Could You Do It?
I've long been fascinated by forensics. Body farms, autopsies, stranglings, poisonings, serial killers, accidents, investigations of all kinds, I devour it all. But watching it on TV is undoubtedly a long way from actually experiencing it. I don't consider myself squeamish- OK, so I squealed like a girl and yanked my feet up when Kat's husband pointed out the roaches running around on the porch below- but as a rule. Admittedly, I have only seen one dead person outside of a funeral, but my reaction was not one of horror and disgust. Rather, it was one of sadness that despite the training I was receiving at the time, there was nothing I could do for the family. Nothing, except listen and pray and hope that my presence wasn't making things worse.
So what does it take to work with death for a living? From what I've learned, belief that life goes on doesn't seem to be a prerequisite. Maybe it's because I do believe we go on that this surprises me, but I don't understand how you can have any hope in being around death if all you think will happen is a big dirt nap. Pretty anticlimactic. And obviously, you can't be squeamish, afraid of blood or a few bad odors, but there are different degrees of this. Being a forensic entomologist might horrify some technicians who are content to sit in their labs and play with fibers.
I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. I think it started off as a treatise on squeamishness and somehow evolved into how can you bear to do this with your life-type thing. But you can't get away from death; it's all around us, from the turtle you run over with your car to the victims of hurricanes. You can't escape it, but why do we embrace it? Why do we cluster round the TV to hear about the body farm? Why are we fascinated by the many different ways to die? And does trying to answer these questions make us feel better about the eventuality of leaving this earth? I don't believe that's where the answers lie; look to God if you're worried about an eternal fire. But beyond that, maybe it's just comforting to see this gruesomeness and be glad, on a level, that it isn't happening to us. Or maybe emotions have nothing to do with it. Perhaps it is, after all, a purely intellectual exercise...