Losing/Sending Back The Physical Objects ......

I Just had 2 phone calls, back to back, and I’m in bits… :’(

One was from the Wheelchair Hub saying literally: “Sorry your Mother is dead. I’m calling to arrange the collection of her Wheelchair for disposal - is tomorrow morning alright?”. I said no. I told her I was using it, which is true, I do use it, and need to hang on to it for the time being. She said that I am not allowed to use it as it is my Mother’s and assigned to her only. She said that I needed to be referred by the GP, to them, and there is currently a 28 week waiting list for assessment, and a futher 8 week wait for a Chair Fitting Appointment. I said honestly, my GP refuses to even acknowledge my health issues, that had to be diagnosed by Private Doctors, and it’s worse since I was discharged for being “Fat, Old, and Frumpy” in just 6 minutes, by a lead Consultant, without tests or examination! … I asked her if I could keep the Wheelchair, or buy it off them, for the cost of a brand new chair. They said no, even though, she confirmed, it’s going to landfill! … I cried. She said she’d email me the forms for collection. It hurts. She died on Thursday 21st January 2021 at 2:32pm in my Arms. Her Funeral is on Tuesday 23rd March 2021, so she’s not even gone, gone, yet.

That Wheelchair is bound with memories of my Mother. I know it’s silly, but I have nothing physical of her left. Just that chair, that makes me smile. And just as it gave her life, and freedom, it gives me the same, on days I can’t walk… and yet, they are simply going to send it to the Rubbish Tip, not even accept payment so they can buy a new one for their stock. … I’m hurting so deeply :’(

The other call was from a Care Agency that the Council signed us up to in 2019. They left a box of small sized, disposable gloves, and a thin covered, plastic folder. They want those back… both will be binned too - but those I was fine with, they just been sitting in our Hallway. Can’t see the point, of the cost to send someone to collect and bin them - but whatever.

I’m so upset about Mother’s Wheelchair, though. I know it’s dramatic, but I feel like the Hospital stole her Mouth and her Ears (they lost her Dentures and her Hearing Aids and refused to acknowledge/replace them, because it wasn’t recorded in their paperwork that she had them with her!, and I couldn’t afford over £1000 to replace them), then the Nursing Home lost all but one item of her clothes, and stole her Eyes (they lost her Glasses)… and now, the NHS are taking her legs/mobility. … And yes - I know how absolutely ridiculous it all sounds, as she’s gone - she has no need for these things… but they were all a part of her… and now, it’s all been/being taken, and just thrown away. Maybe its why I despise the Cremation side of her Funeral, so much. I feel literally sick at the thought of it.

I can’t rely on my memories, as my stupid Brain is so broken, with my trauma triggered Amnesia (I had Surgery had went wrong, so part of my Brain just “shut up shop” and left!), and just like other photos we have in files and albums, there comes a time - especially when I haven’t seen them in a long time, where even if I’m in them, I feel no connection with them - often not even recognising myself in them, any more than someone flicking through a random magazine, connects with 99% of the images within it.

I’m so upset right now. It literally feels like everyone is trying to erase her from my life. She is even being cremated, and she wanted her ashes to be scattered in a particular place, miles from home, in a location I’ll not be able to get to, without assistance, if I needed to be near her. … I just NEED “them” all to just stop! I want something to keep her memory alive for me… just something of her’s physically, to say everything she/we went through together - good and bad - in better times - happened. … but it just seems like, nobody is letting me have that, or have the things that matter to me, personally - for whatever reason - to keep sacred. There will simply be nothing left to say she was ever here.

I’m so devastated right now… :’(

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I remember when my Dad died over twenty years ago. Care was given by the community doctor surgery nurses. My dad died in the evening and the nurses fetched the equipment the following morning. They didn’t ask. They just came and took it all away.
I understand that they might have needed it, but 24 hours later might have been polite.

Hi @ImJinny
I’m so sorry firstly about your Mother but also about today and how insensitive other people can be to the things we cling to because we don’t have the person there to cling to and this is what we have left. It’s totally understandable to me how you feel.

I don’t want you to give that chair back. If they come to pick it up and can’t be stopped i think you should hide it (hard to maybe due to the size but hopefully there is a blanket or a large cupboard or in the garden or some way you can manage). They don’t have a warrant so they actually have no right to come into your home without your permission anyway so should be no need to hide it but maybe id still do it if i knew they were coming.

I think you need to tell them you can’t find it or it’s lost or broken in the street and the scrap man driving past must have took it… whatever makes sense to you in line with what you already said. You are so upset that losing this will upset you more and it’s not worth it in my opinion to please these paper pushers at such emotional cost to yourself. Play dumb and play hard to keep that chair in my opinion (especially if you can afford any fine they may give you then who cares at all what they think). You need that chair for a better reason than they do. I hope you can find a way that works for you to keep it somehow whatever that takes.

