Suicide Cleanup Article
Modern languages like English used the words "self-murder" and "suicide" in the 17th century. The French accepted the word only in the 18th century. Today, the word "suicide" is easily and routinely used in art, philosophy, social affairs, and describing individual acts of self-destruction.
Thomas Moore used "regulated self-killing" in his utopia. For those people who suffered from incurable diseases that were accompanied by continuous pain, words by priest and magistrates to endure their suffering. Suicide was a dishonorable act in the eyes that the priest and magistrates. Only with their approval could one commit suicide and not raise scorn upon themselves. The suicide victim died worthy of a decent burial. The suicide victim's body was unburied and placed into a ditch.
In 1994 most mainstream Protestant churches and Holland said that self-killing could not be called sinful without qualification. They noted that the sixth Commandment says, quote out shalt not kill." So for them, the question of self-killing becomes, no killings?
Suicide cleanup notes could be about almost anything. At least these days, suicide cleanup notes could apply to the whole of the human species. For sure, we live in the Anthropocene, a time in which humanity controls the destiny of the earth. Anyone doubting this comment would do well to do their homework. A visit to killeroceans.com would help cure their skepticism.
There is a history of suicide; it's placed among the human species and its role in helping to begin research into the social sciences as a place. More though, I can spend some time on my suicide cleanup notes from the past. It's been a long, strange adventure. The experience is sometimes bewildering.
Calls for suicide cleanup over the last 17 years and some not so many adventures I can hardly remember them. Some suicide cleanup tasks become horrific. Some more forensic and beyond belief. When my strangest suicide cleanup called arrived after receiving a mass homicide call for Washington DC.
The Washington DC maths homicide, mass murder call came in the early morning hours. A property manager for welfare housing units in Washington DC, six Street, required cleaning after the murder of four children. A mother high on some crack had butchered her four daughters. For two months, the school district tried to get to the children could not. Finally, the school district arrived at the murder scene front door, and when the door open, the local police knew right away that cadavers resided indoors.
Another too much relapse before the murder scene could be cleaned up. At that time, I was called and given a date to report for cleaning.
I began my journey in my white van and traveled the southern route. Time was not an issue. As I pass through Phoenix, Arizona, I received seven telephone calls within 30 minutes. One of these calls was for suicide cleanup in Nebraska. Another was for blood cleanup in Colorado for two police cars and a blood cleanup task for which have forgotten the city and police department name. I received a Detroit, Michigan call for an unattended death cleanup on a toileth. This unattended death cleanup needed the biohazard cleanup company over $7000. I received three other calls and referred them to other cleaners in California. No, nobody ever reciprocated this kindness, let alone say, "thank you."
I will skip the police car cleanup work other than to say, it was my first outdoor blood cleanup job, and I learned that the alcohol I used froze soon after pouring it onto the police car seats.
A Nebraska Suicide Cleanup Call
I want to write about an unusual suicide cleanup that came to be by way of the Catholic Church in Nebraska. One of the church leaders and called me and asked if I would do a suicide cleanup. When he said, the church would pay for the suicide cleanup, I was more than happy to take on the chore. And skipping ahead, the priest or whoever he was, made good on the payment. I believe I charge $900 for that cleanup. It just happened that had a suicide job was my line of sight as it was. I was on my way to Washington, DC.
I enjoy the ride across the country, even though a suicide cleanup awaits me. I should have retired long ago, but people need me, I believe. Traveling interstate to do suicide cleanup gives me a sense of purpose. I enjoy taking my time, and I enjoy taking even more time on my return trip. On this particular Nebraska suicide cleanup call, I enjoyed watching the trains hauling coal in the early hours. They traveled hundreds of miles each day as I went. The buffalo roaming the planes added to the adventure.
Now here's the odd part about this suicide cleanup trip. When I reach my destination, I cannot help but reflect on the nature of the home surrounding the suicide the same. The suicide victim resided in and brand-new urban housing project. His home had only recently joined the new development. It rose within shouting distance to the houses under construction. There was so much construction going on that the port-a-potties stood nearby.
When I first found the home, I was in disbelief — when I witnessed made no sense. Brand-new apartment in a brand-new neighborhood and it already had a suicide. No one answered the suicide scene door. As I stood facing the door, I heard a shot in the distance. I turned and saw for young women slowly walked in my direction.
As it turned out, they were calling to me, and we met halfway; the oldest and tallest of the group became a spokesperson. She asked me about my business, and I responded that I was there to clean. The suicide victim's front lawn, a "sizable piece of real estate," I could say, impressed me. I responded that I was there to "clean." We talked briefly, and then she pointed to a young, petite woman who stood to the back of the group. She stood smiling and giddy-like, balancing from her left foot to her right back to her left while looking so much like a young teen.
The group led me to the home Emmy-winning doors. The suicide victim's wife led me through the house and into the basement where the suicide occurred. The husband had killed himself on a sofa. That is where she found him after he came home from work unannounced put a bullet through his head. The same was rather light is a sort of suicide cleanup goes.
The basement was cold and very large, which reduced the blood and death odors. Games for children abounded, and I learned that the family consisted of young boys ages of roughly 4 to 7. Such a young woman can have so many young boys so quickly remain beyond my imagination. The suicide got me off guard two. I would learn that the young man had an engineering degree and a pharmacy degree. He worked for the federal government as an engineer.
