It’s a constant battle.
My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016. My heart was crushed and my life exploded.
I never use the word ‘healing’ in this journey because that sounds to me like all the pain and grieving heals up and fades away. That’s simply not true in my life. The hole Davey’s death left in my life is actually growing larger because he is missing more and more moments and times and events where he should have been…..where he would have been. That hole is not ‘healing’. I’m just getting used to it.
I acknowledge that I have accumulated many battle scars since May 2016. These are places in my life which were torn apart when Davey was killed. These are the aspects of this tragedy where I have fought and I have cried and I have prayed – and I have moved forward. I’ve got the scars to prove it.
For the first several months after Davey’s death, thoughts would swirl through my head – not making sense. My brain was in such shock that it didn’t know how to file all the overwhelming feelings and new, horrible facts that were blowing like a tornado through my life. I have never experienced that before. Gradually, I learned to stop the swirl. When it would start, I made my mind focus on something good in my life and concentrate on that. Gradually, my thoughts would calm down to where my brain could start filing ideas and reactions and feelings in the right places. This battle brought peace back into my life – one step at a time. Now, I can see the swirl in people’s eyes when I meet someone who has experienced a recent tragedy. Been there, done that. I have fought that fight and it makes me more compassionate for others who are dealing with ‘the swirl’.
Fallen but not forgotten.
Losing someone you love in a law enforcement line of duty death is so different from other deaths. It’s very public and there are crowds of people involved at all levels. With Davey, our whole city grieved. Our Blue Family across the country grieved. Every May, we have several memorials where all fallen officers are recognized and remembered. Police Week in Washington, DC is a huge memorial for all of the heroes we have lost. Participating in these memorials is right and good. It’s also a battle as waves of emotions and memories are fueled by these events. The long list of all the things that have been lost is highlighted in bright flashing lights during these memorials. This battle creates multiple levels of scars because it happens again…..and again….and again….and again.
I grieve over all of Davey’s lost plans and dreams. My heart breaks a little bit more every time the thought of a dream that has been snatched away comes up and slaps me in the face. It feels like a slap because it. will. never. be. And it’s a stab into the parts of my heart that are broken. I have met people who have gotten stuck in this spot. They have chosen to give up the good that is coming when they decide to stay in the past, focused on what they have lost. It’s tempting to do that and avoid the battle of figuring out how to move forward. But I refuse to live in the past. I submit to God’s plans for the future. I trust that he has a purpose for all of this and I will move forward, knowing there are more battles yet to come.
The battles are real. They are tough. They hurt. But figuring them out and winning is worth it.
Miss you , Davey.