It’s not something any of us in either law enforcement or EMS are happy to have to handle. But it happens. With all too much regularity. As a cop, I get the “Fire is en route for a possible 10-55” (10 code for dead body). We always pray that a) Fire beats us to the call and b) the 10-55 either isn’t or hasn’t quite given up the ghost, as it were, and Fire will transport.
I’ve not always been lucky enough to have those occur and I’ve had my share of deaths to document, kin to notify, and corpses to babysit while waiting on the coroner or funeral home. I’m not a fan of bodies. I’ve seen too many horror movies and read too many Stephen King novels to be ultra comfy with the recently departed. Straight creeps me out. I will say that I have my Zombie Apocalypse plan in hand and ready to activate at any given moment. Sadly, that plan is more set out than my “what happens when the Big One hits” earthquake plan. Such is my life…
I know the soul is gone. I know it’s merely a shell. I know it isn’t going to suddenly reanimate and attempt to do me harm…but don’t think for a second that isn’t what is rocketing through my mind!
What truly amazes me is the tenderness with which the bereaved handle it. To them, it’s not a corpse. It’s Uncle George. It’s Grammy Sue. It’s Pops. It’s their sister, Janie. I’ve had the experience myself when my grandparents passed away. I felt neither fear nor a moment’s hesitation in putting my hands on theirs. I felt no queasy feeling flitter away in my insides about kissing their foreheads one last time.
The last death I had to deal with was one in which the soon-to-be-never-will-be ex showed up as the ex was the only family in the area. The compassion on the ex’s face was obvious and regret seemed to have been painted on like that morning’s rouge. The ex wasn’t concerned about the past, but simply that the deceased was finally at peace after a lifetime’s battles.
While your Aunt Ginnie is watching from (hopefully) above, simply know that your show of affections are lost on neither her nor me.
I’m truly sorry for your loss and hope you can find the peace your relative/friend/loved one now knows….