Wednesday, July 04, 2007


A ready reckoner for all those who managed to turn a 48 hour nightmare into a 48 hour hell from an expert (unfortunately) on the matter.

If you aren't the closest to the deceased

1. Stay calm. Rushing around like headless chickens doesn't acheive anything
2. Help. Don't just slink away at the first sign of having to get your hands dirty.
3. If you do help, think things through. Don't offer inane suggestions at importune times.
4. Don't stand and gape at those who are grieving or getting things done. If you're just around to show your face then kindly f*** off.
5. Even worse, don't mumble platitudes to the wife or daughter. Things like "You must be strong" or "We can't delay anymore, take a decision on the ventilator, we must shift the body to the morgue" or "Being this way isn't going to bring him back." Instead shut up and hold the distraught person tight and listen to everything they have to say without reacting. They obviously aren't in any state to be rational. Understand that.
6. Don't dump everything on the one or two people who are getting things done. Ease their load.
7. Don't ask the grieving, "So how did it happen?" One of the most painful things is reliving the worst moments of your life just after they have happened.
8. Don't pretend everything is hunky dory and attempt to joke the nearest and dearest out of their grief. There are many times humour works miracles. Not here.
9. Don't complain about your worldspace receiver not working while one is trying to break the news of the ventilator being disconnected to the daughter.
10. And finally, stay calm. This one is the most important.