First, and most importantly, thanks to all those who sent condolences for the passing of my mother – your kind thoughts are very much appreciated.

Secondly…well, yes, secondly.

Any death is sad: that goes without saying. But, let’s face it, death has always been with us – along with taxes, if one believes the old adage. Therefore, one would have thought that in the twenty-first century, major institutions would take it in their stride, and have systems in place to manage its ramifications discreetly, sympathetically, and efficiently. To be fair, my experiences over the last few weeks suggest that quite a lot do, and not necessarily those you’d expect – for example, take a bow, Sky TV, much maligned as you may be in so many other ways. But when it comes to some other public and private bodies of this green and pleasant land, including, yes, Her Majesty’s Government itself, I’ve become increasingly convinced that they regard death as an annoying administrative inconvenience, and a thoroughly inexcusable piece of self-indulgence on the part of the deceased.

So here are some of the more baffling issues I’ve encountered recently, set out as the ‘J D Davies Bereavement Institutional Fail Award’.

Enough already.

Forget Brexit: if British institutions can’t handle death, then we really are up s*** creek without a paddle.


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