Kathleen MacMahon: Dealing with the cold, dead hand of bureaucracy

When a loved ones dies, it is the bureaucracy and automation – state administration, the bank, the utility companies – that causes most distress

The cold hand of automation adds to the pain of dealing with a bereavement

My lovely dad died this summer, and I can’t even begin to write about how that feels. I could cry an ocean for him, which is perhaps why I haven’t. The only time I cried, during the eight weeks from his diagnosis to his death, was in the bank.

It was halfway through his illness, with the clock running down fast on the time that remained to him, and he was anxious to finalise his ...