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Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!

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My mother works as a temp secretary at local schools, so she fills in when someone is sick, on holiday, etc. Sometimes she's the only secretary if it's a small elementary school, sometimes she works with others when it's a larger school or a high school.

Anyway, my mother was working at one place for two weeks while one of the secretaries was on holiday. The other lady she worked with had a husband who had severe kidney problems. He was on dialysis and at the top of the transplant list. He had been given maybe months to live.

One day, this secretary gets a call: it's her husband's doctor. He says, "Hello, Mrs. Smith. Your husband just died. What do you want me to do with his body?" Just like that! No, "I'm so sorry, but I have some bad news", just "your husband just died"! He never offered any condolences, and got mad when the poor woman started sobbing so hard that she was almost choking.

Talk about a lack of bedside manner! Some people should never even consider becoming doctors, not if they have no consideration for other people's feelings!


Do not circumvent the language filter.

T'Mar of Vulcan:
The trauma counsellor at the hospital did that to me and my brother. He sits us down and the first thing out of his mouth is, "How old was your mother?" I said, indignantly, "Excuse me, WAS?" He backpedalled quickly, though, and explained how they were trying to resuscitate her but it didn't look good. Still, using a past tense auxiliary verb! I mean really!

When my MIL died, my SIL ran over the street to get help from one of the Drs at the surgery over the street. She thought that her mother was unconscious. Dr arrived and said "What's the matter? Haven't you ever seen a dead one before?"


Wow - what timing.  I was actually thinking about this earlier today.

My cousin called to tell me that another cousin of ours had passed away (drug overdose, very young - really really hard for the family).

Ever since, I have felt guilty about calling my mother at work and breaking the news to her with, "Mom... R. just called.  They found J's body..."

Admittedly, I was in shock myself at the time, but I'll never forget the sound from the other end of the phone line.  One of her coworkers had to drive her home.

I don't know that there's any good way to tell someone, but there's certainly a lot of bad ones.

Once my mothercame home andmy brother who was 17 at the time was in the garden fixing his bike. He asked "Did Marys husband have a bad heart?" (Mary being my Mothers best friend) and when my puzzled mother said he had, brother replied "Oh, cos someone phoned and said he died this morning"


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