They’re not all pretty jobs

Published 9:50 pm Friday, October 2, 2009

When a man saw buzzards circling in a field on Collins Road, he thought it might be a dead deer and decided to go see if he could collect the antlers. But what was actually in the brush was a dead man’s body! And just like that, reality took a horrible turn for Suffolk citizens.

Finding dead bodies is very much a big-city sort of reality. So when this kind of news finds its way to a city with a small-town feel like Suffolk, the news seems even more disturbing. It is a horrible tragedy with a very gruesome end.

After watching years worth of shows like Law and Order or Forensic Files (some of my favorite shows), I felt sure I was a tragic victim of desensitivity, that I would not experience any real emotions on seeing a dead body. So I’ve always had a peculiar interest in the kind of work forensic units do, almost to the point that I’ve considered seeking it as a profession.

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But as I looked at the photographs taken by SNH reporter Tracy Agnew, I was forced to reconsider the thought of pursuing a career in criminal forensics. The reality of this as an actual human being left to decay in the Southern heat was a bit overwhelming.

I can only imagine the kind of men and women it takes to strap on the necessary equipment and head out to a scene with that kind of horrid stage awaiting them. I have nothing but respect for that.

Also, in looking at the photos, I was forced to think of the loss of a human life. It is a truly sad reality to think someone met their end and was left out in a field for who knows how long. Every life deserves a better end than that.

But, getting back to those amazing men and women who do forensic work, I guess it is better to focus on what these great people actually do. They recover those who have been lost and return them to a respectable resting place. And, where necessary, they help bring those responsible for a death to justice.

Whether I could do the work of a member of a criminal forensics unit will probably always be left unknown. But I will say this about the kind of work they do: You have to focus on the good you’re doing above all else. Because it seems like a job where the workspace will never be something pleasant or even something one can or would want to get used to.

Kudos to all those who recover lost souls. May your workload always be very light or, someday, non-existent.