“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hoarding, guilt trips and other fun

As some of you know, I spent the entirety of last weekend dealing with a callout and the associated issues, then attempting to recover from the same (technically still not done, as there is one report left I need to re-type). Very very fortunately for me, my Lovely Wife was in a position to deal with the kids and everything else for the time involved, and more appreciated, to support me when needed.

The short version of the story is that we had an elderly gentleman pass away & not get found for over a week. He was a MAJOR hoarder - literally the worst I've ever seen or heard of. Trash piled up from at least fifteen years, over three feet deep throughout the house - food, assorted items, guns, ammo, feces, etc.  This combined with the smell of a body which had been left alone that long in the heat. Oh - and the reason for our attendance - rumors of booby traps and old military explosives. Which means that we spent the next two days first getting a safe access to the inside, clearing the body, and then clearing each and every room of all this stuff.

In the interests of privacy and decency I won't share many more of the details. Yes, we did recover some things out of the house which had to be taken care of. Being confident in your skills is a good thing when stuff like this shows up. Explosive breaching works. For those who aren't aware, I don't care what the label says - chemical suits don't keep the smell of decomposition out. Supportive wives and families are irreplaceable. So is supervision that gives you support & stays out of your way. Some days the overtime money isn't enough for what you have to deal with.

Anyway - when all was done finally, we cleared things up & the body removal people took care of their end. The house was boarded up waiting on inspection and final determination on what to do and how to manage the cleanup. Which is where the other fun afterward came in. 

Apparently, after two days effort, they found a next of kin - a daughter who flew into town. Apparently, when she went out with the building inspector they weren't happy with how the body removal service had done their work - and she called in a complaint to the chief's office. Oh, and also was in a rampage as to how soon she could get all his guns out of property so as to sell them off.

Really? W. T. F. ?????

#1 - it's not our job. All the police do is clear the scene, determine if there is a crime which was involved, and then the body service and the mortuary take care of the remains. Take a little personal responsibility for cleaning.

#2 - more importantly. WTFing F???? 

This didn't happen overnight. Your dad lived like this for years. This trash building up, this lack of care and concern - the mental issues and everything else - but suddenly now that he's gone & you feel guilty you want to pass the blame off on someone else?  Go find a doughnut and perform an appropriate act as it rolls along the ground... While I am sorry for your loss, I in no way am willing to ride on your guilt train for the issues from your father's death.

So yeah, that was my week.


prairie dog said...

Happy Memorial Day....

Melissa said...

Oh wow. I've been reading up on hoarding recently after finding out a (thankfully distant) relative of mine is one. My sympathies. I can't imagine trying to clear a hoarder's house for traps. Did you have to just remove all the trash to be sure you'd gotten it, or was there a quicker way of doing it?

Thank you for doing the dirty work that lets society go on.

Julie said...

thanks for doing a job which so many others would walk away from!...

Old NFO said...

Not fun, and yeah, that 'smell' stays with ya... At least there weren't any 'traps' you couldn't overcome. Stay safe out there!

RabidAlien said...

Gasp...you expected a family member to actually take RESPONSIBILITY??? Isn't that someone else's job?

*sigh* Humanity (in general) never ceases to amaze me at their ability to pass the buck.