It is Coroner and MDI Recognition Week. This was created to bring recognition and awareness to an industry so often overlooked. Coroners, medical examiners, medicolegal death investigators, deputy coroners...all part of a very niche industry that sees more tragedy than even fathomable.
Thank you to all of my co-workers, past and present. We have been through and seen a lot. As for me, I know I can say with confidence that if it weren’t for some of you, I’d be lost. There are times all I want to do is cry. Holding the tiny body of a life that was supposed to flourish and grow. Telling parents their teenager isn’t coming home and then hugging the mom as she punches you. Consoling the dad as he falls to his knees and begs you to tell him you’re wrong.
There are days it feels like to much. Then I remember that I am entrusted with the responsibility to be the voice of those who can no longer speak. To find the answers the families so desperately seek. I wear that entrustment like a badge of honor. When someone takes the time out of their lives, in the midst of dealing with their tragedy, to write me a letter and simply say thank you, it’s little things like that remind me why I do what I do.
If you know a last responder, reach out to them this week and show them love and support as well and let them know they aren't alone!
I see you:
To the death investigator waking up shaking, having nightmares about your last scene, I see you.
To the death investigator knocking on a door at 03:00 to give a family the worst news of their lives, I see you.
To the death investigator pulling away from a scene just to pull over around the block, out of view - so you can cry for a while, I see you.
To the death investigator looking for evidence in a filthy drug house, while trying not to be stuck by a dirty needle, I see you.
To the death investigator called to an ER scene, interviewing a family that prayed their loved one would survive, I see you.
To the death investigator attempting to maintain composure as you stand questioning parents about the sudden death of their infant and having to ask them to place the doll in the position in which they last saw their child alive, I see you.
To the death investigator searching for a young persons Facebook profile in an attempting to get a tiny glimpse of the lives you’re about to destroy with your notification, I see you.
To the death investigator being told time and time again how “awesome” your job must be, knowing people have NO idea, I see you.
To the death investigator putting your heart and soul into your job, to find truth, provide dignity and help families navigate the worst days of their lives, I see you.
To the death investigator dealing with the most tragic of events, day after day, I see you.
To the death investigator, almost always forgotten, and rarely thanked, I see you.
We stand together, but often alone
We are the last responders
To all my coworkers, thank you for your service.