Monday, September 20, 2010
Post Seventy: Babe in Arms.
People often ask me what the hardest part of my job is. I re-contemplate this, and most of the time I answer that it's being alone in a room for an extended period of time. I think I lie to save myself the explanation of the ultimate bummer and the ensuing emotionally charged conversation. I quite enjoy being alone to listen to whatever I want. I just don't like seeing children die.
Most people would understand that it's pretty horrible, but it seems as though it only gets harder and harder the more cases I come across. One of the first bodies I ever saw was a thirteen year old boy, but he was very very sick so I could see that death for him seemed natural. I am challenged however when a baby or child looks perfect, untouched, and sleeping. They are taken in the still of the night, and that to me is pure heartbreak.
I have posted before that I make an origami crane for little lives that are lost. I think it's just as much for me as it is for them. It was in the mortuary that my first maternal feelings surfaced, and I (very sadly) learnt how to perfect a cotton nappy on dead babies. I cuddle and sing to them for as long as is appropriate. Sounds creepy, but I think it helps. I sometimes feel like because their folks can't be there Aunty Sar has to step in to make sure the baby is safe until it leaves my care. Finally, I leave them all in the watchful care of a responsible looking dead old lady...surely if their little caspers are around the old lady ghost will take charge and make sure stuff is going smoothly and the kids aren't running amok?
I guess what I'm saying is that I hate it, but I love to help. Someone's got to do it, I can, and I will be there. (Creepy Aunty Sar and her zombie kiddos.)