Saturday, July 10, 2010

A unique perspective on tragedy

***Out of respect for the parties involved I am attempting to keep this as vague as possible. This is such a tender situation and I have no desire to add to anyone's heart ache.***

I'm feeling a little raw right now. And I won't lie, I feel foolish about that. After all, I'm not even a LEO.
But this one hit me.

I sometimes forget that the tragedy that happens every day, that our LEOs respond to, happen to real people. It is so easy to put up the distance and forget.

Last night something big went down in the area. We knew that just based on the lights and sirens rushing past our house. And of course the helicopter which told us that someone was very badly hurt.

In all honesty, I didn't even give it a second thought. Its summer. Tis the season.

This morning I saw a few of my cop wife friends and they told me what had happened as their LEOs were the first responders. A little one was in a terrible accident. Just horrible and their poor men did everything they could to save this child, but it was one of those accidents where really it was (and still is) in God's hands how it would end. Heartbreaking.

As they were telling me this, I am ashamed to admit my first thought was, "I am so relieved Big Daddy didn't have to respond to that call." My second thoughts were feeling for those LEOs. Any accident is horrible, but we all know that when a tiny one is involved it affects them a bit more. In talking to them I remember saying it was horrible, but the boys did their best and bad things happen. We just have to accept it and move on. You know, your standard stuff you say when you've seen your guy there before and you know that it will be rough on them but it will eventually get better (you hope).

Later that day a gal I know came by talking about this accident. Only, what she said hit me. I actually knew the family involved in this horrible accident. Not intimately, but well enough to say hello and make small talk. Enough to know exactly who they were. My heart just broke. And I felt a level of shame that I had been so callous in my sentiment that bad things happen but the world will move on. For these people I know, the world may not move for some time.

Additionally, it gave me an additional layer of empathy and pain for the situation. It is stupid, but when a little one is harmed I always hope that if they are taken from this world, they are taken to a much better place. But... this one is such a loved little one. To take it from its loving parents after all the LEOs did... it hurts so much more.

Then after that I was told another piece of information. There was a good samaritan involved who was in the right place at the right time and if this story does have a happy ending, this person will have played a pivotal role. I know this person also. And I hurt for this person. Because while a LEO's job it rough, they did sign up for it. That good samaritan, well this just landed in their lap and what a traumatic thing to go through. Another person to hurt for.

None of these three parties know each other, but I know them.

And I know the earth doesn't revolve around me and my feelings in this are frankly, not worth mentioning compared to those directly involved, but it is a unique window into the way it must feel to be an LEO for me. Because sometimes they do know the parties involved and that must make it that much harder to do their job and keep their composure and not let the pain they witness damage them too.

It is so easy to keep a distance when bad things happen and that is a good healthy thing. I have more of an appreciation for how the LEOs I know are able to take these moments and put them away and keep on going. I understand the need for their off beat humor even more and I get the bond they have with each other. Because only they can understand what they have each seen and been through.

I now understand more that I will never fully understand. But I see a bit more and it gives me more compassion for what everyone in a situation like this goes through. What a horrible painful moment for all involved.

Bad things happen.
The world will go on.

But, for these three groups of people, to varying degrees, they will be left in that moment for some time, dealing with different and yet similar emotions.

I've never had an opportunity to have such a unique perspective on something and while I am grateful for it, I hope I never do again.

Right now all I can do it pray for each party and hope that a wonderful miraculous ending can occur. And if it can't, that everyone in pain from this horrible horrible accident will be comforted by someone much greater than us all.


Momma Hen said...

This was very well written. My prayers are with all involved...

Lynne said...

Thank you Kimber......exactly how I feel except I can't find a way to put it into words. Everything happens for a reason, as hard as it may seem, but it does. I love my LEO with all my heart. Rightnow my heart aches for them all. But, this too shall pass.

Snickering Corpses said...

Well said.