A death by suicide generally means an inquest. This is something that we have no idea about, and the very thought of is dreadful. so in simple terms, this is what to expect.
- A few days /weeks after the event the Coroner will be in touch, we had a call but could be posted or emailed I guess.
- You receive details of what’s going to happen and an interim death certificate
- You are asked to complete a family statement about what happened and we had some questions from them about DAN and his health etc
- Everything about the inquest seems to take forever as they contact the police, Doctors and emergency services
- At some point, you are given a date of the inquest, and where it is – ours was in Huntingdon around 20 miles away.
- We then received an email containing all the reports of the day, a detailed description of the scene, the grim details of the act itself, autopsy findings, and police and doctors’ reports. WARNING – these are incredibly cold and brutal and tell you things you really don’t want to know.
- You are asked to read through them, and comment and questions as needed. these are then emailed back to the Coroner.
- We turn up on the day in what is generally a fairly standard Registrar’s office, in fact, there were a couple booking a wedding whilst we were there.
- You are taken into a room where, in our case, there was 4 of us, and the Coroner herself.
- WARNING this bit has to happen, the Coroner reads through all the reports – again details you don’t want to hear, scene of death, injuries, description of the exact cause of death etc.
- She asks a few questions, mostly about any history or worries, we ask a few about some doctor’s notes and then it’s over. an hour or two in our case.
- You then receive the result – and you can then get a full death certificate – even though by now 4 months had passed.
In general, it isn’t pleasant but the service and dignity it is performed with were very good, and it does give some kind of closure as by now the funeral is probably long gone, the flowers have been thrown out, you are maybe back at work and most paperwork has been done etc.
A final point…
it was shortly after the Inquest that Dan’s mother almost completely fell apart…