Saturday, December 02, 2006

If you knew dead like I know dead

I've often wondered how it will be for me when I lose someone dear to me. It's an inevitability of life, I suppose, but still not one that anyone looks forward to.

I was at work one night, minding my own business, when our intake guy looks over and says "I think you'll want to take this one right away." 1:30am, it was. I popped open my screen and saw the presenting problem "father dead and blue, wants to know what to do." I turned and looked at Intake Guy, mouth agape, and he just said "yeah." OYE.

He transferred the call to me, and a female voice greeted me. "Yes, my dad just dropped dead on the floor, and I need to know what to do." "Well," I said, "you'll need to call 911." DUH. "Oh no," she says, "I don't want all that. I'm a nurse. I know dead, and the man is DEAD. I just need to know what to do with him now."

"Uh," I said, "was this something expected? Had he been ill?" "Oh no, he's been in perfect health. We were just sitting at the kitchen table talking and he keeled over onto the floor." Still in shock at how calm she was, I said "You really still need to call 911," when she commenced to enumerate to me the reasons why she didn't feel he should be resuscitated: the good life he'd led, not wanting to see him in a vegetative state, etc. I was NOT gonna convince her to call 911, even when I told her that she still needed to, if only to have the police do a death report.

She hung up, still frustrated that I didn't have a better answer of how to dispose of her father's body. What'd she want? Directions to the Home Depot, so she could buy a shovel? Really. I mean, she was cool as a cucumber the whole time. Totally blew my mind. To this day I wonder if the man was put into a woodchipper, buried next to the petunias, or maybe sits in the freezer, next to a good leg 'o lamb.

Guess I'll never know.

No comments: