Over the past year i have been shoring up some of the financial holes left in our family by the death of my father 2/20/12.
When the grieving process was finally over i noticed an error on his death certificate. The date he was admitted for a health concern he was experiencing had been listed correctly. It was August 17, 2011 when I and my sister Theresa (an R.N.) accompanied my dad to a hospital about 15 miles from his home. He remained in the hospital until his death the following year. Copies of the death certificate were obtained and distributed as necessary. No one really looked carefully at them at the time.
Yesterday, i noticed the date listed for his death was before the date listed for his admittance for care. All of the requisite professionals including the coroner and funeral director all signed the certificate and it looked quite competently rendered. Everybody saw the thing. Nobody ever questioned it. Nobody except me, the atheist. The year he died had been listed as 02/20/11 instead of 02/20/12. My mom, a devout Roman Catholic is not happy about revisiting any of this. (My phone says the customer I've dialed does not wish to talk to me at this time.) So, my dad has been buried more than a year and a half.We will be fixing this shortly. Lawyers are being contacted this morning.
I don't accept this was a mistake. I look at it as a staged test to see if we are all a bunch of dumb non-conceptual creatures or if in fact we are actually thinking knowledgeable concept oriented aware human beings. Grief shuts us off from the higher mental faculties human beings possess. But when grief is over, analysis returns...
The fact that I, the lone atheist in my family/community am first to awaken from this spell of grief presents a lesson for us all.
From personal experience, it took me years to not experience that tightening in the throat when I thought about my father after his death. The funny thing is that when I first heard of his death, I was immediately concerned about how our family would get by financially. I was in high-school at the time and very aware of my dependency on my parents both physically and emotionally. I do believe that atheism enables one look at the immediate and physical needs during a time of great emotional stress. Religion seems to only offer a way for someone to figuratively bury their heads in the sand and ignore the urgency of their current situation.
I hope that you can straighten up these affairs quickly so that you can pursue other interest. I hate seeing anyone experience a harder time than necessary. I do think that the "test" ideal may only serve to prolong the agony. Things just happen! (sometimes good, but usually bad) It is better to avoid things just happening.
I don't accept this was a mistake. I look at it as a staged test....
There are enough careless public employees to account for most mistakes.
I married while living in Florida and in a few weeks my wife and I moved to Texas. Our certificate caught up with us and she found her name misspelled. We returned it to Florida to be corrected.
When the "correction" arrived we found a new misspelling. We decided to quit before an unknown public employee made a worse mistake.
We divorced six years later so it's irrelevant now.
The mistake you report might have serious repercussions.
The genealogists will have a mistake to contend with, is the first thing I thought of. It makes a terrible mess in family records, should anyone be interested. I don't know how much effort and expense the correction will require, however, I see no benefit in letting it go. I hope you find a solution that works for you and leaves you content.
I just want to say I'm sorry to hear of your loss. I know how it feels too, having lost both parents a couple of years ago. I hope you get some opportunities to heal and move on.