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Why do we torture the grieving.

(16 Posts)
Kiora Thu 28-Aug-14 17:07:43

My family has had a bereavement. Our relative died in the early hours of Tuesday morning. I rushed up arriving at 8 the same morning. We stayed over night and all the next day. Returning late last night. He had been chronically ill for over a year and the death was expected at anytime. But he had soldiered on bravely with the love and comfort of his large, immediate and extended family. He was a remarkable man much loved by us all. We are bereft. We were told he had to have a P.M because he hadn't seen his G.P recently. ( he was under 3 specialist hospitals) There was a delay because there had been a bank holiday. We cannot make any arrangements until we have the death certificate. We have to wait until we receive a telephone call which may or may not be tomorrow. If it's after 3 we won't be seen by the funeral directors until Monday. We have no idea how long a burial takes to organise. I have a horrible feeling that it may not be until the week of the 8th September. Almost three weeks after the event. It's pure torture. We are in limbo. His wife of 53 years is doing a sterling job of dealing with things. Apart from this horrible waiting the pressure on all the family is beyond torture. No one can in this current climate can take three weeks off work. So here we are grieving, having to go back to work when we need to be together as a family. Being at work but worrying about his immediate family. Worrying about taking time off for the funeral, worrying about giving support following the funeral. Lots of us live 300 miles away so on top of everything else there lots of travelling. My own husband is appalled. He is Irish and tells me that even in an unexpected death there wouldn't be this delay. They bury their dead within a week. So the family come together support each other with the shock and grief arrange the funeral and are able to support the vulnerable following the funeral because employers or the self employed can often take a week off. They don't have the added anxiety of going to work or indeed worrying about taking time off. Sorry if this post is a bit gibberishy but I'm upset, tired and wholly grief stricken. I want to be sitting around the big kitchen table supporting and being supported by my wonderful Liverpool family. Not here on my own upset after holding it together at work and having messages that I have to attend an interview about it next week with my team leader. (They may very well be understanding, but everything is so 'policy ridden' now that they may not) sad very very very sad

Galen Thu 28-Aug-14 17:16:05

I'm afraid that that is the law. The GP I think can issue a certificate if the coroner agrees,
I should enquire about this. The law may have changed since I was a GP

Mishap Thu 28-Aug-14 17:28:07

I think it is possible to start making arrangements without the certificate - e.g. day, venue, nature of the service, readings, music etc., so that as soon as you have the piece of paper, you are on the starting blocks and ready to go.

It must be so hard for you to have this delay at such a sad time and I send supportive thoughts to you and all your family.

GrannyTwice Thu 28-Aug-14 17:42:40

Kiora - condolences - this is a hard time for all of you. I'm sure Galens right. The person who signs the death certificate has to have seen the person within the last 14 days. I'd be surprised if there has to be a post mortem though given his hospital care. I hope work are understanding

whenim64 Thu 28-Aug-14 18:02:14

Condolences, Kiora. The funeral director should be able to assist in making arrangements pending the release of your relative for burial, as it's something they deal with often.

Iam64 Thu 28-Aug-14 18:06:03

condolences Kiora, I hope the posts above are reassuring. We managed to avoid a pm when dad died (similar circs) after a discussion between the Coroner and the GP. (as Galen suggests in her post)

kittylester Thu 28-Aug-14 18:33:28

Condolences Kiora - sorry you are having to deal with this. flowers

From what I have noticed and heard about funerals, delays of this length are not unusual regardless of whether the re is a PM. Horrid that everyone has to be in limbo like this!

Galen Thu 28-Aug-14 19:20:37

I know when I was a GP of a death was expected I could phone the coroner and I can't remember if he issued the cert or gave me permission to do so. I know no PM was involved.

Lilygran Thu 28-Aug-14 20:02:13

Kiora you have all my sympathy. Several family members have died in the last year and there had to be an inquest and post mortem and in some of the other cases, the doctor couldn't issue a certificate immediately because they hadn't seen the person in the previous week (group practices - how often do you see the same person?). The only straightforward one was my cousin because he died in hospital. I know they have to be careful but it makes it all so much worse, doesn't it?

Eloethan Thu 28-Aug-14 23:55:18

So sorry to hear your sad news Kiora.

Bellasnana Fri 29-Aug-14 06:19:04

Firstly, I am so sorry for yor sad loss. I don't understand why there has to be such a long delay either. When Mum died two and a half years ago, there was no need for a post mortem but it still took three weeks before her funeral could take place due to there being such difficulty in getting an appointment to register her death.

On the contrary, here in Malta, I find it is all done too quickly. My hairdresser's father passed away late on Sunday and his funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon, and it is not unusual here to have the funeral within 24 hours of the death sad

Aka Fri 29-Aug-14 07:34:56

kiora I know what it's like. We had all this too. It's the law.

GadaboutGran Fri 29-Aug-14 16:11:27

So sorry Kiora that you are going through all this. You ask "why do we torture the grieving?". It is a common occurrence unfortunately especially with traumatic & sudden death. It seems that bureaucratic procedures cannot always handle grief & speak a different language. I have heard so many horror stories from my work with people bereaved by major disaster that you soon realise what a common phenomenon it is. As bereaved parents ourselves we were vilified by Health authorities & others when we tried to research the issues behind DD's death & we weren't even laying blame anywhere in particular - just trying to collect & collate facts to help learning. Recently, my SiL's father died in normal circumstances & even with this death the cruel behaviour we saw towards his wife was unbelievable. For a start it is now common with some cemeteries in London to have a 3 week waiting list for a funeral. Then the priest of the church they'd belonged to since arriving from Malta in the 1960s refused to do the funeral service on that day & made it hard for anyone else to take his place. He'd not been round to visit or offer any comfort. After some complaints to the Diocese, he phoned the wife (in her 80s with heart problems) at 5.30 am! to say he would take the funeral after all. By this time another church & kindly Priest had been found.
It is commonly said in some circles that you should leave the bereaved & traumatised to family, friends, GPs & vicars/priests etc for a month before offering professional support. In my long experience it is often people from each of these groups, & plenty more, that cause more & unecessary problems which early informed help could prevent. Many people are just very poor at handling death & bereaved people - they are both 'inconvenient', interrupting the flow of everyday busy life & reminding others of their own mortality.

Galen Fri 29-Aug-14 16:18:21

I had problems with DH's funeral, in that the rectum rector had taken the church booking diary away with him on holiday and no one was allowed to book the church without his permission. The whole of our choir was really annoyed and the lovely vicar took it upon himself to allow the funeral to go ahead.
I complained to the bishop and this was added to the many complaints we had against our rector.
He was told that this must not happen again and the diary must always be available. It was still a gap of about 7-8 days until the funeral

Galen Fri 29-Aug-14 16:20:29

He never came to see me or Peter in his final illness. Fortunately Clive the vicar was marvellous and supportive.

GadaboutGran Fri 29-Aug-14 16:37:16

The lovely supportive ones mean so much but the cruel ones are never, ever forgotten & often raise the anger that triggers campaigns & keeps them going .. for years.