Knowledge is power, I have always said. And so Louise and I trundled off to Oxford yesterday to see how things work at inquests. While it is not something I would recommend as a fun day out, it was actually very interesting. I got to see the courtroom, where you sit, how to get there, where to park, etc etc etc. And how things happen. It seemed quite informal, and that was reassuring, but I am going to a "contentious" inquest next week to see what happens when there is a dispute, which might be more to the point. And may be the reason I change my mind on the spot. We will see. I need to see cross-examination in action too. You can just see my brain whizzing along at 2 zillion miles an hour trying to absorb it all, can't you? Of course you can.
The biggest thing for me, is that I know the facts better than anyone else. I was there all the time. Any barrister would be handed the file a day or so before the case, and I have to know more detail than they would. It seems logical. And it means more to me. Not to mention that I do like to be able to feed my family.
I have my questions. All I need to be able to do is to stay detached and calm and factual, and not collapse in a quivering mess. I can do this. I have to be able to do this. And I am very grateful that I have never been intimidated by authority or white coats. The hospitals are going to have their legal teams there. (I actually got to meet the head of one of those legal teams yesterday. He was told I was in the building and asked to have a chat, and I ended up talking to him for an hour or so. Interesting. We had only spoken on the phone before. ) There are 7 doctors being called and me. I am called as a witness too. But think, maybe it will be harder for the doctors to actually answer me. They will be under oath. And they know I was there. And maybe it will be better than having a barrister. A real one.
By the end of the inquest quest, we were exhausted, and so felt in the need of a little retail therapy for light relief. Not to mention food. Looking at the new winter fashions was fun, especially with a friend to spur you on. But by the time I got home, I was ready for bed. I was totally drained. But I am in possession of a beautiful new skirt and cardigan. She talked me into it.
My sister, who is coming for the inquest, has suggested that I go back with her afterwards and have a few days rest in Switzerland to unwind. I must say, the thought had not occurred to me, but it has definite appeal. Everything I am doing is focussed on one day at the moment, and the day after is not something I have given a thought to yet. So who knows..... I may be walking in the Alps soon. That is something good to look forward to.