5 December 2017

Millhouses

Back in 2010, I wrote about finding a dead woman in The River Sheaf. This was the post and this was the actual location:-
I walked by the place yesterday afternoon. On the day she was pulled from the river, there was more water in it and the undergrowth on the left-hand bank  had not been cut back. To the right you can see the green of the football pitch where my son and his cub scouts team were playing the Millhouses cub scouts that December morning twenty five years back.

Millhouses Park is a long winding park in the map shape of a giant sausage. All along it hugs The River Sheaf and beyond that is the main railway track from Sheffield to Derby. The park is well-used and much loved. There are great facilities for energetic kids, a sensory garden, a bowling club, tennis courts, a small boating lake and an excellent cafe.

I sat in there with a mug of tea and a delicious sausage and plum tomato sandwich. Then I checked out the photographs I had just added to my camera's memory card. Here are three of them:-
Walking by that bend in The River Sheaf brought the woman's death back to me. What a desperate and tragic way to go. Many times I have replayed images of her lifeless body and recalled the icy coldness of her skin. I wouldn't want to go that way.  

And when I came home from Millhouses Park yesterday, all the roads near our house were sealed off by the police. Fifty yards away an elderly woman was killed by a lorry (American: truck). The exact circumstances of her death remain unclear but I wouldn't want to go that way either. May she rest in peace.

30 comments:

  1. I can hardly imagine finding a body and even worse to find one in the water. Hauling her out must have been one of the most demanding moments of life.

    Both the deaths you describe are less than desirable but I don't think many people have an ideal death.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An ideal death? Now there's a thought...

      Delete
    2. I am a hundred years old and I have just scored Hull City's winning goal in the cup final. Suddenly death takes me. I would be okay with that.

      Delete
  2. Paul and I fished a woman out of the River Avon years ago. She was suffering from post partum psychosis and had jumped in. She survived, partly due to her quilted jacket that kept her afloat. A happy ending in this instance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You were her saviours. I wonder if she went on to live some happy years.

      Delete
  3. The sorrow of sadness...alone and alone...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a lot of loneliness even in a city of half a million.

      Delete
  4. A melancholy post with the last picture adding to it. I have read your 2010 post, as I did not know your blog back then.
    The one time that I have found a dead body was when I came home from work one Thursday evening (Nov. 5th 2009, to be precise) and Steve was on the floor between settee and coffee table.
    He was still warm and soft, it had happened only a few hours before, and the room was well heated.
    And although he was alone (and I could not have stopped his heart stopping, had I been there), I was told it must have happened so quickly he did not even have time to be afraid or feel any pain. That knowledge is some consolation to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS: What is the little house with the green door? It looks like something out of a picture book.

      Delete
    2. The house with the green door is the boatkeeper's lodge.

      Finding the dead body of one's spouse must be a very different experience from finding the drowned body of a complete stranger who had wanted to die anyway. Eight years since Steve left you... I bet it sometimes seems like yesterday.

      Delete
  5. Your post reminds me of a park I've been avoiding for years. That park was the spot of a hideous crime - a bunch of youngsters stoned to death another youngster 'just for fun'. Places can arouse and increase trauma long after it has started.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for calling by DUTA. Stoning a youngster to death is certainly not my idea of fun. I know what you mean about places that give you a bad feeling and this was the first time I had walked along that particular path in twenty five years.

      Delete
  6. Carpe diem! It looks like a beautiful park, despite the bad associations. Off to read your 2010 post...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope it didn't upset you too much Steve.

      Delete
  7. Stepping aside for the moment from this undoubted private tragedy, and any personal distress you might have experienced on this discovery, I think your 2010 post was very well written with some telling phrases.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is very kind of you to say so Philip. I try to pick most of my words with care.

      Delete
  8. The memories bring back all the horrors. The story really doesn't have all the ending details.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not sure I understand what you mean by "all the ending details" Red?

      Delete
    2. That does sound dumb! So all the things that happened in the end. Does that make any sense?

      Delete
    3. I guess she was taken to a mortuary where she will have been examined by a coroner and later she will have had a funeral of some description.

      Delete
  9. I'm sure that finding and moving a dead stranger's body is something that took awhile to forget even for awhile.

    I've read that the percentage of people who actually die in their sleep with no awareness of it is extremely low - the figure I remember is 1% but I can't find anything about it with a quick internet search. I used to drive home from my father's nursing home at night, after seeing all manner of sad cases there, thinking that maybe getting hit by a transfer truck wouldn't be as bad as a lingering incapacitating illness. But of course it would be worse for first responders who had to see it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suicide can be a very selfish act - paying little heed to the feelings of those who pick up the pieces - sometimes literally.

      Delete
    2. Although I sympathize with the survivors and/or those who find the bodies, I don't think suicide can be labelled selfish. Anyone driven to take their own life is in severe pain, and in fact often feel it is better for their loved ones if they die. Calling them selfish seems to me to be one more burden placed at the feet of the person already in such pain. And many times a person committing suicide may not have access to a "tidy" way to do it, nor be able to control who finds them, and when.

      Delete
    3. Thank you for your extra reflections Jenny.

      Delete
  10. You know I disagree YP ...I THINK THE ANALOGY of suffering from a terminal illness can be an important one here...many depressed people fight their illness so bravely and for so long, as people do with cancer and motor neurone disease and COPD, but sometimes , like everyone else who is desperately ill , they just cannot battle anymore and succumb to it.
    When people die of cancer we never say they were selfish to give in to it. SoWe shouldn't call suicidal people selfish , many ( though not all) just cannot fight their illnesses any more.

    I do agree that this woman's death was a sad death.a waste......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are different ways to kill oneself John. All I am saying is that people who jump in front of trains or leap from tall buildings or cast themselves from bridges might stop to consider the poor train driver, the emergency response staff or in that woman's case - the random stranger who would find her. In this regard, I am not saying that all acts of suicide are selfish. Sometimes, sadly, suicide seems the best option I am sure but there are different ways to do it that don't involve traumatising other people.

      Delete
    2. I'm with John on this, and I'm glad you can't imagine the sort of pain and despair that leads a person to step in front of a train. I once seriously considered, for just an instant, stepping in front of a truck, and thankfully did not, but what I remember of the moment was the simple thought "I can't be here any more" and that was an instant escape.
      But I waited to cross the street, and in a moment of pure grace, as I trudged down the sidewalk on the other side, a hawk swooped low over me, his shadow perfectly anchoring me to the sidewalk. I know, that sounds made up, but it was a profound moment for me and has sustained me through many rather difficult times since then. As far as I know, animals don't commit suicide, and who am I to disrespect that life force?

      Delete
    3. In urban mythology, it is sometimes said that Norwegian lemmings will leap off cliffs when the general lemming population is too big but there seems to be no real evidence for such happenings.

      I like your hawk story Kate. I am a very rational person but I have noticed the presence of birds at key moments in my life. Quite spooky really.

      Delete
  11. I have had a cat, a dog, an uncle and an aunt who all died peacefully and unexpectedly at home, in their sleep. Even those deaths were hard for the people who found them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jan and thanks for stopping by to leave another thoughtful reflection. I hope you are well.

      Delete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.