November 18: Hurt by funeral response but praise for NHS

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From: John Pearson, Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

MY sister and I held a thanksgiving service for our mother last week who was 89.

She was diagnosed with acute leukaemia on July 17 this year. We wish to pay tribute to the Airedale NHS Trust Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford the NHS Fast track service and Audley Care in Ilkley.

We must have met 50 health workers during the 10 weeks of her illness from consultants to cleaners. We never met anyone we could fault in the slightest way. Everyone was capable, efficient, cheerful and caring. They made a great difference to my mother’s experience and the family. We have written to the heads of all of these organisations to thank them.

Conversely we had a very disappointing experience with the rector of our parish whom I will not name. My parents had worshipped at this church for 31 years and our mother contributed enormously to parish life. The rector took over a day to respond to a telephone message asking for assistance in arranging the funeral. Thereafter there was continued inefficiency and ineptitude that was incomprehensible even on the day of the thanksgiving service.

It is a great hurt to me to have anger in my heart at a time when I just want to remember my mother with love.