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This is a question Have you ever seen a dead body?

How did you feel?
Upset? Traumatised? Relieved? Like poking it with a stick?

(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 9:34)
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This question is now closed.

You know that bit
in Jaws, when the head falls out of the bottom of a boat?

Nearly twenty years ago, I went to Varanasi on the Ganges. A quaint place, almost Venetian in some of its aspects, old, ornate buildings on the shore line, slowly slipping into history.

It's a revered place. People go there to die/cram for their finals, and having your ashes scattered in the river (preferably once dead) is like a turbo boost through your karmic (q.v.) cycles, allowing you to enter nirvana (if Buddist) that little bit quicker, without all that tiresome birth-life-prove yourself-aha-still-shit-as-you-were-death karmic bondage.

It's expensive to get burnt there - wood, balms, oils, unguents, poultices etc, not to mention the yards of crepe.

Poorer people reckon it's still better to get yourself in that there river than not, prior immolation notwithstanding.

So there are fair few bodies just tipped into the murky waters, bobbing, bloated, full of gas, eyes pecked out by buzzards. The water is so muddy that the long snouted dolphins which inhabit it have opaque, redundant eyes.

Occasionally you'd see a fin break the surface, occasionally a corpse would flip and flounce melodramatically, steered by unseen jaws.

We took a small punt out at sunset, and after five minutes or so, our boat got stuck on corpse. Face down (so a man I presume), naked and bloated, it got wedged under the hull.

The boat owner casually shoved an oar in its back, pushed it down and away, then turned to us with a 'don't you hate it when that happens' look...
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:42, 2 replies)
Railway death
While on a train a few years ago with several friends, one of my mates thought he saw the dead body of a "small child wearing a baseball cap". Upon hearing this we of course didn't believe the poor guy. However, seeing the shade of gray he was turning and how visibly distressed he was we began take more notice and suggested he called the police.

To cut a long story short, the police were called and after the railway line was shut down for two and a half hours causing much disruption my mate got a call from sniggering policeman. The 'body of a small child' turned out to be a dead badger next to a plastic carrier bag.

He's never been allowed to forget that one.
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:39, Reply)
Does a dead horse count.......
...... in the process of being flogged.

Roll on next Thursday.
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:38, 5 replies)
I was maybe 5 (definately primary school) and we found a dead badger in the woods by the park. It looked like it was asleep (ah!) but when prodded with my foot, maggots came out resulting in my morbid fear of badgers ever since.

Apologies for lack of funny.

No apologies for length!

First page?

(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:37, 1 reply)
i saw a horse
that was in the process of being gutted at the hunt kennels in the village im from, i was in primary school at the time
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:33, Reply)
A few
I work as a veterinary nurse, so I've seen a few dead bodies...only of the animal variety though. We often do post mortems to determine what they died of which are always interesting, sometimes smelly depending upon how long ago they died.

We had a client phone up not so long ago as they'd been on holiday when their dog had died, neighbours had thoughtfully left the dog in a bin bag in the park (!?!) until they got back and told them where it was. They brought the dog to us to be cremated and then phoned up later in the evening to ask if we could do a post mortem to determine the cause of death. So that's a week after death and at least five hours in our chest freezer...Ummm...no.
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:28, 1 reply)
Oh and also
A mentally ill bloke hung himself in a small wooded area next to my local church. His body wasn't discovered for weeks, I didn't see him but I certainly smelt him every morning on the way to work. I was smoking and extra ciggie when I got to Rectory Road to cover the smell.

How did I feel? Sick cos it stank.
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:27, Reply)
I had the misfortune to be in a pub in Cambridge when one of it's customers decided that it was the ideal place for a heroin overdose. Being the naive teen that I was at the time I had no idea this was going on. The report in the paper said she died at the hospital but they'd given up trying to revive her at the pub, we watched them carry her out and I'm not sure it's possible to be that shade of grey and still alive. It's a sad way to go.
This is going to be a really cheery week isn't it!
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:27, Reply)
Traumatised ? I'll give you traumatised !
Not me I'm happy to say but a guy I know and his girl. They were out walking on the disused railway track near his house. They were both tripping on acid ... out their trees they were, but having a really good time. Really enjoying the experience. That was until they chanced upon the naked body of a woman who had been raped and violently murdered. Not sure if their reports of the corpse being "totally blue" should be taken as gospel but you can imagine how much fun they had being interviewed by the constabulary.
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:22, Reply)
Old man
I used to deliver meals to old people back when I was in the Scouts. There was this one old man who almost never moved - he just sat there in front of the TV, staring.

Well, one week I visited him four days in a row and he actually didn't seem to move at all. He was in the same clothes, had the same stare and had started to smell a bit. I thought nothing of it until I found out the truth.

