It started with a hit in my personal life on my Sunday, then a storm they named "Lucifer" as a little 1-2 punch on my Monday and Tuesday - which made my shifts long in feel & actual length, and busier than they've been in a long while.
This week, for some reason, I've had a lot of death calls. People finding their loved ones that have passed. Suicides. Fatal traffic collisions. Hearing the impact over the phone of a vehicle hitting a pedestrian at high speeds. Calls that stick with someone for a while, and forces them to draw parallels with the worst of the worst calls they've had in their career. Usually these calls get these spaced out, so dealing with one of "The Top 5" all in the same week, doesn't happen.
A lot of us in the field make jokes about how we don't have souls. I even made this joke on my Twitter just 12 hours ago.
But I'll let you in on a little secret.
We do still have our souls.
And another truth? These calls - these terrible things that we hear and deal with on a daily basis - they impact us more than we let on. Most days we process and purge. Everyone does it a little differently, but we do it to survive and to be able to go back the next day and do it again. We go about life and work as if everything is status quo. Cause that is what's easy. You don't have to deal if you push it down.
And maybe it's because I had a chink in my armor already at the beginning of the week, but it seems to hurt more this week. Having a harder time with the smile and nod. One more work day for me this week, before a day off, then back to the minimum-14-hr-a-shift grind for another long stretch. So I'm gonna work on me a bit for a few days.
I hope this serves as a little reminder for those of us in the business to check on your beat partners from time to time. Not only the ones that are struggling, but the ones that have on the happy face and jolly disposition. They're impacted by this all the same.And for those of you that aren't in emergency services, take the same message away. Because most likely, just like me, there's people in your life that would say the same as I:
It's been a rough week.