Just because she’s been coroner for more than 20 years doesn’t mean Dixon has grown immune to death.
“I leave the scene a lot of times crying harder than the families,” she says, “especially a child. It gets to me on a child. You just don’t get children overnight. You don’t get over a lot of cases overnight, but it’s something you learn to cope with and you’ve got to go on because you’ve got a job to do.”
Through the years, she’s seen the harm that comes from drug abuse and offers this friendly advice for young people: “Please open your eyes and don’t mix those drugs because when you mix ’em, they’re lethal! I see that a lot. Oh Lord, yes.”
It’s heartbreaking to see a young person that hasn’t lived his life just throw it away, she says. “That’s like throwing water out the door,” she says. “Nothing to look forward to.”
She’s seen enough suicides to know firsthand the heartache they can leave behind for the rest of the family. “It’s not only embarrassing for the family, but it hurts the heart, it hurts the heart.”
While she’s heard some coroners approach their job in a non-emotional manner, she says that’s not for her.
“I can’t be that way,” she says. “I’ve got to be there for my families, and they are my families to me. I just get attached to them, and I love them. I can’t help it. It’s just in me to be that way.”