I have a good friend who introduces me as the last man you’ll ever want to see. He follows up with, “He works for the Medical Examiner.” My friend then smiles through his Tom Selleck-esque mustache and says with one eyebrow raised, “He sees dead people.” He stole that line from the popular M. Knight Shyamalan movie, The Sixth Sense.
He’s right. I DO see dead people. It’s a morbid topic not often discussed in civil conversation, but death is a reality.
I am of the opinion that talking about sensitive topics makes them less sensitive. It helps me to make the thing ‘real’ and tangible. Discussion sets ablaze shimmering embers like bellows breathing life into a dying flame. It can shine light in the dark corners of our understanding.
Many cultures revere death as a gateway to another life. That ‘other’ life is often idealistic whether good or bad. (Notice I didn’t call it afterlife.) For some it is simply a re-birth. For others it’s just the end of life-complete darkness-nothingness.
Whatever the case might be for you it’s important to accept that death is a part of life, and then to decide to live your life to the fullest. I find it less difficult to appreciate my life while I’m exposed to death every day.
I received a comment to my previous post from my friend, Roy, regarding the popularity of my line of work. He mentioned that no matter the current topic being discussed in a group setting all attention turns to me whenever I enter a room. Roy, thank you for your comment, by the way.
Admittedly, I tend to freeze up at first. I’m so concerned about confidentiality that I become tongue-tied. My other concern is the group setting and those present-namely children. I don’t like to discuss the topic of death around children. Regardless, I’ve discovered a solution.
I’ve come to realize that not everybody reads the newspaper like I do-including the obituaries. I figure if a story is printed and circulated to the public then I can relay that information without rebuke. (I mentioned this in a previous post. See my post titled Coping Strategy:Humor) I always leave out names regardless of news articles and obituaries. I generalize the circumstances and tailor the gorey details to my audience. It seems to appease most people.
To my friends and family, thank you for humoring me and not pushing me to detail any further. To you curious followers, please look forward to future posts where I will detail certain diseases and disease processes that I come across from day-to-day.