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Hoarding, More than Meets the Eye

Hoarding’s Harsh Realization

As devastating as it can be to deal with the death of a loved one, it is a after all,  a natural part of life. When one experiences the death of a loved one or family member, our thought processes tend to overload with emotions and irrational decisions during our time of mourning. I know this from personal experience when my Uncle Joe passed away in October of 2013.

My Uncle was a great loving individual, avid hunter, and all around great person. Although he had his problems like the rest of us, he always hid them behind a humorous personality. When he suffered a fatal heart attack in his home, he had lay there for hours face down on the carpet. My Aunt Anne found him that evening and could do nothing but wait for paramedics to arrive to remove his body. Even though he had been dead for hours my Aunt didn’t know. Once paramedics arrived they looked for a non-existent pulse and performed CPR. He was then moved into the ambulance and taken to the hospital. When I showed up to my Aunt’s house I was just as distraught to hear the news and offered whatever I could do to help. I never frequented my Aunt’s house since she was far out east Long Island. I was immediately taken back by the amount of garbage that was strewn around the house and the horrible smell. I realized my Aunt and Uncle were living in pure filth.

I offered my help in cleaning up the small two bedroom house they shared and returned the next day to clear out the garbage that littered the floors. Where my Uncle died was a pool of blood and vomit where he fell face first. I put on latex gloves and set to work. I filled at least 15 garbage bags with old newspapers, soda cans, wrappers, empty boxes, etc. I couldn’t understand how someone could live like this day to day and not do anything about it. I love my Aunt and Uncle unconditionally but this was certainly a shock for me. Once all the garbage was out of the house I could finally see the floor. The carpet below was caked with feline urine and fecal stains, hair, and mud. I ripped out all the carpeting in the house and when I got to the spot where my uncle passed I was surprised to see the bio had seeped down into the sub-floor and made it’s way down to the support beams below. I inspected the support beams from the basement to find blood/bio soaked wood. After I finished my other immediate family helped contact a contractor who in the end had to redo sections of the sub-flooring.

It was not until I started working with Bio Recovery that I realized companies like this exist for this very reason. If I knew this before hand I would of contacted them from the beginning. I would of loved to of given someone else the job rather than seeing what my Uncle actually lived like. It would of been better for my own peace of mind. I would of been more comfortable with his death and assumed he passed away comfortably. In a way, if anything it was an eye opener. I didn’t expect such a heavy cleanup for such a simple death, nor did I expect to see my Uncle living his final days in absolute filth. I’ll always remember my Uncle Joe for the good times of course, but I can’t help but wonder who else may be living like he did, putting on a positive face with all of his problems concealed within.

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