In a New York Minute…

In a New York Minute…

 I don’t particularly like the acronym DOS, but nevertheless that is the vernacular used in the world of law enforcement to describe someone who is deceased in a location other than the hospital. (Dead on Scene) When I am called to assist on a DOS call, I generally use the phrase “unattended death” when I communicate with a family member or friend of the deceased person.
One night this week I was called to assist the officers on a DOS call. The family I was called on to serve was very gracious. The officers were compassionate and helpful as always. We are blessed with a outstanding group of police officers in Granbury.

Every call of that nature is a little different. The circumstances of the death, the relationship of family and friends to the deceased person, and the age of the person who has died are all unique. If family members are estranged, tensions are often high. If children are involved, the stress and intensity of the situation is escalated significantly. There are no routine DOS calls for service.

I always leave those kinds of situations experiencing some of the same emotions. Serving families who have experienced an unexpected death at their home or in some other non-clinical setting always reminds me that life is precious. Things can change fast. A seemingly routine day can change in a split second. Families are changed forever.

This morning I heard an old Don Henley song on the radio. Interestingly enough I heard the lyrics in a different light perhaps for the first time.

Harry got up
Dressed all in black
Went down to the station
And he never came back
They found his clothing
Scattered somewhere down the track
And he won’t be down on Wall Street
in the morning

He had a home
The love of a girl
But men get lost sometimes
As years unfurl
One day he crossed some line
And he was too much in this world
But I guess it doesn’t matter anymore

In a New York Minute
Everything can change
In a New York Minute
Things can get pretty strange
In a New York Minute
Everything can change
In a New York Minute

How should we treat each other in light of the fact that things can change in a New York minute? I wonder if the issues we are most concerned about today would matter. Serving families at DOS scenes usually prompts me to do some serious priority examination. This week’s experience was no exception.

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