I was a ghost!
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:21, 3 replies)
Sort of
On the way back from a gig a few years back I got stopped only a few miles from home behind a few cars on the road. Up ahead we could see some sort of commotion, but there appeared to be enough people helping out, so not wanting to destroy the goodness of the broth by the addition of extra kitchen staff, my mate and I stayed in the car.

Shortly afterwards, an ambulance arrived and we then saw a bloke being stretchered into the back, after a lot of CPR by the roadside.

Next day we found out what had happened.

A bloke had been for a night out in the next village to where he lived, but had taken rather too much drink, and decided not to drive home, but do the responsible thing and walk the mile or so home.

Unfortunately in his inebriated state he had stumbled off the pavement into the path of a passing car. The resulting collision did him no good whatsoever and he was effectively dead before the ambulance crew got to him.

Ironically, if he'd broken the law and driven home (which I don't condone, by the way) he'd have had a better chance of making it home without incident.

It was just the worst kind of bad luck.
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:21, 1 reply)
is more blase than a penguin should be..
Yup, seen many. Its part of my job so i see them in many states from cardiac arrest to in the morgue, and also at dissecion. Dissection is strange - you get freaked out by it the first time and then it just becomes routine... The worst ever experience ive had though was a gentleman who was left on an air pump mattress while i was expected to certify him dead: its about 4am, dark with the rain agaist the windows, I go into a little half lit room where hes laid out, with flowers and a bible, and I put my stethoscope to his chest and just at that point the air matress reinflates and I can hear it through his chest - this deep ascending Hwooogh noise as though he had just taken a huge gasp... my legs had got me out into the corridor before my brain worked it all out....
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:20, 2 replies)
100's upon 100's of dead bodies
all lined up

In the chiller cabinet at tesco
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:20, 3 replies)
Dead body eh...?
I can tell you the exact date - 29th December 1996.

That was the day my Mum died, after fighting a losing battle with cancer for nearly 18 months.
That morning, My Dad had woken up to find the body, and had gone round waking us kids up one by one, eldest first, right down to myself, the youngest.

I howled, and I sobbed, and I begged that it couldn't be true. But it was.

My Dad took me through to see the body that was still lying in bed. She looked so peaceful, it was incredible. Considering this was the woman I'd had to hear coughing her lungs up every night for 18 months (when you're 8, that seems like the longest time in the world, almost beyond living memory) it was odd to see her finally relaxed.

We had seen the Chemotherapy ravage her body, making her seem even iller than she was, but up until the day she died, I never thought she would. I was 8, the woman was invincible to me!

When I saw her that relaxed, it made me worse, it was when I realised she'd never come back. My Dad gave me a little while to say my goodbyes alone, and I went to the bed and held her hand. As she had died at about 1am and this was 9am, her hands felt like ice. That is the most surreal thing in the world, to feel a hand you were used to being warmed by, with no heat left in it. It's frankly terrifying.

After 5 minutes sat crying, I realised. This was the longest I'd heard her go without coughing in almost a year. It finally clicked, my Dad was right. She was in a better place, not suffering anymore.

My parents were both strong christians, and so I suppose this was the only way they could face death. Makes me jealous really, I wish I could open up to the possibility of there being a God.

Epilogue -
It's been 11 years since that day.
My Dad remarried in 2004, now living happily with his new wife. (QUICK EDIT: She's ace, just realised I didn't mention that)
My 5 siblings are all happy and healthy, with the eldest a happy father now.

And me? I'm a stronger person now. I'm now the person that friends go to when they need someone to talk to. I'm a person I know my Mum would be proud of.

Do I miss her? Sometimes, when I think about her. It's hard to miss someone when you know most of the memories you hold of her aren't yours. Mostly stories I've heard since.

But I know that I'm living the right life for me, and I know she'd be proud of me. (Well, hope so)

Sorry if it's a bit heavy for the first day, but this is the first time I've ever gone into this much detail about it.

Length? She was 4 foot 11 and a half. Always the half! God forbid if you ever forgot!
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:18, 19 replies)
I was riding my motorcycle and a guy on another motorcycle heading towards me
had a head-on crash with the car in front of me. The guys neck was ripped open and he died right at my feet. I had to go to the coroners inquest. Nasty.

Was I traumatised? No. Was I upset? No. I honestly felt absolutely calm about the whole thing, which was surprising considering I face the same danger every single day.
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:16, 2 replies)
I worked in a medical school
I had to lift, with me colleagues, the cadavers out of the formaldehyde they pickle them in, for the med students to hack up, sorry dissect.

