Reasons

It's nearing the end of our shift – the job we are on is our last one.

We find ourselves looking out the bedroom window at the FRU driver, one of our officers and the new team leader he's showing around. They are talking to each other.

They had arrived to give us help, but we didn't need it.

Behind us the body lays on the bed. He's been dead some time, there is nothing that we could do to help him.

He's younger than me and only a bit older than my crewmate.

As we look out the window both of us deep in thought. I comment on the thinning hair of our officer. We are waiting for the police to arrive.

The death is unlikely to be suspicious but, as is often the case in these things, the last time he spoke to his mum was to have an argument.

She's the one who found him, she hadn't spoken to him since the argument and was getting worried.

I drew the short straw, the one to break the bad news.

English isn't her first language so I needed to make sure she understood.

“I'm sorry, he's dead. There is nothing we can do for him. He's been dead for a long time”.

As we await the police I can hear her phoning the relatives in other parts of the globe. Our officer has lent her his phone, he'll have to explain it to someone further up the food chain why these international numbers have appeared on the bill.

As always our eyes are playing tricks on us, we imagine him breathing.

We've all looked around the flat, it's not nosiness – we are all trying to work out why someone so young would suddenly drop dead. We are looking for a reason, or just a reason why it couldn't be us.

There isn't one.

5 thoughts on “Reasons”

  1. Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) (I assume because like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), it cannot be explained)I have unfortunately been to a few in the past few years. Its not nice, more so because they always seem to be fit and healthy. I echo previous sentiments, life if not a rehearsal you just don't know when that curtain will fall……

  2. It happens sometimes. I had a friend, many years ago, mid 20's and (apparently) fit as a horse. Came down with what looked like flu one evening, phoned work the next morning to say he wasn't coming in, found dead by his mum late afternoon.Carpe diem.

  3. This is a bit raw, I tried to reassure my friend who has lost a relative, in similar circumstances this weekend, 'It does happen, but it's rare' I found myself saying, but I suspect as much as anything I was just trying to reassure myself.

  4. I took a family to the mortuary for a viewing last week. The guy was 39. Gym in the morning, mortuary in the evening. Life's not a rehearsal.

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