When you work for the Medical Examiner you get pretty callous, and usually I can leave my work at work. But I was on a call a couple of days ago that still bothers me.

The body of a woman in her mid 20’s lay on the couch. That she used to be attractive was hard to tell now. Putrification had started. Around her were some stuffed animals and a kids blanket covered her. An empty cereal box lay on the floor.

In the next room there was an officer with a girl less than two. That girl, though filthy, had the beautiful face of an angel and a voice to match. She was saying, “Mommy tired. Mommy sleep.”

It was later determined that mommy had died of a drug overdose. For three days that little girl was left alone with the body of her mother. She brought her toys out and slept next to her mother, under her favorite blanket. She ate the only food she could find. A box of cheerios and drank from the sink. Only when the smell got bad did the neighbors call the police.

I don’t know why I can’t stop crying.

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