Is Kathy From 'sMothered' Actually Sick? She Wants to Have Her Birthday Party at a Funeral Home

Jennifer Tisdale - Author
By

Dec. 13 2023, Published 12:53 p.m. ET

Kathy Crispino
Source: Warner Media (video still)

Kathy Crispino from 'sMothered'

The Gist:

  • Season 5 of TLC's sMothered kicks off with a birthday party for Cristina's daughter.
  • Kathy is also talking about her next birthday party, which she wants to have at a funeral home.
  • Cristina is convinced something is going on with her mom.
  • Kathy got bad news from her doctor, but has yet to tell her children.
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Season 5 of TLC's popular reality show sMothered dropped in December 2023, and with it came all of the usual codependent glory between parents and their kids. What's interesting about this show, other than every second of it, is the title. It suggests that a parent, usually the mom, is too involved in the life of their child. In other words, they are smothering them. That's not the case here as the adult children are equally as tangled up in their parents' lives. It's a two-way smothering street.

Kathy and her daughter Cristina hail from Chicago and live five houses down from each other. They are so connected that during the rare times they are apart, people ask if something is wrong. Everything is usually OK but in the Season 5 premiere, we learn that Kathy is determined to celebrate her 65th birthday at a funeral home for what she is calling a "living funeral." Cristina is deeply uncomfortable with this idea and is concerned there is more to the story. Is Kathy hiding some sort of illness?

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Cristina Bertolli and Kathy Crispino on 'sMothered'
Source: Warner Media (video still)

Cristina Bertolli and her mother Kathy Crispino from 'sMothered'

Is Kathy from 'sMothered' secretly suffering from some kind of illness?

Episode 1 of Season 5 is all about birthdays for the Crispino/Bertolli family. Cristina is throwing a huge party for her daughter's seventh birthday while Kathy is looking ahead to her 65th birthday, which is quickly approaching. At some point she toyed with the idea of having her party at a roller rink, but something a bit more macabre was speaking to Kathy.

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Planning parties is something Kathy and Cristina enjoy doing together. "We probably plan between 10 and 15 parties a year," says Cristina in the Season 5 premiere. It's no surprise that Cristina would mention the kind of party she would like to throw her mother when she eventually passes on. She told Kathy the plan was to decorate the funeral home in all the colors of every holiday. Suffering from a morbid kind of FOMO, Kathy gets the idea to throw herself a "living funeral birthday party."

Despite bringing up Kathy's funeral first, Cristina is immediately uncomfortable with this idea. She can't see the humor in it, even after Kathy suggests she "pop out of a coffin." Honestly, this party sounds amazing. With this idea firmly planted in her brain, Cristina can't help but notice that her mom is acting strangely at her daughter's birthday party. Kathy keeps dozing off, which is unusual for her. "I've never seen her pass out at a party," says Cristina to her sister. Is Kathy sick?

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Kathy Crispino from 'sMothered' asleep
Source: Warner Media (video still)

Kathy napping at her granddaughter's birthday party

Kathy got some disturbing news from her doctor she has yet to share with her children.

The idea of missing out on her own funeral isn't the only reason why Kathy wants to throw this living funeral birthday party. She is also convinced genetics are working against her. She tells Cristina that both her mother and grandmother died at the age of 68, which is concerning for Kathy. Naturally Cristina is not happy about a revelation that feels more like a family curse than a theory.

Unfortunately there is something else Kathy has yet to share share with her children. "A few weeks ago I got some news from my doctor," Kathy says in a confessional. "It's not good news. It's not news that you want to get at this stage of the game." Kathy alludes to having to "deal with" something no one would want to deal with. To make matters worse, Kathy is struggling to find a way to tell her children what is going on. As of the time of this writing, viewers are also in the dark.

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