A. Marie Silver

A. Marie Silver

How I Became a Death Investigator, Part 2

>Regarding my comment in the last post about how I secretly cut out newspaper articles on crimes and kept them hidden away. I forgot to mention where this genius idea came from. I borrowed it from the movie True Crime that starred Alicia Silverstone. Her character also did the same thing. For what it’s worth, I’m sure I only did it for a couple of weeks before losing interest.

My first job after graduating with a degree in Criminology & Psychology was as a customer service representative for an insurance call center. That was just fabulous and exciting stuff. NOT! Although the company did treat me well and I promoted quickly to supervisor, I knew early on that this career field was not for me. So, with the support of my now ex-husband, I went back to school in pursuit of a photography degree. This decision did not gain support from my family at all. It even irritated my ex-husband’s family to an extent. At that point in time I knew two things for certain. I loved photography and it wouldn’t be long into my second round at a higher education before I figured out what I really wanted to study.

Thus began my first class back to school, a basic photography class. A fellow student taking that class told me one day, while we were both trying desperately to roll film so that it would develop correctly, that she was a graduate student in the Forensic Science program. My response “So you’re one of those smart kids with a science background.” She chuckled, “Sort of. I have a degree in Psychology.” Light bulbs! Light bulbs! Oh my God! There’s a way to get a degree in Forensic Science with out having a background in a natural science! Sign me up! I’m there!

She told me all about the program, who to talk to for admission requirements and some of the definite prerequisites that have to be completed, such as a basic chemistry and biology class at the college level. One year and a gruelling GRE later I was a graduate student.

My first semester there I learned that I could either pursue a career as a CSI or I could pursue a career as a Death Investigator. At the time either option sounded great to me. But during the first week of the course, Death Investigation, one of the investigators from the local Medical Examiner’s office came and spoke to my class about being a Death Investigator. Light bulbs! Light Bulbs! It hit me like a ton of bricks, for lack of a better cliche, and I just knew that I wanted to be a Death Investigator.

To my family and some of my friends this revelation was a little unnerving and after being asked why, over and over again, I would want to go into Death Investigation, I finally said, “So that I can run up to all of my friends and say (in a hushed whisper), ‘I see dead people'”. Thank you! Thank you! M. Night Shyamalan! And the creepy kid who starred in Sixth Sense.

It wasn’t hearing those words that made my family and friends accept my decision. Truthfully, I think it was more a feeling of defeat on their part. They had given up understanding.

Of course, quotes like that can, unexpectedly backfire. For example, one of my ex-husband’s friends thought it would be funny to tell a girl I had just met and say “This is my friend Allie. She see’s dead people.” Her reply, “Oh my God! Are you a medium?” I almost laughed when she asked me that but now I’m glad I didn’t because if you could see the look on her face you’d know she was dead serious (no pun intended).

“Not exactly,” I said. “I do see dead people. In the flesh. And, sometimes not of the recently departed.” A look of total cluelessness came over her face. Okay…let’s try this again. “I’m a death investigator.” That response wasn’t real satisfactory for her. I think she would have liked it better if I had said I was a medium. Sorry Chica! I’m not that special.

3 Responses

  1. >Listen. I never said I was sane. The fact that I work in a morgue should not only support that, but explain many things about my past behavior.

  2. >OMG!! I've read all the way down to this entry and just now learned that your most recent entry is up top. I've been doing it wrong…AHHHH!I got here and was wondering what happened to part 1? Was I not cool enough or a special friend and hadn't been accepted to see all the entries?Then it dawned on me that my brain is working but not the way i had hoped.

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A. Marie Smith

Your short bio telling the story of why you are a writer and the things that you think are important.