are either not Catholic or are no longer practicing, or are "hardly" practicing and if anything, this would just be a "formality."
How sad that the very means by which our gracious and loving Lord gives His superabundant Grace to us are merely considered formalities now. How many people receive the Sacrament of Christian Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion) and never see church again until (if even) they receive the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony or are being buried? How often do priests administer the Sacrament of Extreme Unction (or Last Rites as they are commonly called)?
Death is a very peculiar time for the demons which torment us throughout our lives and influence us to sin flock to our souls to snatch it to Hell before we have a chance to repent and be saved. Therefore, the aid of the Sacrament of Extreme Unction is extremely necessary.
As his grandson and a fellow Catholic, I am concerned about this and feel alone because who can I really talk to in my family about this? What do I do? I feel urged to do something so that he has the best chances for salvation that a man of his state and age and with that illness has.