Author Topic: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!  (Read 68813 times)

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Stranger

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #75 on: April 27, 2011, 05:33:06 AM »
When I was 12, my sisters and I visited my maternal grandparents who lived in another country. I haven't seen GP's for 8 years, and my sisters had no idea who we were visiting. The adults (my parents and Grandmother) decided that the children don;t have to know that GF is in hospital with a serious heart condition, so I had *no* forewarning.

On the second day of our visit, I answered the phone as my GM was out. I was told (by the Matron of the hospital, who thought that she was speaking to my mother) that my (MY) father had passed away an hour ago. I was absolutely hysterical. When GM came home, I was a blubbering mess, and I told her that I wanted to go home *right now* because my father had died!

GM called my mother to make arrangements for our return trip and to offer heartfelt condolences to her daughter who had just been widowed - only to have my father answer the phone. Cue GM realising that the "father" who had passed was her husband  :-[

I was only twelve, nobody should blame me that I let out a very relieved "yeah!!!!!" when I was told that my father was in excellent health, but that my GF had passed. Not my finest moment, though.

Also - please make sure that you inform the correct person of a beloved's passing.

Just Lori

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #76 on: April 28, 2011, 08:27:19 AM »
This story is as mortifying to me today as it was 15 years ago.

My grandmother was dying of breast cancer when the nursing home called my mom to say she had passed.  My mom was listed as the contact for such information.  The news, while not unexpected, was devastating to my mother.  In an attempt to assume an adult role, I offered to call my aunts and uncle and let them know.

Somehow, I did not manage to communicate the right info to my uncle.  He was under the impression that his mother had taken a turn for the worse, but he was not prepared to walk into her room and find her dead, with family standing around crying.  I was devastated when my aunt started complaining that "they" didn't tell uncle that Mom has passed.  (Once my aunt realized that I was the one who made the initial phone call to my uncle, she apologized for the misunderstanding.  She's actually a nice person, but the stress of watching your loved one succumb to the disease had us all frazzled.)

As my parents grow older, I am dismayed to hear about family friends' deaths weeks after their occur.  Conversations often go like this:

Me:  By the way, how is Mrs. M doing?  Last I heard, she was in the hospital for some vague symptoms.
Mom:  Didn't I tell you?  She died.


Just Lori

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #77 on: April 28, 2011, 08:30:08 AM »
Facebook can be a particularly jarring means of communicating bad news.  I have an old elementary school classmate who is a FB friend.  One day, in the middle of a completely different thread (think something like an American Idol thread about last night's contestants), she chimed in with, "Sarah Smith passed last year."  It was very strange, and I like to assume she didn't understand the difference between posting to a wall and posting in a random thread.

Yarnspinner

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #78 on: April 30, 2011, 02:09:05 AM »
Well, there's always my dipstick ex-SIL, who reacted to my mother's death by saying "Well, I can finally have Easter and the other holidays done the way I want them."

These days I would have smacked her verbally.  Back then, everyone, including my brother walked on eggshells around her.  I said nothying to keep the peace.

This is the same dingbat who said to me "It's so good that you and Dad enjoy going to the hospital.  If it was just me and your brother, your Mom would probably die alone 'cause we hate hospitals"

Yes...Dad and I coulodn't wait to get up in the morning and run to the hospital so we could start watching Mom suffer.


Sharnita

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #79 on: May 01, 2011, 07:54:42 AM »
Yarnspinner I have noticed that in many families that some members let other members do most/all of the care taking and that kind of thing.  It seems like they always jsutify it by claiming extreme sensitivity which somehow makes them so tender hearted they can't do the work.  I think they actually concince themselves that it doesn't bother the care takers (or at leat not as much) so it isn't really the burden on those people that it would be on themselves.

exitzero

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #80 on: May 01, 2011, 08:36:00 AM »
Yarnspinner I have noticed that in many families that some members let other members do most/all of the care taking and that kind of thing.  It seems like they always jsutify it by claiming extreme sensitivity which somehow makes them so tender hearted they can't do the work.  I think they actually concince themselves that it doesn't bother the care takers (or at leat not as much) so it isn't really the burden on those people that it would be on themselves.

Oh yes, it was much too "emotional" for my brother to visit my dad. Good thing I'm so hard-hearted.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.

Doll Fiend

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #81 on: May 01, 2011, 09:46:28 PM »
For me, it was was my Mother calling me at work and telling me A) My aunt had her baby and B) my Cousin had her baby (different sides of the family) And C) One of my grandmothers died.

Stunned I was. . . Boss drove me to the hospital to be with family for both babies and Grandmother. Quite a family reunion.

JadeAngel

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #82 on: May 01, 2011, 10:12:23 PM »
This is actually kind of funny in a sad way.
DH and I went to a friends house one night for dinner. Halfway through the evening he looks at me and says "By the way, my dad called, My grandmother kicked the bucket this morning".

When my Grandmother passed away the doctors advised us to call members of the family we wanted at the hospital before they switched off the machines because they thought she would be gone in a few hours once the machines were switched off (the joke was on them, she lasted another seven days) but this led to a cousin being given the task of ringing 'estranged aunt' and the following conversation at 3am in the morning;

Hi *estranged aunt* it's *cousin*. I'm just ringing to let you know that Grandma's on her last legs...

Honestly we were all so stressed out and sleep deprived that we all got a case of the snortgiggles in the hospital waiting room, but after that effort cousin was not asked to make any more phone calls...

cabbagegirl28

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #83 on: May 03, 2011, 11:24:30 PM »
My heart breaks for all of you people.  :'(

((((thisthread))))

If only people were more sensitive to others' concerns...


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Corbin

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #84 on: May 04, 2011, 02:48:07 PM »
I rarely comment but I felt compelled to on this post. 

