Dead People Are Not All Alike

@Rollo1 (16689)
Boston, Massachusetts
October 9, 2015 7:34am CST
I read the sad story of Liz Page this morning. Liz got the call from the hospital that no one wants to receive. The call that said that her mother had passed away. Liz went to the hospital where she was taken to say her goodbyes to her deceased loved one. She kissed the old lady on the head, said goodbye, and went home to make funeral arrangements. Then she got another call. The hospital told her they had made a mistake. Her mother wasn’t dead at all. The body she kissed goodbye belonged to some other dead woman. I agree that this was a traumatic event. It’s always traumatic to be told a loved one has died. It would be traumatic to receive that phone call, traumatic to be taken to see your mother’s body and traumatic all the way up to the point where you look at the body and say “That is NOT my mother!” Except, Liz didn’t say that. She didn’t notice that it wasn’t her mother. Now, I have worked in a nursing home and maybe to someone who doesn’t know these people, all old people look alike. But to someone who knows them, dead or alive they are not indistinguishable. Liz is telling her story to highlight the trauma of hospitals making mistakes. And again, I agree that there is no excuse for a hospital mis-identifying a corpse. But, on the other hand, there’s not really much of an excuse for a daughter doing the same when the dead person is supposedly her mother. On this one, I think the hospital and Liz are even.
17 people like this
15 responses
@Tampa_girl7 (25722)
• United States
9 Oct 15
Unbelievable that she didn't notice it was someone else.
5 people like this
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
10 Oct 15
It's one thing to not know, it's another to admit that you can't recognize your own mother.
3 people like this
@Tita417 (1238)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
10 Oct 15
@Rollo1 right you are. It boils down to one thing that she was not seeing her mom for sometime
1 person likes this
@scheng1 (24800)
• Singapore
9 Oct 15
This just shows her up as a daughter who does not really care for her mother. If she has visited her mother regularly, she would not have made such as mistake. When a person is sick, especially old people, they undergone changes rapidly. Their hair may fall out faster, and they may lose more weight than usual. Even then, a daughter who visits her mother regularly will not mistaken her mother for someone else.
5 people like this
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
10 Oct 15
I think the same way. If she had seen her mother recently, she would have noticed the difference.
3 people like this
@troyburns (1430)
• New Zealand
10 Oct 15
It smacks of victimology when you're blaming someone else for the same mistake you made. Similar story from India recently:
The case of the two bodies being mixed up caused a flutter and a lot of anxiety for the family members of both the deceased. Manikandan and Manoj had died within a few hours of each other at the GH and both their bodies
5 people like this
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
10 Oct 15
Two really important things to be in the internet age: 1. a victim, and 2. outraged.
3 people like this
@KnehKnah (3475)
• Philippines
9 Oct 15
This is so unbelievable! I know my Mama even with just a glimpse of her hair! To go near her & smell her perfume is more! Kiss her goodbye? That would have definitely gave me the feeling of serenity, despite overwhelming emotions...
4 people like this
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
10 Oct 15
I find it rather difficult to understand, unless she hadn't been visiting her mother very regularly.
4 people like this
@KnehKnah (3475)
• Philippines
10 Oct 15
@Rollo1 Or she has forgotten how her Mama looked, felt & smelled? OM! What kind of daughter is she?
3 people like this
@Tita417 (1238)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
10 Oct 15
very true. suspicions would come out that she was never close to her mom at all
2 people like this
@OneOfMany (12423)
• United States
9 Oct 15
The only excuse is if she was so overwhelmed that her eyes were full of tears and couldn't see. But I would notice the difference between my mother and a stranger.
4 people like this
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
9 Oct 15
I would say that maybe she didn't look, but she describes the body in the article, so... I think that if I identified the wrong body as my mother, I would just keep quiet about it. Not tell everyone on social media that I didn't know my own mother.
4 people like this
@OneOfMany (12423)
• United States
9 Oct 15
@Rollo1 Right, it is worse to make the mistake than strangers making it.
3 people like this
@1creekgirl (10346)
• United States
9 Oct 15
@Rollo1 I sure wouldn't be telling the world I didn't recognize my own mother. I don't think she's got much of a complaint.
4 people like this
@sofssu (14460)
9 Oct 15
I would guess she was so overcome with grief.. that she didn't notice.. However, even to say that sounds hollow.
4 people like this
@sofssu (14460)
9 Oct 15
@Rollo1 Even decayed bodies are identified by loved ones everyday.. I have been there when a few people breathed their last too.. I would still be able to say the difference.. lol .. Not to sit in judgement.. maybe she wanted it all wrapped up.
4 people like this
@Jessicalynnt (47895)
• Centralia, Missouri
10 Oct 15
I dont think I'd want people to know i didnt recognize my own mother, to be honest.
4 people like this
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
10 Oct 15
I agree.
4 people like this
@jaboUK (53939)
• United Kingdom
9 Oct 15
Even if she was overwhelmed with grief I don't see how she could mistake her own mother. And then to tell everybody about it!
4 people like this
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
10 Oct 15
I think telling people about it is the most suspect part. Unless you planned to sue, why would you reveal your mistake to millions?
5 people like this
@marguicha (94951)
• Chile
9 Oct 15
I cannot imagine my mistaking my loved ones for other people. To the rest they may look the same. But to us, there are features imbedded in our brains
4 people like this
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
10 Oct 15
Exactly. Anyone you know that well you wouldn't mistake for someone else.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (157720)
• Switzerland
9 Oct 15
Well, even even SHE was unable to make the difference, I cannot see how she can blame the hospital.
4 people like this
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
9 Oct 15
Exactly. At least the hospital figured out the mistake. She didn't, so they are one up on her.
3 people like this
• United States
10 Oct 15
folks like this make my head hurt. i've been faced with many deaths through my years 'n dislike sayin' it...but i'm gonna anyhow. the schtuff folks do 'n then shout out fowl play to the media jest sickens me to no end
3 people like this
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
10 Oct 15
These days, having a complaint that goes viral across the net is something everyone aspires to.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Oct 15
@Rollo1 pitiful, aint it?
1 person likes this
@boiboing (12636)
• Northampton, England
9 Oct 15
Sounds like another parasite looking for a payout.
3 people like this
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
9 Oct 15
Prelude to a lawsuit, I fear.
2 people like this
@Fleura (7191)
• United Kingdom
10 Oct 15
It does seem a bit of a coincidence that a woman with a similar name should look so like the named person they could be mistaken by their own daughter.
2 people like this
@Fleura (7191)
• United Kingdom
10 Oct 15
@Rollo1 Yes and they seem to have been more understanding, at least so far!
1 person likes this
11 Oct 15
um yeah, that is pretty terrible. how long had it been since she'd seen her mom
2 people like this
@Rollo1 (16689)
• Boston, Massachusetts
16 Oct 15
This is my question. Because if she had been there regularly, she would have known her, I think.
@BelleStarr (38370)
• United States
4 Nov 15
Well yah how could she have not known it was not her mother. Sounds fishy to me. I bet she want to sue the hospital.