Author Topic: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!  (Read 57836 times)

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Asharah

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Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« on: September 16, 2007, 08:35:16 PM »
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!

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« Last Edit: May 09, 2011, 10:00:16 PM by War_Doc »
Asharah

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2007, 01:07:00 AM »
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!


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mechtilde

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2007, 07:32:33 AM »
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?"

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Alida

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2007, 08:04:50 AM »
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.

Calbrini

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2007, 09:07:48 AM »
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"

Just Lori

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2007, 09:26:09 AM »
I don't care if doctors deal with dying patients seven days a week.  Most families only have to get this dreaded phone call a few times in their lives, and deserve to be treated with compassion.  If a doctor or health care professional can't do that, then he or she needs to step aside and give the task to someone who can.

Shortcake

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2007, 01:14:34 PM »
I don't care if doctors deal with dying patients seven days a week.  Most families only have to get this dreaded phone call a few times in their lives, and deserve to be treated with compassion.  If a doctor or health care professional can't do that, then he or she needs to step aside and give the task to someone who can.

Well said! ITA!
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aeeden

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2007, 02:18:53 PM »
I had only been living with my roommate for a few weeks when her dad called...
"is S home?" 
I say "nope, she's at work, she'll be home 'bout 9"
he says "oh you must be aeeden!, I have heard a lot about you, how nice...so S won't be home untill 9, huh? well would you give her a message then."
me-"Sure"
him "ok, just tell her, her sister died today. thanks."
me- "huh? oh..uhh ok"  ??? i had no idea what to do, say or how to react. I have a sister, I would be beyond devastated if this were me. I didn't know S's work number so i called one of her friends, she called S at work and told her. turns out it was a step-sister that S had only met once before and didn't really know, she was upset for her step-mom of course, and went home to her dad's house, but still.  so please people, don't leave messages like this with the roommate or on the answering machine

Mom2Brett

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2007, 02:48:12 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 :'(

Alida

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2007, 03:43:39 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 :'(

Oh, Mom2Brett, that's horrible.  HUGS

Just Lori

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2007, 05:22:23 PM »
I had only been living with my roommate for a few weeks when her dad called...
"is S home?" 
I say "nope, she's at work, she'll be home 'bout 9"
he says "oh you must be aeeden!, I have heard a lot about you, how nice...so S won't be home untill 9, huh? well would you give her a message then."
me-"Sure"
him "ok, just tell her, her sister died today. thanks."
me- "huh? oh..uhh ok"  ??? i had no idea what to do, say or how to react. I have a sister, I would be beyond devastated if this were me. I didn't know S's work number so i called one of her friends, she called S at work and told her. turns out it was a step-sister that S had only met once before and didn't really know, she was upset for her step-mom of course, and went home to her dad's house, but still.  so please people, don't leave messages like this with the roommate or on the answering machine

A similar thing happened to me.  My boss' mother called and I answered boss' phone.  Boss was in a meeting, so I asked if I could take a message.  Her mother said, "Yes, tell her that her grandfather died and her dad will be going to the funeral."  I was literally starting to write "Your grandf - " before I digested what she said, and by then she had hung up.

When my boss came from her meeting, I asked if we could go somewhere private.  We went into a conference room and I tried to gently break the news to her.  She assured me that she didn't know her grandfather because he had stayed in the old country when her father came to the US.  Besides, she knew he had been sick.  Still, I think she told her mother that such a message should be conveyed personally.  Her mom had a bit of a reputation for interesting phone calls to her daughter at work.  I'd say it was a well-deserved reputation.

kherbert05

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2007, 11:20:55 PM »
Mom was supposed to bring Daddy home from the hospital. I left work early, so I could meet them there. No-one came. I went to the hospital, they are stripping Dad's room. I'm informed Daddy died - but he didn't he was in the ICU. He passed a few days later.

When we knew he was going to die. We called Mom's brother at home in Canada and told him over the phone. He went to Nanna's house (Mom's Mom) and broke the news Nanna loved Daddy very much, and my oldest Aunt was dying of liver failure.
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Paper Roses

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2007, 11:40:54 PM »
My aunt had been suffering with congestive heart failure for quite a while, and one night it got pretty bad, so my uncle had her taken to the hospital.  He went to be with her, and soon they had her stabilized.  They advised my uncle to go home and get some rest (since it was now the middle of the night) and come back and see her in the morning.

The next morning, he called the hospital to see how she was doing.  The person who answered the phone asked him (after he identified himself and told her who he was calling about), "Who?!?!?"  He gave her my aunt's name, and the person said, "Oh.  She's in the morgue!"
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Emmy

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2007, 12:28:33 PM »
I don't care if doctors deal with dying patients seven days a week.  Most families only have to get this dreaded phone call a few times in their lives, and deserve to be treated with compassion.  If a doctor or health care professional can't do that, then he or she needs to step aside and give the task to someone who can.

I agree.  Although doctors may make the phone call about somebody dying many times in their career, the person who died is somebody's loved ones and every phone call should be treated with compassion and sensitivity.  I hope the woman informed the hospital about the doctor's insensitive attitude and he was not longer allowed to deal with this situation.

Ondine

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Re: Funeral: How Not To Deliver Bad News !!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2007, 07:57:54 PM »
I just found out that my great uncle died last week - my aunt told me online on the day of the funeral.  ::) Thankfully, I didn't know him, so I didn't feel too bad. Such a crappy way to hear about it though.