The Swirl

For several months after my son, David Glasser who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty, I hated small talk.

I couldn’t stand it.

It was all so trivial.

You went to the store.  So what?  You talked with your sister.  So what?

It was true with everyone around me –  I just didn’t feel like talking about whatever they were talking about.  It was true at work – really?  What’s so important about this?  Do we have to talk about this right now?

It was all so, so trivial.

I had this huge thing crowding out everything else I had in my brain.  Nothing else seemed important enough to spend a breath on.  It was a strange experience because I didn’t want to talk about Davey –  it was too painful – but I didn’t want to talk about anything else, either.

So my thoughts would often get lost in what I call ‘the swirl’.

Grief, questions, pain, loss and confusion would start swirling through my brain.  Once in a while I would get fixated on a certain thought.  I would focus on it and think about it all day – it was suddenly extremely important.

Until my mind started swirling again.

I’m thankful that God gave me the wisdom to not communicate most of the things rolling around in my head  during this time.  Because what I was thinking wasn’t real, it wasn’t true – it was just my brain working through all of the stuff that was happening and figuring out where to file it.  My mind was sifting through what just happened and coming to a new reality.

The swirl began as soon as we were told in the hospital that there was no hope of recovery for Davey..  I remember walking past hallway after hallway crowded with people and only seeing bodies – no faces.  Police officers were everywhere.  Strange doctors were trying to explain inexplicable things to us.  One of the lights that we were blessed with was Police Chaplain Bob Fesmire.  Every time I see him, I thank him for what he did for my family that night.

Chaplain Fesmire walked with us through those long, so very dark hours in the hospital.  He could tell the doctors sounded like, ‘blah, blah, blah’ to us, so as soon as they left the room, he would translate what was just said into terms we could understand and deal with.  He helped as us we took each step.  Every time he would ask us if we wanted him to pray for us, I said ‘yes’.   And his prayers calmed me, reminded me that God was in control and that God was also walking right beside us.  I am very grateful for that – because I had no words. 

The swirl gradually tapered off as the weeks passed and my mind figured out my new reality.

I have a new understanding of people who have just suffered a sudden loss or tragedy.  I can see ‘the swirl’ in their eyes and I know that their brain is still processing what has happened – what they say may or may not be true and it will probably all change as they come to terms with their new situation.  Their current mental reality is a jumble of grief, shock, anger and bewilderment.  It’s  going to take some time for them to put the shattered pieces of their lives back together in a new way.

People in ‘the swirl’ need love and understanding  – and awesome chaplains like Bob Fesmire who can walk beside them.

Thank you, Chaplain Bob!




Listening to the “Love You’s”

We remember.  And, if we listen closely, we can hear his voice as ‘love you’s’ echo through our heads.

Two years ago today, we lost a hero.  My son, David Glasser, was a  Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty.  We remember and honor his commitment to the safety of those of us who live in Phoenix.  We remember and honor his willingness to put himself at great risk in order to save others.

Davey was a Phoenix native who graduated from Moon Valley High School before getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology at ASU.  He was a Phoenix Police Officer for 12 years.

Davey was a family fanatic – he had a huge heart which was dedicated to his wife, Kristen, his two children and his extended family.

He was a sports fanatic – he played them his whole life and he followed them all.  He especially loved the Cardinals and Diamondbacks and all ASU sports.

He was also a people fanatic – he loved people.  He loved to make people laugh.  He loved to be around people who were having a good time.  He was fiercely loyal to those he loved and, if you every crossed that line with him, you knew it.  He didn’t have any biological brothers so he recruited brothers his entire life – some wore a blue uniform, some wore a cross, others wore Moon Valley red, white and blue, and he had a large crowd of brothers who wore Cardinal Red.

If Davey loved you, you knew it – because he told you.  He knew how quickly life could change, how – in a moment –  his life could end.  So he was fanatical about telling people he loved them and he also was adamant about hearing it back.

Davey’s watch ended on May 19, 2016.  But his love, dedication, integrity and honor lives on through the David Glasser Foundation.  There is still a lot to be done and the Foundation is proud to continue the work that David started.

Today, we pause…. we listen to the ‘love you’s….. and we remember.

The Hole is Getting Bigger

The hole that my son, David Glasser, left is getting bigger.

David was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18th, 2016.

Two years ago……and the hole seemed big then.  It’s only gotten bigger.

He has missed so much.  He wasn’t there for so many things he should have been.  The list of missed birthdays, the missed Christmas’, the missed Father’s days – and Mother’s Days –  is growing.  He will never get to play with his new niece – and he would have been an awesome uncle.

One of the ironic feelings I have at David Glasser Foundation events is  ‘Davey would love this – he should be here’.  And I don’t mean his ‘spirit’ – I mean the super-tall guy with the big grin on his face making everybody laugh.

So many people say the first year after someone dies is the hardest.  I would agree that it is very hard.  We have to figure out all the ‘firsts’.  Our hearts are pierced and bleeding so it’s an overwhelming struggle to do anything for the first time without the one we lost.

But the permanence of the situation becomes much more real in the second year…the second birthday….the second Christmas….  It just cannot be true that the rest of our lives are going to be like this – without Davey.  I don’t want it to be true.

For me, this is the part that is so different from when my father, mother and older brother died.  They were older than me, so I expected there would be a time when I would be here on earth without them.

That isn’t true about Davey.  He was supposed to be here while his dad and I grew old, making jokes about our move into a 55+ community.  He was supposed to retire from being a cop and become a high school teacher and basketball coach.  He was supposed to coach his children’s baseball, softball, flag football and basketball teams.  He was supposed to keep tailgating and being the life of the party.  He was supposed to be here to celebrate his children’s graduations and weddings….and his grandchildren.

It still doesn’t seem possible that he won’t be doing any of that.

It still doesn’t seem possible that we will have to do all of that without him.

I know we will…..and God is giving us the strength and purpose to do that.

But the hole Davey has left in our lives is very big ….. and it’s getting bigger.


The Pain of Permanence

As we move toward the second anniversary of Dave’s death, the pain of permanence is growing. Here are some of my thoughts from last year. In some ways the 2d year has been tougher than the first year.

My Family Bleeds Blue

May 18, 2016 blew up my world – thrusting me into a dark, confusing, very sad place.  A place of grief.  A place I never wanted to go.

I have had other people very close to me die – my mother, father and older brother.

But this was not the same.  Not even close.

My son, David Glasser, a Phoenix Police officer, was killed  in the line of duty.  And I can’t even explain how much worse it has been compared to other deaths in my family.

Yes, last year was a very tough year of ‘firsts’.

But now the pain of permanence has set in.  The reality of life long-term without Davey doesn’t seem possible.  Because, after a year, I know what that life feels like.

Now I know how empty his birthday feels without him.

I know what Christmas and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are like…

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