This past week was a particularly sad one for our entire nation. As the world held its breath, my husband and I awaited news of the seven missing sailors on the USS Fitzgerald broadsided by the 29,000-ton container ship ACX Crystal off Japan’s Izu Peninsula. During the days that followed, we monitored social media awaiting any news from families who had loved one stationed aboard the USS Fitzgerald. As communication slowly trickled out to families anxiously awaiting word, our relief for them was great. One by one, the list of possible victims narrowed. One by one, families without word grew more and more anxious. My husband is a retired US Navy Sailor. I recall a time when I was one of those family members waiting anxiously for news of my beloved sailor. The seven bereft families from the USS Fitzgerald live in an age where the news is everywhere. They were able to see the details of this event unfold before their very eyes half a world away. Does that make it any easier for them? I think not. Unfortunately, for these families, the deaths of their loved ones fall into two different categories. These family members will suffer the effects of sudden death as well as those of high profile deaths with heavy media coverage and speculation. Greif Brief 123
REGRET (SUDDEN DEATH)
Sudden death can bring feelings of regret to the survivor. Regret for things said or unsaid, actions, inactions, and lost dreams.
Counseling can serve to redirect these regrets allowing a better grief recovery experience and closure. (Mourning Light II, Tracy Renee Lee 2016)
When the crewmembers of the USS Fitzgerald left base Friday for “routine operations” they probably experienced a “routine farewell” from family members. After all, when things are routine, they are usually mundane and do not call for any sort of special recognition. It was not as though they were leaving for a six-month deployment; right? If you have not ever realized it before, being in the military is not routine. The men and women of the US Military risk their lives each and every day at work. Their routine jobs put them in harm’s way almost every moment, even when they are on US soil. Their jobs are not like civilian jobs. Their jobs are to die so that civilians might live. Yes in truth, a service member’s job is to do whatever it takes to protect your life, up to and including sacrificing his or her own. Moreover, they are honored to do it. Continue Reading →