As suicide cleanup goes, I lucked out. Cleaning this suicide scene took a few hours in a pleasant environment, and I had to ask myself, "what's it all about?". After all, here's a guy with a new house, a robust education for finding work, a young wife, and three young boys. I would think that he had everything to live for, but not. Leaving this death scene, I could only wonder if he had done something despicable, something so disgusting that not even his Catholic peers to forgive. Some pain, a chain of guilt, or something else chased him to pull a Richard Cory suicide. Crazy. When he lived with a handgun. He did not need it, judging by his neighborhood? We would never know why this type of suicide occurs?
I traveled many hours following that suicide clean up because I just wanted to drive. I drove into the night and figured that I was lost because I saw too few road signs. Becoming frantic with the need for sleep, I pulled off the highway at the next offramp. There I found a "stop and rob" store. I slept parked behind the gas station. And I continued my journey to Washington DC soon after sunrise. I wish I could say that I enjoyed my trip to this point, but no way. The suicide cleanup the previous day had cost me more than time and effort.
The attitude toward suicide in ancient Egypt remained neutral for much of the time. One reason, death served as a transition, a passage from one form of existence to another. So suicide was part of the human method to find a way out of horrendous living conditions for some. We must understand that hardship and injustice were part of the daily routine of both slaves and others in Egypt. Dead people were like equal abstractions with the living. The gods controlled the future of any one individual and had the same physical and emotional needs as human beings.
Early writing about suicide in Asia reflects a dispute over death, dated from 2282 to 2000 BC. In one papyrus, a discussion between the soul and the self occurs as a man tries to convince his soul to join him in death. The arguments question whether a person has a right to take his own life. So a conflict brewed between individual freedom and social responsibility. For example, what right does a parent have to abandon children in the face of pestilence and starvation?
So, ambivalence arising from the choice between life and death remained a central theme throughout Egypt and applied to the great pharaoh as well as the lowliest slaves. In a discussion between the soul and self, death is no respecter of social position, either. The suicidal self becomes motivated by a variety of forces. Dishonor of a person's name, loss of personal worth, the degradation of daily existence, reversals of value and honor, and a host of other problems found today justified suicide. The suicide would expect to find triumph in the life to come, as well as becoming godlike. From the soul, advice to remain alive no matter how horrendous the conditions won the day, at times. And to assume ethical responsibilities, to stay alive, to approach death slowly often prevailed.
The Egyptians had an enlightened approach to the death penalty; they allowed those condemned to death to take their own lives. The Romans followed this practice, as well. Scholars have evidence that the acceptance and tolerance of suicide by the Egyptians stood out. Prohibitions against suicide went uncoded as evidence of this attitude toward death. Suicide remained acceptable in many quarters of Egyptian society.
Hebrews were less likely to commit suicide. They had a feeling for and a positive attitude towards life in general. For them, God had chosen them as the "chosen people." Suicides committed suicide were considered insane or temporarily deranged. Suicide victims' bodies received appropriate burials.. They received funeral rites like those of any other person.
Judaism did prohibit suicide, though. People understood that the sacredness of life had a counterpart, the dignity of humanity in the value of each individual. People considered it an insult to God to commit suicide. Preserving life carried the diety's blessings, many believed. Only those guilty of sexual immorality, murder, adultery were subject to death. For them, committing suicide equals giving up hope in God, no matter how severe the living conditions. God was on their side. Still, the value of life is not absolute. The sacrifice of a life in for the sake of goodness, morality, and God sometimes won out. So, exceptions to a prohibition of suicide did exist in extreme conditions. For example, when a Jew's faith became an issue, like when forced to denounce God, death before this dishonor prevailed. Otherwise, they committed a grave sin. Or when captured and disgraced in war, suicide showed honor rather than disgrace.
We find little mention of suicide in the Old Testament and related works. There is little condemnation suicide. Seven instances of suicidal behavior in the Old Testament clarify the place of suicide, for example. We would not find it useful to recount these biblical injunctions against death; it's another avenue to consider in this short article on suicide.
We can say that neither did the Old Testament leaders prohibit suicide, nor did they condemn suicidal behavior. Take Judas of Iscariot, (Matthew 17:5), a biblical character who hung himself because he could not live with the guilt of the train Jesus, son of God.
We also have the death of Saul and his armor-bearer. The Hebrews had a very powerful taboo at the time, and it prohibited human bloodshed. Condemning suicide was essential to the ancient Hebrews because suicides exposed the community and control of slaughter. Unattended corpses were also a threat to the community, an outcome of suicide, unattended death cleanup. We can imagine open warfare among tribal communities leaving wounded to die unattended deaths. Unattended death cleanup, like that of suicide cleanup, probably remained an unwelcome task with metaphysical considerations.
The Old Testament says that the Philistines had Saul's body hung on a wall of the city. Jews from nearby towns were told to take the body down and gave it a dignified burial under a sacred tree. The metaphysical, then, had a place among the dead. They burned the body as an act of reverence to help undo the illegal spilling of Saul's blood.
We do not find the Torah explicitly forbidding suicide. We do see a prohibition against suicide in the accumulated body of Jewish literature, though. Overall, suicide is a means of preventing dishonor to God's name had some acceptance. You can see the existential act working here. Die an honorable death and preserve the sanctity of God's name, or live in shame while dishonoring God's name.
For the Jews, burial rituals following a suicide remained up in the air. An elaborate set of ritual acts usually followed burial, but for suicide, sometimes community standards prevailed. Rules for eulogizing for suicide victims remain open at times, then. The public did take part in funeral rights for suicide victims, then. But this was out of respect for the living not so much for the suicide victim, we might think. We find in these acts an understanding that the suicide victim died willfully because of some psychological disorder, other than death or dishonoring the name of God. Therefore, they were entitled to the honors and rights that death granted to anyone else.
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Here's a San Bernardino biohazard cleanup web site for more information.