Lorelei Black (secret_x_stars) wrote in little_details,
Lorelei Black

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death certificate w/o body, memories before 6 y/o


This story is taking place only fifteen or so years in the future in the United States (MA, if it's relevant), so I think going by present-day standards would be okay for this.

I have a character who has died in some kind of explosive... thing... (still deciding on this, a terroristic bombing or a plane crash or something of the sort). This brings me to two questions:

1) This character is supposed to have had two children; one was 6 when she died and one was 4. How much could the 6 year old reasonably remember about her, do you think? Same question about the 4 year old. How much would they remember about her personality and memories of things they did together and whatever else? That sort of thing..

2) I'm trying to write a scene about someone finding the death certificate issued for this woman and reading it. Since I'm going with 'died in major explode-y event,' I'm also going with 'her remains could not be found.' I researched a little and found out that a death certificate can be issued to someone who has died in some kind of disaster wherein it can be reasonably confirmed that the person was present, but the remains cannot be found (like 9/11 or Titanic or something). It's apparently called 'death in absentia.'

Anyway, To help myself figure out what a death certificate would say so that it can be described in my story, I printed out a death certificate from MA and am using it as a visual reference.

My question is: I'm filling this thing out and I don't know what would be written for someone who did not have a body found. The form asks about the disposition of the body, which doesn't happen to.. exist. Also, it asks for cause of death in two parts: immediate cause of death, and then asks about injuries that may have been involved. I don't think 'plane crash/bombing/act of God' works for cause of death. Or does it? I'm so confused!!

Sorry if this is a bit fuzzy, I haven't slept right in a week. :\
Tags: usa: government (misc), usa: massachusetts, ~psychology & psychiatry (misc)

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