Sorry to hear of your loss. When will the funeral be held?
When putting the cover back on, you should never ever press the screen. What I do is line it up, press from the back and the sides. I never touch the screen when putting the cover back on. The only time i do touch the screen is to wipe the dust off of it.
To be honest, you'd be better off buying a new Reader. That way, you at least have some spare parts such as the case, the electronics, and a spare battery. Just not a spare screen.
If your reader works well enough (other then the screen), connect it to the USB port, run connect, and deauthorize it from your Connect account and when you get the new Reader, just authorize it on youe accounts, download your books again, install them on your Reader and you'll be all set.