Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The stuff of headlines

Having grown up in the funeral industry and now being married to it, death, dying, autopsies, embalming mishaps and all things related have long been typical meal-time conversation for me. I’m not squeemish, to say the least. At the dinner table, I can pretty much expect the same answer when I ask The Mr., “So, how was your day, honey?” It’s often a fairly detailed description of the extraordinary measures he had to take to embalm someone or the details of the cosmetics he used on someone who needed a little TLC.

Nothing shocks me really anymore. So and so committed suicide by doing “x” or a really young person just died of cancer or a heart attack. It’s just almost old hat for those things to be part of our daily conversation. Shop talk, really.

Take yesterday, for example. It was about 1 p.m. and The Mr. called to say he was on his way to the medical examiner’s office with a Jane Doe. A woman had crashed her car on one of the rural highways and was trapped under the dashboard. Although someone stopped to help, the car caught fire and there was nothing the bystander could do to save her. The Mr. was called out there primarily as a member of the County Coroner’s team (who happens to be his boss), but managed to also help as a member of the rural, volunteer fire department he belongs to.

“That’s terrible,” I repeated continually as he told me what happened and how they couldn’t identify the woman and were going to dispatch a highway patrolman to the home of the person the vehicle was registered to (whose birth year was 1925 and obviously wasn't the driver). Imagine finding out from a stranger that someone in your family had just died so tragically.

Although I know God has a plan, the tragic death of a person still upsets me. It certainly makes me value and treasure the lives of my family so much more.

So when The Mr. called last evening, which he often does before he comes home just to say hi or that he’s on his way, I really thought nothing of it.

“You’re never, never going to believe this,” he said in a way that I thought something funny might be coming.

“Really? What is it?” I said.

“They ID’d the woman who crashed her car.”

“Oh, yeah?” I said knowing now that it was not something funny and was likely going to be someone we knew or knew of.

“It was the daughter of the man we buried today. She was rushing to the funeral.”

“Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. That’s just terrible. Terrible,” was all I could muster.


At 1:25 PM, Blogger amishhalfbreed said...

OMG! That is so sad and so weird. The tragedy that family has suffered burrying one family member and now another one. It just goes to show how precious and valuable life is and that you can never be certain when your number will be called.


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