At 2:05 a.m., my grandfather lost the fight against idiocy, incompetence and obliviots.

He was found unresponsive; they say he had been showered and had sat up in a chair for awhile, but he supposedly passed peacefully in his bed. Which, “peacefully,” at the VA Hospital? Whatever.

Mom tried to call all night, but I’d tried so hard to get some sleep and I’d had the phone in another room. I didn’t sleep. I was awake even though I was exhausted. Somewhere around 2 a.m., I stared at the clock and shuddered uncontrollably. Aloud, I’d said, “Oh, God, I hope that’s not what I think it is.”

It was.

Upon my request, Mom ordered an autopsy. Which is to be done by the VA but I asked if we could have it done elsewhere. It’s free of cost when it’s done at the hospital that killed him but I’m trying to figure out where I can pull funeral expenses, autopsy expenses and moving my mom down here to D.C. out of my butt, because I’m all she’s got.

I hate them for decimating him. I hate them for ruining his life, her life. I don’t even know how to pay rent for her to keep her house through the funeral. I don’t know how to meet all MY bills in a month.

I’m bitching, I know. I just HATE how someone else’s hating of — or just ineptitude toward — their job (i.e., the doctors) can destroy lives so effortlessly.

I love you, Grampy. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. …

4 Responses to Requiem

  1. michael :

    Okay, this is going to sound cut throat, but here goes. Screw the hospital. Not only do they legally have to have everything billed (to the insurance company/medicare/medicaide and then to you with any outstanding balance those didn’t pay) within six months of service or they’re SOL on collecting; it’s called “Timely Billing.” Any outstanding debt would be against your grandfather’s estate NOT you or your mother or anyone else they might threaten. Do not pay the hospital first. Take care of any expenses – autopsy, funeral – with any money from life insurance. (please pay the funeral expenese, great-grandfather owned a funeral home). After that talk to the collections/billing department at the hospital. Explain that after funeral and related expenses you only X amount to pay them; they may take the offer. Not paying them will NOT affect YOUR credit or YOUR mom’s. If a bill shows up with a date of six months and one day after care ceased you are not responsible for it.

  2. Tiff :

    Oh sweetie, I am so, so very sorry. *manymanyhugs*

  3. Tink :

    You are in my thoughts. I am sorry for your loss.

  4. Erica :

    Dawn, I’m so sorry to hear that. I hate that your grandfather’s last days were marred by such incompetence. What a kick in the ass.