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26 October 2008 @ 09:30 pm
Theatrical Muse: Week 254: Question 254  
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 1055


What was the longest day of your life?


Death has a way of changing life like nothing else does. Sickness may destroy us, it may raise us out from the ashes as a different person with an altered way of functioning, but death ends all things for whoever suffers it. It removes them, point blank, from life on Earth, and they can’t be brought back, no matter how much it hurts, irrelevant of how distraught a person may be, how much they cry or grieve, and for how long they do so. Despite the fact I work closely with death, discovering the causes of it, tracing it back to where the process began, and how it ended, it is still a thought that is often present in my mind. Death has ended everything for whoever ends up on my table, in the draws of the morgue, and now, the world continues without them.

As an intelligent race, if we suffer death that is not our own, we mourn, we suffer, we move on. This reality only feels familiar to me because it is what I have been doing since I lost my wife and children, because continuing on without them, is something I actively do. I spent so long with them, that the transition was not as natural as some things come, but a learned process, one that has irreparably marked me as a changed man. To some people, death blights their personage so infrequently, in tapping dots of misfortune not of a bizarrely tragic nature, but it still hurts. It is a difficult concept to try and illustrate here, the painfulness of passing, the realisation of loss and the depravity that sometimes companies itself with it. All death hurts someone, because there is one less life on Earth that has formerly existed in continued brilliance.

Sudden or unexpected, tragic or natural, death, someone, some people, dying, the pain is still there for those who receive it, and who are affected by it. However, not all people handle death the same, and even if it does hurt, which it does most of the time, we can only know, truly, how we ourselves feel about it. Oh yes, we can sympathise, but no one truly knows what is going on in someone else’s head. We can only try to support those who are grieving, those who are lost, in the hope that they themselves, and us ourselves, can eventually continue onwards.


I often have very long days now. Without people to go home to, or to depend on me in a constant familial sense, I am free to work longer shifts, although more money sometimes feels a little hollow with only myself to support from its earning. Having previously worked as a Chef, the only death I saw there was the meat I prepared and cooked to serve. Now, as a Medical Examiner, I see death every single working day, and even when I am out of work, I smell a bit like death, and I have the memories of the deaths that I have seen in the past working day.

The longest day of my life was the day the Twin Towers were attacked, the day they crumbled and fell in dust, smoke, debris and flames. I have thought about this matter often enough that the words in my head feel familiar, although they hardly feel recycled or reused to the point of meaningless. The day that I lost my wife and sons, that day stretched on forever, and I was a mess during it and after it. However, I got up, I mourned, I continue now, onwards into life, knowing that each passing moment, each footstep and occasion been and gone brings me one step closer to my own end.

On that day, most people know what happened. There was a terrible accident, a terrible tragedy, hundreds, into thousands of people, they died. People fell, they were crushed, they choked, they were burnt alive. From my point of view, there were many causes of death that day, and we umbrella it all under an unforgiveable, unnecessary act of terrorism. I have lived here all my life, in New York City, and this ripped a hole in our foundations, it changed us, it changed me. There is no umbrella term for the longest day in my life, even while the parts that constructed it and caused it to happen can be given denotations and titles.

For me, death caused the longest day of my life, it wiped out all thought of, what I had, what I could have had, what I, myself, as a father, had helped to create. No, it obliterated that, and left me to continue. Death does, end everything for whoever suffers it directly, and it changes, so much, for those who suffer the side effects of someone’s passing. Death elongates days, it stretches out moments, it haunts corners and memories, and our strength is in that, by pure happening of a miracle, we are able to cope with its finality, if we are still alive afterwards, and then hopefully, we can move on with what time we have left to live, ourselves.

That is the morality side of life, because from the moment time began for us, the moment we are created, we are moving towards the end. Even before that happens, even before we as an individual, are a living thing, a person, times does move on without us, moving towards our life, and our inevitable death. That is what my living has taught me, through all these long days and hard nights, through all the extended shifts and grisly murders. We, as living beings, as conscious people, we are aware of movement, of life and death. We mourn what saddens us and celebrate what we find joy in. We move though, we move constantly towards the end, long day or not, so it is up to us, and namely us only, to make the most of what life we have left. Death has happened to me, it will happen to me in the future, but I am still alive, right now, oh how I am alive, and while I am so, before I end up on a table, in a box, or in the flames of a crematorium creation, I will live. Oh how I will live!
 
 
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