Monday, July 25, 2022

The coroner

 Dear John,

The police called the coroner to the house to investigate your death.  I didn't have the will to make everyone take their shoes off.  Now that we've got dogs, I wonder if it's worth it for anyone.  I'll have to ponder that.  We were ready for new carpet last year.  Maybe I'll actually get some soon.

I didn't look around much when I got home that day.  I just saw you, grabbed our daughter, and waited for the police.  They also brought EMTs who tried to revive you.  The coroner brought a chaplain and called the funeral home.  When they took you out, the chaplain took our girl into her room...and then sat on her bed.  For the first time in forever (you may recognize that as a lyric from a song from Frozen), your child was happy to change her sheets.  We may have let her develop a bit of germophobia.

Anyway, as people were milling around, I was pacing and trying to stay out of the way.  As I was wandering the kitchen, I saw the beer bottles by the fridge.  They're still there, by the way, 4 months later.  I can't bring myself to put them in the recycle bin, but I will get there.  Then I paced some more, and noticed all the pill bottles.  Anything you had in the way of painkillers was there and empty.  

I feel responsible, since I had suggested to you that there were some drugs that could help with anxiety.  You asked the VA psychiatrist for some valium and he sent it to you.  You took the whole bottle.  I had 15 year old leftover drugs (percocet?) from my c-section.  I had 10 year old leftover drugs from my hernia operation.  You had migraine medication.  You took all of that.  And probably smoked some weed - the kid said she smelled it.

It took 6 weeks for the toxicology report to come back - for some reason, they sent it to Pennsylvania.  They called and confirmed that all of those things were in your system.  But then, they wanted to know where you got the vicodin that was also there.  I was irritated because...what did it matter?  I failed to remember that they wouldn't have known that you weren't out and about buying drugs.  I told the investigator that it was probably from one of my surgeries and that you had just combined bottles.  She wanted to inquire further, I think, but I changed the topic.

The police took your note.  Once the coroner completed your death certificate, I called to get it back.  And then I promptly forgot about arranging to pick it up.  I showed up 3 days late.  I've been having lots of memory issues since you left.  It's starting to get better, bit by bit.  

Since I've had your death certificate, I've been able to manage most of the paperwork.  I still have to go and change the deed on the house.  I did go to the bank, where Barb was so angry and sad.  She said her brother had also taken his life about 10 years ago.  If she had known, she would have helped.  I told her that you only showed what you wanted people to see.  I wish you had known that she cared about you.  I also need to get your stock options from that contracting company that you worked for - it has been, without a doubt, the largest pain in my ass of all the paperwork I've had to file.  

One of the new people at work interned at the coroner's office.  She said your favorite neighbor said something racist in front of the only black employee at the coroner's office.  I told her about the spite berm that you built.  All the trees are still alive and blocking the neighbors out nicely.  Those people put a sympathy card in the mailbox 3 months after the fact.  Maybe they think that I'll let bygones be bygones, but everyone underestimates me and my grudge-holding ability.  

Speaking of grudge-holding, your sister K invited us to a family gathering in August.  Not sure yet if we'll go, and if we do...will I warn her that they might feel awkward when I refuse to acknowledge the existence of S and her family?  Hmmm, we shall see.



1 comment:

  1. I am very good at holding a grudge. What I have noticed is that when you let go, it is somewhat freeing, but then sometimes people take me for a fool for doing that, and then there’s a new grudge showing up. Stupid people are dumb.