Can you also take some pictures on your mobile phone of it and anything else precious too just as a back-up. I take pictures of a lot of weird stuff related to my husband just as it makes me feel safer then somehow that if the item is lost i still have a chance i can find the picture. My therapist also gave me homework to write the things i can remember but i didn’t get to that yet. I plan to and it’s one of my motivations to carry on with life.

You are rightfully devastated. Those people making these insensitive requests to you nowadays will one day have their own loved ones die but until then they won’t understand so do whatever you have to to preserve you+ your Mother’s stuff as you want it in the meantime because your devastation is real and valid. Don’t let them diminish how you feel with their petty processes. Don’t deal with those people unless you have to. Tell them you chucked away those other things yourself and tell them to not bother you or don’t answer the door if you don’t feel like it. You need your energy for other things than all this nonsense they are forcing on you. Grieving is exhausting itself.

I have not picked up my husband’s ashes yet so I don’t have good advice on that other than maybe you can make a list of all the stuff coming to your mind that you need to take an action on like this issue and then try to do something else to take your mind off it as it’s too overwhelming to solve all at once. Later when you are a bit less shocked and if you are having a better day where you feel like it you can think more about some things off the list.

Take care of yourself and if you feel like it let us know how you get on.

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My Mum passed away at home on 8th December, having had end of life care from the lovely District Nurses. I was with her the whole time.

Afterwards, there was the folder with all their handwritten records of her final 24 hours and also the remaining end of life drugs which weren’t used.

No one came to collect them, despite me phoning and leaving messages. No one got back to me.

So I have this awful folder with her final hours documented in it and the drugs intended for her. I can’t bring myself to dispose of the folder or the drugs as it seems wrong and disrespectful but I haven’t gone near the folder and would never open it and it and the drugs are in a bag in my garage.

It seems that some authorities and care providers really need to learn how to behave towards bereaved people. It isn’t rocket science to treat people with the sensitivity you’d like to receive if it was you.


@FleurDeLis - I don’t blame you for not collecting your Husband’s Ashes. It makes it all the more real. How long has it been for you?


@NJL - That is the sort of thing I’d be likely to hang onto, to be honest. The last part of the person’s story… but then, I think I’m weird, like that. I actually collect Funeral Ephemora (paper and records and cards) because I find it fascinating, and I did an Art Degree, with a Thesis on the Art of Death and Mourning and the way it is recorded and acknowledge in Grief… particularly based on the Victorian Era, where British Grief really came into it’s own way of symbolism. I have the records of a lady who died at home, in my town, in 1962, and her partner wrote a detailed account of the medicine’s given and how she was in those last remaining hours, and her time of death, and how she looked after it, and who visited, what they bought to lay with her, and some details on how they reacted - which is fascinating to me.

Years later, when her family later went to clear the house, the didn’t want to keep it, but they didn’t want to throw it away either, as it is a part of her story. They also found it creepy to a degree, and posted online to ask for suggestions on what to do with it. People suggested many things, like burning them, or burying them, or even burying them in the grave (obviously not all the way in) with the lady… however, one thing and another and the folder ended up coming to me, and I find it fascinating to see the final details, and how things have changed between then and now, for the better. I always light a candle on Isobelle’s Birthday and Death Day, and say a few words to myself. I am weird! LOL :slight_smile:

There is actually a whole load of people out there, that treasure records like these. There is even a society - The Ephemora Society, of people who collect and keep, anything to do with paper, and paper records - not just to do with Funerals and death. :slight_smile: … So yes… I am most definitely weird - but not on my own in my odd interests! lol

Hello ImJinny

I can understand the interest.

I just don’t feel able to read about it, I was there and experienced everything first hand but I won’t throw the records away as it’s part of my Mum’s life and history.

And I don’t think you’re weird at all.

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That is exactly the same for me I’m 3 months now and can’t face collecting Graham’s ashes somehow that will make it real and final like it’s not already. I’m just glad it’s not just me as people seem surprised when I tell them this.

Take care

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@Juli69 - I’m so sorry you have to endure such feelings. It’s so hard isn’t it. I can’t quite bring myself to tell the Dementia Forum people, who helped me so much through Mother’s final years… not yet - and yet, I’m planning the Funeral and doing forms and so on, quite happily. It’s weird.

One thing I would say - I don’t want to panic you… but please, please, please, definitely check how long they will house Graham with them. My friend left her Partner’s Ashes at a Funeral Director too long, and without warning (it was an admin error, that they did it without warning, admittedly) they scattered him in a local garden of rememberance, without her. She never has got over that. … so please do check. You don’t need to go through something like that. :frowning:

Graham is so lucky to have had you in his life. :slight_smile: You sound like a wonderful person. :slight_smile:

Stay strong, lovely. :slight_smile:

Thank you I will check that out.

Stay strong

Julie x

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