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18 March 2009 @ 09:44 pm
Theatrical Muse: Week 274: Question 274  
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 714

What question do you most dread?

There is nothing quite telling parents that their only child is dead. It silently implies a fact that many parents fear, that they will have no chance to have further descendents, that their lineage, whatever constitutes it, may have come to an end. It’s even worse when the child at hand, the victim on the morgue table, is a bit older themselves. It is worse when the parents are just at that point where they are thinking about retiring and are dreaming of using the new found freedom to take off on a cruise of the world, hoping that, by the time they get back, a grandchild might be on the way. If it is important for the lineage to continue, for whatever reasons, then it is difficult to try and explain to them that their one and only child has ceased to continue living, and that they themselves, are probably, if not definitely, too old to have another one.

In trying to explain this, I am not trying to put any emphasis on having more children than necessary, nor am I trying to give rise to the thought that having someone to continue on with your genes is exactly the most important thing in life, because it is not. It is just the background behind some of the many questions I dread as a Medical Examiner, personalised inquiries like “Is she really dead?”, “Really?”, “Are you sure it’s him?”, “How do you know it’s her?”, “How can you be sure?”. I don’t dread them like they are the end of the Earth and their asking will severe my final hold to humanity, but they are not my favourite part of the day, and neither can they be the worst of it, because if they were, I would have fallen under a long time ago.

The general populous fears death, people at large, even if they have attempted to make peace with the matter, still fear death. No one can deny that it hasn’t crossed their mind that the minutes they spend in line for lunch, or the hours they spend at work, move them all that more closer to being coffin bound for the rest of eternity. Looking at history, the population of the world has grown larger, and it has been scientifically proven that all people will die, for hundreds of years, yet we still fear the inevitable. In dealing with this inevitable fact, I take on a multifaceted role. I am examiner, I am knowledge collector, knowledge processor and town crier all in one. I look at death, I gather together and process the facts about it, I make reports and if needed, I phone the people who need to be informed. Only when the victim is finally sent to the funeral home is it really out of my hands.

I do not really dread the deaths that come into my domain. It is my job, it creates the entirety of my profession, this profession, that I am able to deal with the deceased in a manner that is filled with respect and thoughtfulness. However, it is the passing on of the sentence that death brings, that irreversible ruling of someone having passed on, that sometimes does stir an uncomfortable emotion within my heart and mind. After all, who ever really desires the task of having to tell someone that their child, their husband, uncle, sister, grandmother, has died? Has committed suicide, has been killed in an accident, or has been murdered? No, it was never a task I desired because I take joy in causing others pain, it has never been like that. But in wanting my job, I have taken on this role of receiving the questions of grieving people, because I must, because someone who has been educated to be respectful and thoughtful, needs to be there, in person or on the line, when they are asked. I may dread these questions every now and then, but I have long since made peace with the fact that they must be asked, that it is proper that they can be asked, because it is essential for people to move on, to accept the act of death so that they can, one day, find some sort of, well, peace, themselves.
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