Yesterday started out great for me personally. One of my favorite authors was within driving distance and it was great to see the support for his work. I had a great night planned for my fiance’s birthday and it was 81 degrees in February!
The trouble started when I got home. I was standing outside wondering what in the world the police were doing pulling up next door. My neighbor on that side is 22 but is not the partying type at all and I know he doesn’t have time for messy relationship stuff so for no other reason than I’m nosy, I asked the police officer what was going on. He then proceeded to tell me that they were doing a welfare check on behalf of the boy’s employer. No one had seen him for over a week. Not good.
So there I was answering questions about when I’d seen him last and had I seen anyone over there. Well I don’t really know because I always have my nose in a book!
Then the officer opened the door, which was not locked, and the smell hit us all in the face. I have found my fair share and more of dead bodies and we all knew what that smell was.
Now, I’m not familiar with the procedure for finding dead bodies in this city, but in mine it’s always the same. The cops come, they call EMS, they leave and the Crime Scene Unit comes in and then the Coroner’s SUV shows up. They make sure that the death doesn’t seem to be of a criminal nature and the body is released to the Coroner.
Here is where I have an issue. Now, I know that the gurney they had held up to 850 pounds because it said so on the side. This guy wasn’t anywhere near that. But they left the gurney by the van and the next thing I saw was what looked like a big blue tarp held together with those stretchy cord things being tossed onto the front porch. Then they proceeded to drag it down a flight of stairs hitting every step on the way down. I was so stunned I couldn’t speak!
I understand death. It’s knocked on my door more than once. But for some reason this bothered me deeply. What happened to respect and dignity for the dead? The Fire Department is honestly less than 2 minutes away and I’m sure those big, strong guys could have picked that man up and not have dragged him in a tarp like the trash to the dumpster.
No one should have to die alone and have their body lay there for days on end. Several people I spoke with said, well, it’s not my business. Then whose business is it? Are we not all human beings? Is there no such thing as human decency anymore?
Have we become so disconnected from real life that we no longer have respect for death? Is this how you would want your loved one treated? I personally have never seen someone treated with such disrespect by law enforcement after death. I don’t come from a place that is so cavalier about a fellow human being passing from this life.
I have no intention of letting this rest. Oh,no. That’s not how this goes. I was taught by a good Southern Momma to respect every life and to stand up for those who can’t stand for themselves and that’s exactly what I am going to do. Writing this was just a start. Because if they are that disrespectful with me and my other neighbors watching, what goes on when no one is around?
As for my neighbor, we discovered he had no family. None. So we as a neighborhood will do what we can. Because every life deserves to be honored, on the day we come in as well as the day we depart. Every life.