I see death on a regular basis. I get deployed by the Sheriff's office and Fire Authority to notify loved ones of a death and I get deployed to scenes where I help with loved ones or even help the coroner load the body into a body bag. There is nothing glamorous about this job. My main goal is to connect with first responders who have seen and experienced violent death scenes. I recently sat with a group of cops who were first on scene at a double fatality motorcycle accident. A motorist swerved into oncoming traffic and instantly killed a husband and wife riding down from Estes Park. I won't divulge any of those conversations but I will say this... I was supposed to be on that ride with the two who died. They were my friends. My other good friends were on that ride and witnessed the deaths of their friends.
Now, here I am working the tragedy for others and experiencing a personal loss too. Surreal for sure, to this day my mind isn't fully wrapped around this dynamic. I felt like I couldn't breakdown because it wouldn't help those to whom I'm a chaplain , at the same time I'm ignoring the very advice I give... "It's ok to breakdown and feel the emotion you're heart and brain is presenting you." Is this a conundrum? Or is it just a crappy situation? Both...
Death is a part of life experience. My first responder friends see death and others in tragedy as a normal part of their day. Make sure to feel the emotions presented to you by your heart and brain. And forgive this chaplain for being human too.... as much as I try to be super human.... I know I am not.