Thursday, September 05, 2013
I did a funeral this morning for an unbaptised premature baby, she was just 17 weeks. Apparently, mum had been to our local hospital, the Royal Sussex several times and been sent home having been told the pains she was experiencing was just something she'd eaten, I mention this only because a couple of months ago another mother, one of our parishioners, miscarried and then had various life threatening complication, she too had visited the hospital several times over a couple of days and been told something similar. Two stories don't make a trend, but here are two women who weren't listened to, the lady undertaker told me that England had the highest miscarriage rate in Europe.
What rather surprised me is that apparently the young mum and dad had turned up at the Church looking for me a couple of weeks ago according to a parishioner 'with a box', I was out so they went away, next I had a telephone call from a young woman asking how much a funeral cost, I told her that Catholic churches tended not to charge and that she should see should contact an undertaker, I hadn't realised it was for a baby. Fortunately she went into see one of the good guys in the business. The 'good guys' don't charge, they provide their services absolutely free, so I was pleased this morning that Emily picked me up in one car and the mother and her family turned up in a Rolls Royce with Aaron, the funeral director and a driver, and the baby in a tiny coffin, resting between mum and grand ma on the back seat.
Emily told me the funeral directors were rather surprised that the mother and father had turned up at their office with the baby's corpse. Something had obviously gone wrong with counselling at the hospital, the problem is of course that they hadn't had a baby, their child couldn't be registered, result of this girl's pregnancy had been 'foetal remains'.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake