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Monday, February 15, 2010

Self Portrait Fridays: Monday Edition

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That's me...all my make up cried off.  And tired.  Very, very
tired.  Today has been out of the ordinary.  We went to a funeral for
the Police Chief that hired Don 23 years ago.  His name was Gary Latham
& honestly, I didn't know him.  I'd met him & his family
before, but I didn't know him.  But I have to say, I came away
from his funeral wanting to be a better person...wanting to be more
like him.  His friends said the most wonderful things about his
character...his love of life...his unending spirit up until the end (he
died from ALS...Lou Gehrig's disease...at 64 years old).  He lived life
to the fullest, something I sometimes forget to do.  And I was struck
by all of the photos of him throughout his life.  You know me &
photos...SO very important!  So, so, so important....

Have you ever been to a police funeral?  There are two things that get me every single time
The first is the bag pipes.  If I never hear another bag pipe it will
be too soon.  To me, bag pipes signify sorrow.  Right or wrong, the
sound of them makes me sob.  And the second is the final call from
dispatch.  After the Honor Guard presents the flag to the family, a
dispatcher at the police department does a final call on the police
radio.  It rips your heart from your chest, let me tell you.  I can't
even type this without tearing up.  And to watch grown men cry from
that final call is heart breaking. 

On the positive, sunny side, I saw a lot
of wonderful people that I hadn't seen in years.  Some of you may know
that I was a Detention Officer for the Sheriff's department for a few
years...way back.  (It's where I met my husband).  So I've known them
for a long time, but you know how things go....life happens & you
don't see people.  It was nice to see so many old friends. 

2 comments:

  1. Kirsten, I can totally relate to the bitter-sweetness of a funeral. The
    sadness of the loss vs. seeing people you haven't seen in years. I
    haven't been to a police funeral, but my Dad had been in WW2 and they
    played TAPS and presented the flag to my step-mom. Same feeling I'm
    sure. I totally amazed myself in being able to get up and speak after
    all that. Yup - it makes me tear up just thinking about it over 3 years
    later.

    ReplyDelete
  2. At Forest Service funerals for those that have died in fire service,
    there is a Forest Service Honor Guard. There are bagpipes for that too,
    and instead of guns they carry chrome plated pulaskis. All the Forest
    Service folks show up in their uniforms that they so rarely wear now. It
    is the most beautiful show of solidarity ever, and I weep like a baby.
    Those that dedicate their lives to a life of service to the public
    deserve those tears. Our policemen, our firefighters, and our
    sherrifs.Each one has made our lives safer and easier.

    ReplyDelete