cremation charges...

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Sunday 16 July 2006 7.41am
This is a bit difficult really as I dont want to make any one miserable this lovely sunny day but unless I husband died two weeks ago and enquiring into the amount that he had deducted from his post office pension for insurance found that the soppy sod had been paying into an accident insurance of case of falls..he had been wheelchair bound for at least four years..and in a nursing home for three.

hence no insurance for funeral cost, being on auto pilot rang the co-op to find out the cheapest cost for cremation..among the 500 for professional services, the 550 for supplementary services, the 125 for doctors signatures ( employed by the N.H.S) was the cost of using the crematorium..327 pounds!

excuse me...doctors signing the cause of death, i was not buying David Beckhams signature...
and to pay for the use of the crematorium...whats the point of paying 1500 a year in council tax? and all the money in national insurance and income tax?

As a widow ( still seems strange to think of my self as that!) And being over sixty and on no benefits would be unable to claim any help towards the funeral. So phoned the Rowland Hill fund which my husband had been paying in for years, a charity which purports to help with funeral cost etc. for post office workers.
To be told it was means tested... not just mine but also my daughter's who lives with me! I told them to get stuffed. How they can do that to a postman who got shot in the testicles and leg during a armed robbery in service, who is a recipient of the Captain Binney award for bravery? All those years working for the post office and saving the diamonds that this armed gang were after...( he got shot after hitting the gunman with a wooden box after they shot his mates..) The Post Office really really looks after his heroes..cant think of the plural of hero..

Finally went to Albins the Undertakers ( Dont drop the coffin fame..) and all I can say was it was a pleasure to deal with such a lovely caring firm. There was a lady called Jackie who made the whole experience bearable, she sat patiently while I sniffed into me toilet roll ...let the tears roll down my cheeks without making me feel obliged to stop with out being unctous, dunno if thats the right word at the moment! She contacted the bereavement office at the hospital to make an appointment for me to collect the death certificate, made an appointment at the registrars at lambeth. Pushed for the earliest cremation possible as my step son who was over here from new zealand could alter his ticket to stay for his dads funeral..( he decided after all that he could not afford to alter it..mummmm)

I know cynical folk out there will say thats their business, but I am a great ' susser outer' and her concern was 100% genuine! There was no looking at her watch while I was doing my normal waffling on bit. On the day of the funeral the bearers and staff from Albins were wonderful, courteous and kind. Crikey this is turning into a praise Albins post instead of me slagging off the post office, rowland hill fund and council cremation costs!

It's going to be strange for me having no Don to visit in the nursing home, I'll have no excuse now for not cleaning.. hang about, there was some very nice old dears in there who I never saw with a visitor, I may pop in now and again after all..
Sunday 16 July 2006 5.06pm
Jan, I know I speak for all of us on the Forum when I tell you how very very sorry I was to read this story. Heartfelt condolences - that sounds so pat, but having been widowed twenty years ago, I still remember the hit to the solar plexus, and I feel for you through and through. No one, even if prepared in principle, is really prepared in fact for this moment. Time alone softens the blow, and it DOES soften the blow, but these are hard days, and I wish you all the help and strength you can find. PLEASE call on me if I can be of any help at all.

Furthermore, as if The loss of your husband was not enough to bear, disgraceful tales of this kind compound the grief and shock. One never ceases to be appalled at the utter inhumanity and lack of any moral rectitude in such a huge institution.

Let us know, Jan, how we can help.
Monday 17 July 2006 5.46am
Dear Jackie,

And to all the others who have taken the time to reply, thank you so much and I will answer you. Strange really, Don always told me I'd be a merry widow when he was gone, and if the bleeding git had still been here I'd tell him he's wrong....xx
Monday 17 July 2006 9.03am
Jan- my sincere condolences- Maurits
Monday 17 July 2006 10.27pm
Dear Jan,
can I just add my condolences.You were so kind when I was ranting about our appalling experiences with Southwark Park Nursing Home.I can't believe you were unable to get help at this very sad time. Shame on the Post Office,Council and Rowland Hill.
i am glad however you were treated more sympathetically by Albins.Please make sure you take good care of yourself in the coming months. It is not easy to put yourself first when you have spent years caring for somebody dear to you.
Tuesday 25 July 2006 12.14pm
Really sorry to hear your news Jan and all the subsequent hassle you've had to and are having to endure. It doesn't make the grieving process any easier does it. No consolation but my dad died two weeks ago and I've just returned to London having helped arrange his funeral etc and i do think that undertakers have to be pretty special people as we too had a great experience with ours. Good luck with everything.

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