The first week or so it traumatised the hell out of me after that it was as traumatic as putting the kettle on

The bloke in charge of the body room looked exacly like the pickled bodies he cared for which was freaky if you caught sight of him out the corner of your eye of an evening.

I also saw an autopsy which would have been fascinating if it hadn't been for the amazing stink. Which was some breakdown product of blood and was truly eye watering
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:14, Reply)
A few years ago I was walking back to my student house in Durham having spent a morning in lectures on the other side of the city. I stopped at a pelican crossing at some traffic lights, waiting for the lights to change.

As I waited, a bus approached towards me from the other side of the crossroads and turned right, up the hill away from the town. As it turned, something large dropped out of the bottom of the bus into the road, right into the middle of the pelican crossing I was standing at. The bus carried on up the road.

As the crossing lights turned green, I took a good luck at what appeared to be a pile of clothing in the middle of the road as I walked up to it. Only when I got closer, it became apparent that it wasn't a pile of clothes after all. There was visibly half a human leg sticking out of it. I quickly came to the gruesome realisation that it was a body, severely mangled and mutilated and missing at least one limb, as well as being partially decapitated. I was standing next to it. Blood was starting to pour in great quantities from it down the road, and about 100 yards down the road there was a shoe. The shoe still had a foot and half a calfbone in it.

As the full horror of the situation sank in, and other people got out of their cars to look, I went light-headed and vomited on the spot. I've usually got a strong stomach, but I reckon that sight could turn anybody. I had sleep problems for several weeks.

It wasn't so much the fact that I was standing next to this mutilated body that had traumatised me so much. It was the fact that somebody had had their life cut short in this way. The mangled pile of bones I was standing next to used to be somebody, who had doubtless had friends and family who loved them, and never in a million years could they see their life ending in this way.

It later turned out in the local press that the body was that of an elderly woman who had been pulled underneath the bus as it turned out of the bus station some half a mile away. The driver was oblivious to it, and didn't realise what had happened at all until the police pulled him over several miles away. In another twist of fate, the poor woman in question was actually the mother of the bus driver's manager.

I wish I was making it up... news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/2795347.stm
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:13, 11 replies)
On the way to work about 3 years ago, I saw a woman on a bicycle get run over by a site lorry (you know - the big ones that carry dirt around between building sites). Lorry was turning left at a junction, woman cycled up the side in his blind spot, and got squashed.

I saw the whole thing - both sets of back wheels went right over her, and I fully expected her to be dead. She wasn't, though - just a bit mangled.

As one of the first on the scene (I called for the ambulance that took her away), I had to hang around stopping other well-meaning bystanders from trying to move her around too much, and had to wait for the police, etc.

Later when I gave a formal statement I was told that she was expected to make an eventual recovery. Good to hear, but my memory of the accident is still pretty vivid.

The End
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:11, 2 replies)
well the question provides just about all the possible answers
all it now needs is someone to flesh it out in a humorous way while everybody else vomits/cried over old memories
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:07, Reply)
Yes, mainly car crash victims-never pretty or peaceful looking.
Strangely, always feel sadder seeing a roadkill animal-just me? Or am I bad?
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:07, 3 replies)
My Dad.
Died in his sleep.

79 years old.

I Cried.
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:04, Reply)
Oh dear
I feel a mixtape coming on...
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:04, 1 reply)
On a bus in Slough once
One guy failed to get up from the bench at a stop and get on the bus. The driver shouted "You getting on or not?" and got no reply, he stepped out and touched the guy who slumped over and fell to the ground, the driver quite audibly said "F*ck he's dead, fuck this for a laugh" and got back on the bus and drove off. Newspaper said he had died in the night and had been there all morning sitting upright.

How did I feel? I dunno really it was more like a sleeping man than a dead body so I didn't feel anything at all.
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:03, Reply)
well i work in a hospital, so i've seen my share
but i did once speak to an old lady when i was checking the asset number on her bed when she promptly turned into a dead body.
her last words were 'what are you doing my love'
'just checking your bed madam'
i didn't kill her!!
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:01, 5 replies)
(Someone was watching Family Guy last night, weren't they?)
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 10:01, 1 reply)
I went to the Bodyworks exhibition, when it was in that old warehouse near Brick Lane.

I guess those are all dead bodies. Not particularly dignified though.

Creepy German bastard. Bet he'd had sex with them all.
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 9:58, 2 replies)
I was on a Virgin train service once
..and saw a bunch of coppers railside covering a very small body.
Bit of a downer that journey.
We got to Crewe a bit late.

I'm bit flippant, but it's true - worse, the train slowed down on the approach, giving all the passengers the feeling the driver had done so in order to see better.
Edit: Ooh, first. I wasn't even aiming.
(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 9:58, Reply)

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