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04 August 2008 @ 03:18 am
Theatrical Muse: Week 242: Question 242  
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 962


Write about a time that you were the bearer of bad news.


One of the hardest things in life is to inform a person of the death of someone they have loved or deeply appreciated. Usually, the first sincerely caring people who are informed of someone’s death, outside witnesses and other sympathetic persons, are indeed loved ones or those who are closely attached to the deceased in some other way. I have watched numerous times, too many times really, it feels like sometimes, the faces of people when they learn of the death of someone they love or like. Of course, yes, people like Mac and Stella, they are often the informants of a person’s passing, but when they look at the body, I am the one who confirms it. I am the one who has to tell them, while looking at their daughter’s corpse, their husband’s or father’s body, what has happened to the person on the slab that I have never met before, but have dissected and pulled evidence from.

I know all too well the pain that can come from the death of family members, and of loved ones. It is a pain that, although sharp and accurate like acupuncture, is hard to place or identify into one classification of emotion. Grieving the loss of someone loved dearly as life itself, and needed as much as fresh air, is a terrible thing that can have disastrous ramifications that simply do not end at the vague finishing point of a certain period of emotional upheaval. No matter what anyone else says, the death of a loved one, of someone a person has a close connection to, is worse than just losing someone to the passing of time that as a result causes the changing of relationships.

Most of the time, I do not see my act of confirming death to be a bad thing. It can be sad, yes, especially when emotions are grazed raw and surface in the morgue, when it could really be more beneficial to have that happen in a different location. Showing people the bodies of the deceased, so they can begin their farewell process, it is not a bad or horrible thing. I take people as far as they want to go, I show them as much as they want to, or are allowed to see, and I care for them just as I have cared for the bodies of the people that have left them behind.

When September eleven occurred, and I realised what I had potentially lost, well the thing is, I knew I had lost them, actually. The moment they died, I knew my wife and sons were gone, because they were my family, they were some of my dearest loved ones, save my parents, and the connection was there, so very strongly, for all of the time we spent together. So, when September eleven occurred, and I realised what I had lost, my world dropped out from beneath me, and for so many moments, things ended. I am unfortunate because I never found the bodies of the people I loved, when they died. I have mourned and grieved and moved on with remembrance in my heart, mind, body and soul. At the same time, I am silently thankful for all of those people who are able to see something physical, and who eventually have the case they have been affected by, solved, with appropriate sentencing or punishment in mind, that will be enacted as needed. I am not a cruel man by any means, but as any regular deliverer of bad news will know, especially one such as I, involved in the legal system as I am, the following of the law is an important and highly regarded matter. Laws make up our society and the society makes up the laws. Without one, the other falls into chaos and disrepair.

When I told my mother and father in law that their daughter was dead, that their grandchildren were dead, and when I told my own parents that their grandchildren were dead, that their daughter in law was dead, well, those were some of the worst moments in my life. I feel for all the people I deal with in my line of work, who are harmed through criminal acts or horrible accidents. I work in an honest profession, with noble people fighting a war against the consistently, constantly pressing walls of crime, death, murder and the outpouring of all that is evil or unkind about humanity. To be the bearer and bringer of bad news, is not a good thing in many ways, but neither is it a bad thing. It has both positive and negative qualities, the relief of knowledge, the pain of loss, for example.

In my job and in my life, I do the best that I can, nothing will ever change that. It doesn’t, however, change the fact that, at the end of the day, or at the end of my shift, I am happy to go home, most of the time. There is, after all, a limit to how much bad news I can give, and such a thing is a matter I am well aware of. In my job, I do what is required of me, always, no matter how painful it may be. If I have to deliver bad news, then so be it, but that is not all that my job is. I do a job that is good, I do something that I believe in whole heartedly, because without Medical Examiners and people like us, death at the hands of a crime or an accident can not be fully explained. I help people, and to be very frank and blunt, dealing with death, crime, sadness and despair, is outweighed by that very fact, alone.
 
 
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