COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Muscogee County Coroner’s Office notifies families every day of their loved one’s deaths. However, it’s not every day that the deceased are teenagers.
Over the weekend, one deputy coroner had to notify three separate families in one night, including the family of a 13-year-old boy.
Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said notifying families does not get easier over time. The most important thing is to tell the family the truth. He said many times, the families know as soon as they see him.
"You know the coroner is here, so it is true,” said Bryan. “The first thing they say is, ‘is my son dead, is my son dead.’ You have to shake your head and tell them, ‘yes he is.’ You feel like the grim reaper. I've pulled up in a driveway and sat there and think, this is a horrible thing I'm about to tell this man."
Bryan said every family he speaks to, he prays for. Adding compassion and kindness are the ways to show your sympathy.