I follow the links, I read the articles, and I acknowledge the news when tragedy strikes. I want to know if anyone survived, I want to know how many died, I want to know if they survived for a bit and then died. I have normal human curiosity. What I don’t want to do is obsess over tragedies.
I won’t read every article that’s out about a line of duty death. I won’t read every interview that’s done with the surviving spouse, parents, children, or friends. I won’t watch the funerals, I won’t listen to the mayday calls, I won’t even listen to the 911 calls that beckoned the fire service. It’s not that I’m unfeeling; it’s that I simply can’t do that to myself.
Death within the fire service is sad, it’s tragic, it’s untimely. It absolutely brings home the realization that my firefighter may walk out the door and not come back home to me. While that realization is always in the back of my mind, I don’t obsess over it. I wouldn’t be able to function if I obsessed over him and his career choice. So, I accept the risks I know he must take, and I do my best to make him proud by living my life.
I don’t want to be drawn into a black hole of emotion over the tragedies across the country and world within the fire service. That doesn’t mean I’m cold, unfeeling, or self-absorbed. What it really means is that why I have the utmost sympathy for the families left behind, I’m glad it wasn’t my firefighter this time. It means that I will hug and kiss my firefighter a little longer the next time I see him, and it helps me remember that even when I’m mad, I still say “I love you”. Not allowing myself to obsess means that I can admit that I am too tender-hearted to be constantly confronted with bad news, urgent prayer requests, tragedy, you name it. Part of being a fire wife means that I have to be strong and keep our life and family going, particularly when he’s on shift. So yes, I’ll read articles, I’ll comment how sad it is, I’ll even support fundraisers for the survivors, however the one thing I won’t do is obsess over every minute detail. I simply can’t, I simply won’t.
Well said, my heart breaks for those who obsess, I can’t imagine. I always thought me not obsessing was because how I was raised? And it may still be, but it’s also a way of life I wouldn’t trade for the world 😉