Saturday, 21 May 2011

Last offices

If you are a UK resident and your loved one dies in hospital, you may be interested in the following from the Good Funeral Guide

I have had a morbid interest in that particular blog for some time, though I must warn readers it's content and some of the views of its writer are not Catholic (however that is not a criticism). We can't live in an Amish like bubble and it is an excelllent resource to get to grips with the confused secular world and its prevailing attitudes towards death and dying.

I draw your attention to the linked article becuse some of you may be quite astonished and ought to be outraged by the way some UK hospitals treat the bodies of the dead. I was astonished and didn't quite believe it till it happened to my husband.

Due to reasons I'm not going into, my husband's Requiem Mass and funeral will be this Wednesday, just over two weeks since he died. The hospital where Paul died routinely sends its patients to the undertakers in body bags with cannulas and catheters still attached. Body bags from this hospital are often full of urine. People who die at home or in nursing care are not treated like this. Anyway, my husband was very sick when he died and the treatment of his body after his death by the hospital meant that it has deteoriated rapidly. This is distressing, very distressing. But I want you to know it is happening and will probably keep on happening for some time.

One way round this is to make sure you ask to view the body in the hospital mortuary. They have to clean it up them....

Tact will prevent me from mentioning the name of the hospital involved, which sadly will prevent me from telling you the name of the church where the requiem will take place (at 1pm). However, Paul is going out with full Catholic honours; being received into church the night before, a black pall over the coffin, black vestments, Latin (novus ordo) Mass, sung In Paradisum on leaving the church......

I don't need to remind you that the Church in such a special gift and blessing; do everything in your power to help it flourish.


WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

sorry I can't sign in as me.

I will offer extra prayers on Wednesday.
I am so sorry that the staff at the hospt do not see the vital importance and respect due in the proper care of a person's body after death. Shortage of staff is not an excuse.

I am so sorry you have suffered this on top of the grief of your husband's death. It's so unnecessary!

I have a card for you - let me know if I have the wrong address. []

Ttony said...

I suppose "Prayers!" is probably the only thing I can and should say.

I don't suppose you are up to giving clever hints and clues, so I will say the Office of the Dead as close as possible to 1.00 pm on Wednesday and wish I could be there in person.

Richard Collins said...

Prayers every day, especially, Wednesday.

Rita said...


If you know the city, you can probably guess the church, let's just call the place "Hunwicium" after a lovely gentleman my husband was very fond of.

And thank you for your prayers.


I'm sure the nurses who were looking after him in intensive care would be horrified too. Sadly I think we do live with a culture that suggests everything not written in a contract is someone elses job.

Autumn said...

Prayers for you and your husband Rita, I shall pray too on Wednesday xx

Robert said...

As the others, I'm sorry you've had to endure this trial on top of your loss, but am heartened to hear of Paul's reception into the church! Full Catholic honor's, how wonderful.

Paul and you will be in my daily prayers for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Extra prayers said today. I hope the funeral went well.
God bless and comfort you.