I’ve been avoiding news and sad stories like a plague! I really do care. The truth is, I care too much… and sometimes I have to just try to turn that side of me off. The worst part is, there is no off button, only avoiding things.
I could never handle doing my husband’s job. As much as I lay it on him that he could never handle being me (And he couldn’t, if I died today… he would lose his mind having to try to take my place… whole new post for another day!), I could never handle his job on some days either.
He’s had countless people die right in front of him. Found people mangled in accidents. Smelled burned flesh. Had to tell a mother in denial that her 2 week old preemie hooked to all kinds of lines at home was indeed dead. I want to burst into tears thinking about it. I can’t imagine surrounding myself with tragedy. How do you go to the next call, with a clear mind, after finding a dead child?
Because he was led to do so. We all know most men aren’t nearly as emotional as women, maybe it’s a gift that some of us lack empathy. Sympathy anyone can have. Empathy is something that I think was given to me as a gift and it just feels more like a curse. Surely it’s meant to be used for something other than me weeping for others I do not know, as if it had happened to me.
Some days I’d rather suffer from apathy.
Nearly 2 years ago a 10 year old boy died in an accident. The 4 or 5 other people in the truck survived. All school aged children. I cried for a week. My daughter was 9 at the time and all I could imagine was, what if that had been her? It felt like it was her. I felt like I was literally mourning the death of my child, not some child I had never laid eyes on. I hated it. It seems ridiculous to my hardass husband that I could just burst into tears watching some random movie all because I thought about that thing that happened three days ago. Or last week. Or two months ago. He doesn’t get it and maybe that is how he does his job. He has compassion to want to help, sympathy for those he can’t and the ability to move on because there’s nothing left to do.
Sometimes it is worse than others, sometimes I just sulk in it and cry until there just isn’t anything left. Then there are times like this, that are suppose to be full of Christmas Spirit and miracles… I don’t want to face reality. I want carols, chocolate and lights. Happy, joyous and celebration. Not news about a plane crazy two counties over they found this morning, with a body inside. Its’ two weeks from Christmas, no one is suppose to die. No one is suppose to have to tell their kids they can’t afford Christmas. No one is suppose to go hungry, cold or be alone.
I’m lucky enough to have a home, clothes, heat, food, family and an amazing husband… and I feel guilty. I think I’ll take a detour from the news and such, pass stories they post on Facebook and quickly move on if I am reading or hearing something that might be sad. It doesn’t mean that I don’t care, I just care too much. I just keep praying that the Lord hears all who call on him.
I also pray those who have to surround themselves with the things I shield myself from manage to cope and know they are led to be there. That they know that they are appreciated by someone, somewhere. That they are in the thoughts and prayers of people they will never meet.
I am proud to be the wife of a FF/EMT, I just don’t know how he does it.
I pray you each have a Merry Christmas and that the New Year brings so much more to all of those who deserve.
Who knows the difference between sympathy and empathy?