A Massachusetts widow received a letter saying that the Bedford, Massachusetts Veterans Affairs hospital was ready to see him in June 2014. But Suzanne Chase’s husband Doug, who was a Vietnam veteran, died of a brain tumor in 2012. Mrs. Chase, who lives in Acton, MA, told Boston media that the VA knew her husband was dead because it denied a request for funeral benefits for him on the grounds that he hadn’t been treated in one of its VA facilities.

“I was in complete disbelief,” Chase tells WBZ Boston. “It was 22 months too late. I kind of thought I was in the twilight zone when I opened this letter and read it.”

The agency’s letter, dated June 12, 2014 was evidently a belated response to Chase’s attempt to establish medical care for her husband at a VA hospital in nearby Bedford in 2012, to avoid traveling to see doctors in Boston. The VA never responded, and Mr. Chase died about four months later.

The VA’s letter offering the appointment closed with this passage:

“We are committed to providing primary care in a timely manner and would greatly appreciate a prompt response.”

The the VA apologized over the mistake.