Thursday, March 18, 2010

Conversations with my mother

I was talking to my mom the other night, she had shoulder surgery and I went over to check up on her and I was telling her about my manager, Tank (whom she knows), and the experience he had last week. Back years ago, when he had first received his embalmer’s license, he got a case, a young woman who had been murdered, and it was his first homicide. She had been pretty badly beaten, and he embalmed her and also met with her family, and he remembers a lot about the case: her name, how old she was, the family, etc. Apparently there had been other murders in the area all by what looked like the same person, and the man (I’m not just assuming it was a man, the victims all had been sexually assaulted and there was semen found on them) had never been caught. So, the other night he was watching the news and he heard that a man had been convicted of these murders from the time period and in the same area as this gal, but no victim names were mentioned in the clip, so he googled the story, finding the name of the girl he had embalmed decades ago as one of those victims this guy had been convicted of murdering. Pretty effing crazy, no?

So, I tell this all to my mom who is shocked that Tank remembered, and then she looked at me and said how sad it was.

Mom: That’s so sad, Doll.
Me: Yeah, but sometimes people die that way.
Mom: No, I mean that he was so affected. How awful.
Me: It’s not that bad, mom.
Mom: But it stayed with him all that time. It must have really weighed heavy on him to have stayed with him for so long. How awful to have had to work on a homicide. You’ve never had to do that, have you??
Me: Work on a homicide?
Mom: Yeah.
Me: Of course I have, mom.
Mom: How sad!!
Me: It’s part of the job, mom. It’s helpful.

So, I was thinking about it, my poor mother, all doped up on surgery meds, being surprised at the fact that I’ve worked on homicides, when I know she and I have talked about it before. Hell, I was a mess a while back working on the little one (4 years old) that had been murdered and bawled my brains out at her, so I know she knew that I’ve had to do that before, but I think it wasn’t until Tank’s story that she realized that some of this shit doesn’t go away. Some of it just stays with us. He will always see the marks on that woman’s body, remembering how he had to cover up the strangulation marks on her neck so that her parents and sister wouldn’t see the extent of the damage done to their girl, and that will always be part of the game. I will never forget that little one, and cannot seem to escape the knowledge that they suffered. Suffered badly, and for what reason? I remember my tears falling on the child’s arms as I dressed the little body, and watching a father place them in a casket that shouldn’t even be made that small.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that my mom is right. It is sad. And I think I am starting to understand that it might hurt every now and then. But it’s my job. And I love it. And I think I am starting to realize that it’s okay to be affected, at least every once in a while.


IT said...

You didn't tell us that your mom was having surgery.
Oh, wait! This isn't about her.
It's about you.

It's not about the sadness that befalls us. It's remembering how it affected us so that we can comfort others when they're sad.

Miss Anne said...

I have no doubt that each death affects you in some way. Some are peaceful deaths, and some are not, regardless you touched each persons life and they touched yours.

It's ok to feel for sure.

Thanks for sharing this with us and get well wishes for your Mama!