Possessions of the Deceased

8 days since my last post! I think that’s the longest I’ve ever gone without unintentionally posting. A combination of life, work and everything in between has been occurring and I can’t say I even noticed that I hadn’t posted. I once again find myself in Hartlepool at the Marina and I really am getting a bit of an affinity for this place. Yesterday I did my ritualistic walk to go and see the monkey and while I was there a boat was coming in through the lock so I stood and watched. I found it insane how tight the gap was between the boat and the lock!

I wish I was that accurate when parking my car

Hello monkey once again!

I have had my first anatomy exam today, my third and penultimate exam of my course. Obviously I don’t know exactly how it went yet because I don’t receive the results for some time but I found the exam okay which is good. I also handed in my third and penultimate assignment, only part two of my anatomy exam and an assignment covering governance in the mortuary to go.

Last night some late night revision was certainly needed

I’ve had something I wanted to share with you all for a few days and I am excited because I think they’re wonderful. Recently we updated our mortuary to use a computer program for holding all of our data as opposed to the traditional ledger and paper filing systems. Part of what we do when we book someone in is we log all of the possessions that they come to us with. We usually find basic jewellery like a ring or two, maybe a necklace and occasionally a lot more bling. Other items too, generally from community members this can be wallets, watches, mobile phones, Oyster cards or other items you might carry on your person. We call this their property and it stays with them or in a safe in the mortuary until they leave our care.

Part of moving over to the computer meant archiving our old system and meant I got to have a good look at the archive which goes back decades. The hospital where I work hasn’t existed all that time but the trust effectively has and we have all the mortuary records in storage. One of my colleagues pointed out to me that the lists of property for patients back then is totally fascinating. I took some photos to share, with my manager’s permission of course on the basis there are no identifying features of this information.

“Sponge, soap, ???, tin of biscuits, talcum powder, cuticle remover, 1 ??? Book, 20 lilac coupons, 1 handbag, 1 bunch of keys, 1 wedding ring, 1 banker cheque book, 2 wallets containing, sweet coupons, sweets, identity card, travel card, iodine, 1 pair spectacles, 1 set of dentures, 1 leather purse, manicure set, hair curlers, 1 envelope containing insurance cards, 1 suitcase, cash, 1 hair slide”

“Wallet containing, wireless license, identity card, snapshots, jar coty(?) cream, leather diary, 2 fountain pens, ???, playing cards, stamps, letters, ?? Cards, miniature lamp, photograph, library book, powder puff, compact mirror, thimble, pencil sharpener, penknife, unopened letter”

Aren’t they amazing? I love the fact we have such a broad insight into what people took into hospital with them! I transcribed these quickly but comment below if you can decipher anything I couldn’t! If I get a chance I’ll share some more on Instagram, like someone who had 4 eggs with them!

MG x

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