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Bereavement

Bureaucracy - a rant. (A bit long. Sorry)

(12 Posts)
Scribbles Wed 05-Feb-20 14:49:28

My OH decided a couple of years ago to "put his affairs in order" to make life as easy as possible for me should he die first. That's just the kind of thoughtful, helpful man he was.

After his death on 20 January, D and I were told there was to be a Home Office post mortem and no death certificate could be issued until after this. The post mortem took place on 30 January and I was told that an interim death certificate would be issued and the death could be registered so that all the essential admin - notifying banks, pension providers, HMRC, etc, etc - could begin. However, we couldn't have his body back for another 7 days at least in case the driver who ran OH over wants to arrange a second, private post mortem. This is his legal right and it's quite possible that such a PM might not take place for several weeks.

In the meantime, our chosen funeral director had booked a private cremation for 14 February because we all thought the formalities would be over by then. I'm still crossing my fingers that they will.

The interim death certificate hadn't arrived by Monday and everyone, coroner's officer, Family Liaison officer, seemed to be dodging my calls. So I engaged a solicitor and asked him to put a rocket up the relevant posterior. (I had planned to use a solicitor to obtain probate and deal with the will, anyway).

D then had a call on Monday afternoon from the FLO to say the interim certificate (several copies) would be posted to me that day.

As of today, they haven't arrived. I called the FLO who contacted the coroner's officer. They were posted second class!
Wonderful. To say I was in a towering rage is an understatement. I didn't trust myself to call the coroner's officer for fear of what I might say. So I called my solicitor to ask if it's possible/reasonable to request more copies to be couriered to me today. He's not available and his phone goes to voicemail. I left a message but nobody has called back.

So here I sit, 16 days after my lovely man's death, unable to do anything practical and completely alone, angry and lonely. All the trouble OH took to make sure everything was straightforward has gone for nothing because someone couldn't be bothered to send a package 1st class signed-for.

I know there have to be procedures; I know the car driver's rights must be protected but I wonder if the people who muddle through these rules and regs have ever lost someone in an accident? If any of them have the foggiest idea what it feels like to be alone in a pit of despair, being given the runaround by people for whom it's all in a day's work before they go home to their spouses?

Am I being so unreasonable to have wanted only to get most of the admin done so that we can say our personal goodbye at the crematorium next week with clear minds?

lemongrove Wed 05-Feb-20 15:00:50

Not unreasonable at all Scribbles I think it’s extremely poor that they hadn’t send the interim death certificate straight away and first class post or registered post.
Bureaucracy at it’s worst!
Sending you my best wishes that all will be straightened out soon.It’s bad enough to lose your DH in a traffic accident without shoddy and unfeeling officialdom making things worse.💐

SueDonim Wed 05-Feb-20 15:37:28

That’s just dreadful, Scribbles. As if you’re not suffering enough. flowers

I hate that feeling of being just a very small and unimportant cog in a massive machine. It’s dehumanising.

By way of distraction for you, I recently tried to open an online savings account with a building society. I couldn’t do it because they needed to send me a PIN to activate. Which they send by post. Second class. For an online account. And when you do get the PIN you only have nine seconds to enter it into the online form otherwise it closes down and they have to send you another PIN! confused

Wheniwasyourage Wed 05-Feb-20 16:59:07

Oh Scribbles, I feel so sorry for you as you are having to go through all this terrible stuff after losing your OH. Bureaucracy can be upsetting for anyone, but there is absolutely no excuse for what you have had to put up with from people who must be used to dealing with the newly bereaved and should know better angry.

Sending you [hugs] and flowers

Scribbles Wed 05-Feb-20 17:11:56

Thanks, everyone. I was starting to feel like Mrs Unreasonable.

An update: since I posted above, the coroner's officer rang to say that they've had no request for a second PM so they plan to release OH to my funeral director as soon as the green form for cremation is signed tomorrow.

I asked where are the interim certificates and he got all apologetic and said well, actually, er, sorry and all that but they weren't posted until yesterday. 2nd class. Nobody had any business saying it was Monday, he didn't authorise it, and so on, and on. In the end, I couldn't stop crying so it was difficult to rage at him.

Funeral director then rang to confirm they're collecting OH from Leicester on Friday morning. For some reason, that made me cry even harder. But things do seem to be moving at last.

Callistemon Wed 05-Feb-20 17:24:22

No, Scribbles YANBU.

At a time when people are grieving, have so much to sort out, why the bureaucracy should be so slow is astonishing. Nothing should be sent second class.

When DB died, the hospital doctor who signed the death certificate wrote down something different as cause of death than the actual diagnosis. That held everything up because they then decided there had to be a post-mortem when there should have been no need.

I'm glad everything is moving forward, a terrible time but it is made worse by inefficiency.

SueDonim Wed 05-Feb-20 17:27:50

That’s all so sad. I’m glad things are moving now but why must people endure such stress? flowers

MawB Wed 05-Feb-20 17:53:31

This is an ongoing nightmare for you Scribbles but I sincerely hope that you will find it easier to know your DH is “coming home” and that next week’s Good-bye will bring some peace of mind flowers

bikergran Wed 05-Feb-20 18:04:43

Really sorry for you and all the hoops you have had to jump through at a sad and devastating time for you all.

Thorntrees Wed 05-Feb-20 18:05:03

So sorry for all the stress you are having to cope with on top of grieving for your dear husband.
Your comment about crying when the funeral director told you about collecting your OH brought me to tears. When my Mother died I was living many miles away and undergoing chemotherapy so all the arrangements had to be made by phone or post- so frustrating. When the funeral director phoned to say”we have got your Mum safe in our chapel of rest” it was both a comfort but upsetting at the same time and I too cried on hearing his words so I can understand how you feel. I do hope everything goes smoothly from now on.x

rosecarmel Wed 05-Feb-20 18:07:49

I'm sorry for your loss .. flowers

Smileless2012 Wed 05-Feb-20 18:10:20

You are certainly not being unreasonable or
Mrs. Unreasonable, far from it.

I'm pleased that at last things are moving forward and hope that there are no more hurdles for you to get overflowersx