So You’re Dead…. Where Are You?

Everybody knows that one day we are going to die, sorry to break that to you if you didn’t. However we usually never know when, how, why or where that will happen (that Uncertain Certain I wrote about previously). ‘Where’ is a big issue amongst the dying industry of late because it would seem more and more people are dying in hospital. The reason this is an issue is because most people would, when asked, choose to die at home. A lot has been discussed on this topic in the media recently, and I think this has a lot to do with the death positivity movement and the move towards a form of ownership over our own deaths.

If you thought that was a discussion around your spiritual location as opposed to your physical one, sorry that’s not really anything I know or discuss very often. I usually get asked on a regular basis if I believe in any religion, the answer is no. I also get asked if I believe in ghosts, and the answer to that is a shrug of the shoulders and I’d tell you that I don’t really know.

Back to your physical body. Chances are in the current circumstances you will be likely to die in a hospital. Either as an admitted patient on a ward or in an emergency department or A&E. I can only use our hospital as an example but when this happens the patient is ideally moved within four hours of death to the hospital mortuary. The porters transfer the patient who is then moved to a fridge space accordingly. During their time in the mortuary they might move around, only within the confines of the mortuary but they could be taken out of the fridge for a viewing, post-mortem or both during their time with us. Occasionally there might be a need to move people to contingency spaces which are slightly smaller than normal so small people are moved to make spaces in the average sized spaces. If their length of stay is anticipated to be lengthy then we may also move people to our freezer, or for other reasons.

If you die at home, you pretty much have three possibilities. If you require further investigation or a post mortem then you would go to a mortuary either public or in a hospital. If you don’t, then you go straight to the funeral directors, or via a combination of discussions you could remain at home until the funeral. Many are not aware that this is a viable (or believe it to be a preferential) option but it is available if you would like it to be. It is actually becoming more common that people arrange funerals themselves without involving a funeral director which would also involve the deceased being at home for some time unless they are at the mortuary for longer until burial/cremation.

I think the point of this post is to inform that there are options and you do not need to be dictated to about where you die or where you end up once dead. The only aspect there is no choice behind is whether or not you need a coronial post-mortem, if the coroner decides that you do then this must be enforced. It is important that people think and discuss these, if only just to be aware and be able to be informed of a decision needs to be made. I don’t believe in people being dictated to in death just as you would not accept it in life.

If there’s anything I have not covered or you would like more information then please get in touch!

MG x

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