Chat with a granny now
Chat with a granny now
'What,” Grandma wanted to know, “did you wear to that dinner you were at last night? I’m writing this piece in the hope that anyone reading it who may be caring for a terminally ill friend or relative who is expected to die at home can avoid falling into the same trap. Mum and I were beside her, and in those last few days she’d been surrounded by friends and family, with life going on all around her. What we didn’t realise was that a single piece of bureaucracy would transform the time in the immediate aftermath of her death from one of private adjustment into a distressing wrangle for which neither of us had the emotional budget.
I know it will sound silly – what does it matter once someone is dead?
In our case, the coroner eventually signed off the death as caused by lung disease with no fuss and no post mortem, leaving us free, a couple of days later, to continue with arrangements as we pleased. A simple visit from the GP was all we’d have needed.
The funeral was beautiful; a bright, sunny day at Skipton crematorium; a coffin woven from Somerset willow covered in spring flowers and a cheery lunch afterwards overlooking Ilkley Moor.
As long as they are well and happy, it doesn't matter where they are in the world.
And I get long holidays in the sun during the Alpine winter! 4 are in Sydney which is difficult and 2 2 are in the south of England 450 miles away.
She had woken thirsty, and I’d just squeezed a syringeful of water into her mouth because she didn’t have the energy to sit up, though mentally she was clearly still absolutely “with it”, as she would have said. It was as peaceful and as kind a death as I think it might be possible to have. The curtains were open because she liked to see out. All of our energy had been thrown into life: how to minimise pain, how to make her comfortable.
What you need to know is this: if a person has not seen their GP in the 14 days preceding their death, or is not seen by them immediately afterwards, the case must be referred to the coroner. If the death happens outside surgery hours – in the night, say, or at the weekend – and you reach for the phone and find yourself visited by a different doctor, even one from the same practice, the case will go to the coroner. “It is really to make sure, if the person is not seen by a doctor who has cared for them as a patient, that the correct cause of death is entered on the death certificate,” explains a Home Office spokesman.Anybody can come and sit down at the laptop and talk with Eileen even though she lives clear across the country.Hundreds of people have stopped by her booth to hear the advice this wise woman has to share or just to chat.But when that happens, your private moment of grief is hijacked by the relentless machinery of the state, which can be incredibly distressing. She had been almost impossibly well her entire life, despite a diet heavy in purple Silk Cut, but fell ill just before Christmas.What we had hoped was flu turned into something much worse.I have two in California, (19 and 16), 1 and a bit in Boston (USA) and 2 in Sydney. It was a lot more difficult 19 years ago, but my L A Granddaughters are very much part of the family.