She often wondered, when a body arrived, what the story behind this person—now once-person—was. Who they had been when they were more than just a number, a statistic among many? Her thoughts were brief, however, since there was work to be done and little space for ruminating.
She observed, her experienced eyes trained to identify the most telling things. Cause of death, and all that. Sometimes she didn’t want to think about it, but think she did. After all, every story has its conclusion, and it was part of her job to find how it ended.
One would think she’d have grown accustomed to Death’s gentle gravity by now.
She didn’t shy away from it, no, not from the body itself—no matter how horrific—not from the concept of death. Perhaps that was why her peers had found her strange, when she stayed up late for many nights trying to lock vital information into her mind, when she spent more time with the dead than she did with the living. The dead, who were silenced forever, but held a mystery so tangible that she felt it was her duty to decipher what they no longer had the chance to say. The body was a language, its organs, functions, tiny intricacies; the way the ions moved, the accumulation, the onset of rigor mortis, the reaction of dead tissue to time, a dance of the physical and metaphysical. It was Death, for sure, but Life as well; it was the obvious hidden in plain sight, a puzzle, a mystery, something not quite ordinary.
It was… beautiful. Somehow.