Things of great importance after sudden unexpected death

The thing about the dead is that they don’t care,

but some things you will need to know if a mate ever gets blown to shit, are:


  1. Volunteer to pack up his kit.
  2. Get to his room before anyone else.
  3. Lock the door.
  4. Meticulously go through all issued kit and all personal items.
  5. Attention should be paid to all communication devices, if you have access delete everything not related to family.
  6. If you don’t have access to hard drives etc, consider destroying them or keeping them until you can get access.
  7. Destroy any adult reading material and/or any unpleasant articles so related.
  8. Begin packing.
  9. Treat all property with the appropriate respect, fold all clothes neatly. Any unclean clothes should be immediately laundered and packed once clean. 
  10. Remember the next person to open the box will be a loved one.
  11. If the deceased was a religious person, find or acquire his book of belief and place it as the last article on top of his other belongings. 
  12. If there is a photograph of him place it face up on top of all other items.


Having completed this task, take yourself to a quiet place and collect your emotions. Shake, cry, curse God or the deceased’s God if you don't have one. 


Consider indulging in violence with colleagues. 


That evening proceed to get more drunk than you ever have.


Laugh and joke about the entire episode in the hope that it will go away. 


Take revenge on anyone who seems remotely connected to those responsible for his death.


Finally, wait between 10-15 years to realise that you may not have been quite so tuff as you thought you were, proceed to self medicate if required.


Hope that someone saves you.


◄ Tilt

The deluded non poets poem ►


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Wolfgar Miere

Fri 15th Jan 2016 05:31

Thanks Vicki,

I am sure they benefit from yours and others endeavor's at Crisis. I for one am grateful for such charities doing what they can under difficult circumstances.


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Vicki Ayers

Thu 14th Jan 2016 19:44

I work as a tutor at Crisis (a homeless charity) a lot of my guys are ex military - it saddens me how little help they receive considering what service they have performed for Queen & Country. PSTD is something we deal with regularly - but as always we battle with funding & cut backs - & getting these guys the help they deserve & need is an uphill struggle - I know you know all this! x

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Wolfgar Miere

Thu 14th Jan 2016 17:33

Thanks for reading and your comments Vicki.

It isn't a pleasant thing to do.

Often these incidents within the military happen in isolated hostile areas, consequently many of the "packers" will have been with the deceased at the time of death, which is often violent and traumatic. Then having to deal with the immediate aftermath which would include picking up body parts (there are not always emergency services) only after that would kit packing be undertaken. Most recently this was a common occurrence for soldiers in Helmand, Sangin and other remote areas of Afghanistan.

The average time for PTSD to manifest or to be addressed by sufferers is 13 years, there will be an epidemic at some future point. Although many will take their own lives prior to getting help.

Thanks again for taking time to read and comment.


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Vicki Ayers

Thu 14th Jan 2016 16:02

I have had experience of having to do this for someone - not in the military but personal. It really does work well as a list & the last line ..... well that's all any of us can hope for I guess. It's clever in its simplicity & really hits the spot. x

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Wolfgar Miere

Thu 14th Jan 2016 12:14

Thanks for reading and commenting Stu,

Thankfully I suspect this describes an undertaking that many will never even think of, let alone perform. It is an all too common occurence for many in service.

So often it seems servicemen are seen as uncaring automatons (of course some exist as they do everywhere) but most are normal everyday people in extreme situations. Its easy to view them with disdain, rather more difficult to stand in their shoes.

And yes, the military is on occasion an extremely efficient organisation for disposing of young people.


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Stu Buck

Thu 14th Jan 2016 12:03

great stuff, and again, the formatting is very different and eye catching. i would imagine 99% of the population has never thought about the aftermath of a death in this way, but just because we push it away doesnt mean it isnt there. the armed forces is just one of the stupid ways we can kill our young.

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Wolfgar Miere

Thu 14th Jan 2016 09:05

Thanks for reading and comments Martin.

In shielding ourselves from immediate trauma we are often simply banking it for later. The Military is a fine example of such practices, though these are mostly automatic defences over which we have little control.

I thought this subject matter summed up that behaviour in quite a compact way.

Thanks again,


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Martin Elder

Thu 14th Jan 2016 08:55

I am bowled over by the brittle honesty of this piece. It works so well as a list of which I am sure the military must have many. The final lines being the most telling. It works well on so many levels.

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