What is an unattended death? This is a person that passed away but wasn’t found for three or more days, with the average being 10 to 14 days. I wanted a more compassionate way to communicate to my clients for this state of affairs because using the word decomp, decompose, or any derivative in dealing
with my clients seemed too harsh. So, finally we landed on Unattended Death. Today, the term fully explains the situation to most people we deal with and now it’s widely used even on television shows and the movies.
Understanding how hard these deaths are to cope with is the reason for this article. I remember full-well my first unattended. It was the elderly aunt of a police detective named Chad. He was her only living relative; she lived alone but was fiercely independent. Chad explained, “I would call her a couple of times a week just to check-in on her and she told me to quit calling so much, she didn’t have anything to say. Then, I would drop by just to say hello, telling her I was in the neighborhood or perhaps bring her a meal we could share and she told me it was too much company, she had too much to do and it wasn’t necessary.” He felt bad but didn’t want to intrude, nevertheless concerned since she lived alone. She was an 83 year old woman who only weighed 95 pounds soak and wet, yet she worked around the house keeping busy every day; out in her garden, mowing the lawn, shopping, and had been living alone for some 20 years since her husband died. He further explained, “I don’t think she was ever a really sick other than a head-cold.”
The angst Chad felt for not being there when he was needed is what bothered him the most explaining this several times in different ways within the first hour. Chad and his family had left to go on a two-week vacation and when he returned, he learned of her death. As near as they could tell, she had passed away perhaps the day they left town.
Usually, what people say in these cases are, “I can’t believe, while I and my family were out having fun or living life they were left to die alone, it seems so sad.” This is what bothers most relatives and friends, and they seem, at least for a while to torture themselves with those thoughts.
As they say, death is part of living and this is the reason Crime Scene Cleaners, Inc. in Kansas City exist. These deaths can create quite a bit of damage within the structure and the deodorization is very difficult to abate. Crime Scene Cleaners has all the knowledge, experience and equipment to restore these structures to a pre-event status. We understand how our clients feel and have so much compassion for their plight.
If you have an unattended death, suicide, homicide or some other trauma event please call Crime Scene Cleaners, Inc. in the Kansas City and surrounding areas at (816) or (913) 808-7642
By Don M. McNulty, MBT AT- OSHA, MTC ©COPYRIGHT 2018