While working at ABT I’ve noticed even more so how much money is a motivating factor in people’s decisions.
Money has been the reason people take risks and sadly it is also the reason many lives have ended.
About a year ago we received a phone call from a woman mourning the loss of her husband. Something had happened and she needed our clean up services.
We loaded up and headed north of Atlanta, Georgia to the base of the Appalachian Mountains. Taking one of the rare moments we have in our busy lives on our way there and just enjoying the scenery of the most beautiful country in the USA.
The neighborhood we were going to was in a rural community. Every home we passed sat on a large piece of land. Some of them seemed to be openly inviting you with their rows of pecan trees lining the driveways, others had large herds of cattle or horse stables that just commanded your attention. It was quite serene and some of us felt a little envious of the picturesque nature of this quiet community.
We found the address we were looking for with the aid of the tire swing that swayed gently under the branches of a mighty Oak. As we got out of the van we were greeted by our client at the base of a short flight of stairs that was lined with flower pots. After introductions and our sincere offerings of our sympathy she gave us a soothing smile that must’ve captured the attention of many a gentleman in her earlier days and led us up to the large wrap around porch.
We now got to see why we were called. It was definitely not a scene you’d expect to find in a beautiful country setting like this.
With a deep sigh and a shaky smile she explained to us that her husband was a simple guy, very traditional. He felt he owed it to his family to give them a certain quality of life and would put a lot of pressure on himself to make this happen and provide for them. He felt he had to be their rock and be reliable to give them a happy life. He had done his job amazingly well for 41 years. For 41 years he was an amazing husband and father to their many children and when the time came, he excelled at being a grandfather.
After some health issues, one day he received word from his doctors that he had a rare form of pancreatic cancer. He had spent all his life making sure his family was taken care of and comfortable but he didn’t prepare for this. He spent most of his time worrying about becoming a burden on his family and worrying that the costs for his care would decimate the money he had worked so hard to leave for his family. He couldn’t live thinking that his family would be financially destitute because of his sickness. He thought he had figured out the solution.
The night he died, he waited for his wife to leave for bible study then he took a glass of sweet tea onto the front porch, along with his antique revolver. Sitting on the porch swing, he watched the sun disappear over the mountains one last time, pulled a love note out of his pocket and placed it next to him. The final action of his life was pulling the trigger to the gun he placed to his temple.
My heart felt for her as she finished the story, telling it with love and understanding despite the finality of his actions. She had felt that he had shouldered the load for so long, given so much of himself, that he deserved to go out on his own terms.
In a weird way, even his choice of where to end it spoke to his thoughtful nature. He ended his life in a place that made cleanup pretty quick and easy. We were able to remove any trace of his final act so his family could try to start the process of healing.
Leaving the home, I smiled. Everywhere I looked I saw a life well lived. Military honors, pictures with family and friends beaming smiles, souvenirs of wild vacations. We might have erased this man’s death but he lived a life worth remembering and nobody could erase that. The last thing I saw on my way out was the sign that hung from a nail over the garage door.
“We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give”.
Wise words that stuck with me and that I try to live by. It’s nice to know that even after he was gone, he was still able to give us something.
Don’t ever try to clean up a crime scene or accident scene yourself. Dangerous pathogens can be found in blood and other fluids that could pose a significant risk to your health. We have the professional training and experience to remove any blood, tissue or fluids and decontaminate the scene properly regardless of whether it’s at a residential, commercial or industrial location. We use EPA approved hospital grade cleansers and follow OSHA regulations as well on every job.