Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Learning to break bad news in the best way

I was reading this article, Learning to break bad news in the best way, and it got me to thinking yet again of the day my husband died.

After I called 911 the first deputy to arrive was "our" neighborhood patrol deputy and he made all the difference in the world to me. I knew him, he knew me. I didn't know police procedure. I didn't know crime scene tape would be applied. I didn't know he'd station himself outside to make sure no one came on the property without his consent. I knew about the paperwork and the questions, but I didn't know until later that neighbors said he wiped his own eyes often. He sat at the table with me and another deputy while I cried and answered their questions. The other deputy was "in charge" and the thing that has stuck in my mind for these 10 years and 5 months is when he referred to the man I love as "the body". He meant no harm by that, he was just doing the job he'd been trained for using the language that applied. It was a body, a dead one, but it was so much more to me and my kids. If you don't know his name, then call him "your husband" or anything but "the body", please.

But I digress yet again. Mainly because the article pointed out how what you hear under such extreme duress stays with you forever. You also remember every kindness. I still see our deputy's patrol car backed into a dead-end street that he knew we'd drive by on the way to the funeral home the day of the funeral and he knew that I'd know he was showing respect to John and me and the girls. I remember how he offered to stay at my house the night of the viewing so it'd be protected. He showed up off the clock, in his jeans. He went above and beyond any duty...he was our friend and will remain so forever.

1 comment:

Attila The Mom said...

What a wonderful tribute to a friend. It gave me the shivers.