I just found a body

Really. Actually my golden retriever Jazzy Brass spotted it first. I won’t say exactly where or who, but it was a woman still in the prime of life, face down in two feet of clear, still creek water. We found it 90 minutes before I started writing—this being something for me to do in order to come to grips with the situation on a personal level. Right now I feel little more than sadness, even though I want to feel more. That’s probably coming. Examining a little deeper, I find somberness and somehow a kinship to the deceased.

In the past I’ve seen death. That hasn’t bothered me so much before. I write about death often in my thriller novels. But I’ve never been the first person to discover a body. I know this happens all the time, especially with a spouse or friend who has passed in their home. It’s just a bit different when it’s a stranger found in a public, yet somewhat concealed place.

I find myself wishing somehow that person would have shown signs of life—that I could have saved that life. I’m a Red Cross certified CPR, First Aid and AED trainer. Maybe I could have done something, had there been but a small perceptible sign.

Regardless, I feel my sweet Jazzy Brass is a heroine. She’s the best companion anyone could have. And by pointing the body out to me, forcing me to come look at what she’d discovered, she saved this person’s family and friends the additional heartache of going without knowing what had happened to their loved one any longer. I imagine that even a few minutes in their lives may have made at least a tiny difference.

BTW, before I made this post, I waited for the police to inform me that an officer had notified the deceased’s next of kin.

I feel a bit of reverence for this unfortunate person. I don’t wish to disrespect her. But for some reason, I feel a need—an importance—to give my thoughts. Maybe it’s for my own therapy. Maybe something I bring up will help someone else—I don’t know why or see how. I’ll probably blog more about this in the coming hours and days. There is more to tell, but I’ll wait for news and police reports before I comment further on specifics.

Does anyone have any thoughts to share? If so, please do. It could be important to me and you—and perhaps someone else viewing this post.

Follow up the day after “I just found a body”: “I found a body yesterday–Jazzy Brass and I”

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14 responses to “I just found a body

  1. That’s so sad. And traumatic for you. Sorry to hear about this. You know that SOMEBODY was going to find that body. It’s a good thing you did. If this makes you feel too bad for too long, you should talk to someone for help.

  2. Very kind of you, Louise. I’m still waiting to feel something more than numbness about it. I don’t know what. And I wish I could say more. Hopefully, the authorities will wrap it up, and I’ll be free to discuss it further.

  3. Like you said, Gordon, many of us think we have experience with death, but in reality a traumatic death is shocking and disturbing to everyone who comes within range. I can’t imagine what kind of shock this must have been for you. I can only be grateful that someone with your kind of integrity and knowledge of the right thing to do found her (well, and Jazzy’s too). Her loved ones will be grateful, even in their loss.

  4. Thanks, Erin. As always, your thoughts are very welcome and appreciated.

  5. Gordon so sorry you and Jazzy had to see that! Hope you will be ok. Prayers with you and unknown family.

  6. Thanks, Pat. We’re fine. I do empathize with the family and friends.

  7. Truth is always stranger than fiction. This is a bit of reality, the kind that we are not used to seeing. T.V., movies, and, yes, even books have numbed us to what is really out there.
    I am so happy to read of your bond with Jazzy. It is special, perhaps the most special part of this story.
    There will be time later to incorporate what you saw and felt into something fictional. But for now, appreciate the real world and the blessings of a special heroine.

  8. We who write our mysteries and thrillers and deal with death at that creative level, really have no concept of the actual reality of it. The shock of the reality should give us all pause to, perhaps not be so cavalier about it. As we write, that is something to keep in mind, as well as the responsibility it places on us. And as you, Gordon, continue to process this, keep talking about it. That is a reality in and of itself, and it helps.

  9. What your message says is that you have a heart. You feel sadden for those left behind. It is good to talk/write about it. Jazzy Brass is an amazing dog. She could have been there for a long time if it hadn’t been for the both of you. Keeping you in prayers and the family of that girl.

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