I’ve been privileged to be a member of this EMS family for almost 16 years now. Almost half my life. I’ve worked with hundreds of people in different capacities.
We’ve all seen a lot of death. I learned quickly that death is to be expected.
Some are harder than others.
The hardest ones are my friends. My family members.
Too many of my EMS family have died since I began. I miss them all.
A coworker of mine was killed in an MVC several years ago by a drunk driver. His funeral was beautiful, and the memory gives me a catch in my throat.
My mentor, a man who can only be described as the father of EMS in my state, had a funeral attended by over 1,000 people, and it is still talked about today, more than 5 years later. His death was not unexpected, but tragic nonetheless. The funeral that followed his several months later was unexpected, and I never got to say goodbye to another good man.
I’m tired of going to funerals.
Recently, a good friend and partner died in the line of duty. It was nothing like I could imagine, or describe. His death touched me more than any other.
I miss him terribly.
When we worked together, our first stop in the morning was at Starbucks. He would go inside, and come out a few minutes later with 2 cups of coffee. One for me, and one for him. Our last stop in the morning on the way back to the station before we went home was to the same Starbucks. Again, 2 cups. One for him, one for me.
I don’t drink coffee.
He knew that. But he got me a cup “just in case you wanted one,” as he would say.
That extra cup of coffee was never for him. He never drank that cup of coffee, and he never expected me to. That was the man he was.
On holidays, he would call me, just to ask how my family was. He remembered the birthdays of my children, and would ask about them each time we saw each other. He would greet me with the firmest handshake, widest grin, and strongest hug.
He was everybody’s friend. And he was my friend.
I miss those phone calls.
I wish he had known how important that cup of coffee, those phone calls, that handshake, hug, and smile really were. I wish I had known how important they were.
I am terrible at mourning. I wish I knew how to make this easier.
I really miss my friend.
Some days are easier than others. Most days are still hard.