When my son died I was holding him in my arms, when the moniters read zero to everything the doctor on duty came in, listened to his heart, said "Finally, he's gone"  I almost died right there.  I started yelling and crying "how dare you say finally, Sweet monkey fritters! do you mean?"  I was so upset I almost needed a shot to calm down. 

That's heartless :'(



This is why I'm becoming a nurse. I would have been helping out with your son, disconnecting the tubes and trying to hold your hand. The doc would have said that. I'd have smiled at you, smoothed your hair, and slapped the living p*ss out of him.

And that, right there, sums up why I love Auntie Venom.

And to the first poster in the quote, I am so sorry for you loss, and for the fact that some in the medical profession can be so...wrong. There are many of us who try very hard to do better.
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Perfect Circle

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #85 on: May 05, 2011, 10:36:24 AM »
When my first husband died, I couldn't get on hold of anyone else in homecountry than my youngest sister. She was still living at home with my parents, I think she was 19 at the time and off from school.

I spoke to her briefly and asked her to try to get on hold of my parents and other sister I was still talking to at the time.

So, instead of calling anyone, she sent them a text. No warning, it just said 'Sister's husband is dead, she found him in the kitchen this morning.'

My other sister was working in deepest Lapland for her thesis research at the time, miles from anywhere, driving on her own. She had to get help to get back to her residence because she couldn't drive. My parents were in the supermarket where they dropped the shopping and rushed home to call me.

And the absolute winner was my then neighbour who'd done some gardening for us. He came over before my husband had been taken away to ask if I was going to sell my house and to remind me that DH hadn't paid him for the last bit of work I'd done... ::)
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Corbin

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #86 on: May 05, 2011, 05:08:36 PM »
When my first husband died, I couldn't get on hold of anyone else in homecountry than my youngest sister. She was still living at home with my parents, I think she was 19 at the time and off from school.

I spoke to her briefly and asked her to try to get on hold of my parents and other sister I was still talking to at the time.

So, instead of calling anyone, she sent them a text. No warning, it just said 'Sister's husband is dead, she found him in the kitchen this morning.'

My other sister was working in deepest Lapland for her thesis research at the time, miles from anywhere, driving on her own. She had to get help to get back to her residence because she couldn't drive. My parents were in the supermarket where they dropped the shopping and rushed home to call me.

And the absolute winner was my then neighbour who'd done some gardening for us. He came over before my husband had been taken away to ask if I was going to sell my house and to remind me that DH hadn't paid him for the last bit of work I'd done... ::)
Oh wow, that is just so far beyond the pale...

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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #87 on: May 05, 2011, 10:08:59 PM »
Not so much a bad delivery story but a SS coworker who didn't make it any easier to deal with. 

BG: In 2008 I was working in a doctor's office as a medical records clerk and nice cowoker (NCW) asked me if I'd feed her Bettas while she was on her honeymoon.  I said sure, no problem, and made sure they were well taken care of that week, including changing their water the Thursday before she returned.   Now, my paternal grandmother, the only grandparent I had remaining, had been suffering from Alzheimers for several years and was getting worse and worse, and this Thursday I stopped by my parent's house on the way home from work for some reason and my mom told me "Grandma's sick with pneumonia, she's in the hospital and the doctors don't think she's going to make it, she might only have a few more days left in her."

Then I get home and there's a message on my home machine from Wicked coworker (WCW) saying simply "The water was too hot." Seriously, that was it, but I figured she meant the fish's water, but I knew I had made sure the water was a good temp for Mr. Fish (that was his name) before putting him in.  I shrugged it off and went back to worrying about Grandma, whom I had always been very close to.

I got in the next day and WCW tells me the fish had died and it was all MY fault because the water was too hot.   I know it wasn't, and decided to just ignore her as I'm going about my day.   Or try to ignore her.   She started walking around the front office loudly in a very PA way talking about death and making sure everyone knew that Pirate was the one who killed NCW's fish.   When one girl got off the phone with a patient, WCW, who had been evesdropping, says "Oh, did someone DIE?" CW looks at her and says "Um, no, why?"  WCW: Oh I don't know, everyone's DYING around here, there's just a lot of DEATH in the air..."

I'm trying to ignore her, but it's not working and while she's not succeeding in making me feel guilty, she is managing to remind me that my grandma is not likely going to be long for the world and likely is dying, which means I'm by my station making up charts for appointments and trying not to cry.   Mind you WCW didn't know my grandmother was ill or dying so I don't blame her for that itself but it wasn't helping, either, and I didn't really want to tell her cause she was so nasty that I wasn't sure she wouldn't up the ante on her death talk.  I finally burst into tears when one of the doctors started chatting with me in her office while I was looking for a chart to attach a fax to and word got back to WCW who shut up for the rest of the day at least, and actually she went home early.   

The irony is that when NCW came back the following Monday, I apologized for her fish dying and she shrugged and said "Ah, don't worry about it, and don't pay attention to WCW.  It wasn't your fault, and really it's just a fish, they're not known for their long life spans.  How's your grandma?"
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Poirot

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #88 on: May 05, 2011, 11:06:03 PM »
When I was 16, I was riding on a motorcycle with my boyfriend Phil, when we were hit by another car. I don't remember the accident, but I know phil gave me his helmet. When I woke up in the hospital, with a broken arm and leg, I asked if I could see Phil.

The nurse said "when you get up walking, we'll take you to the morgue."

Almost 30 years later, I still occasionally dream about it.   :'(
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Omega Mu

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #89 on: May 06, 2011, 01:55:42 PM »
Many years ago my Grandfather went to visit his brother in the nursing home.  He went to the front desk and told them he was there for Jack Smith.  The attendant said "Oh, are you from the funeral home?"