The consequences of death and destruction have become old friends. Friends I meet daily in my work helping law enforcement, veterans, communities, and trauma victims understand how to overcome the horrors that life can bring to bear upon us. Last week was a normal one, heartbreaking. Here are just some of the experiences explored in my talks and workshops during that time:
- A young veteran who described the horror of grabbing at his burning leg after being hit by a rocket, and then pulling away his hand to see it dripping with melted fat and flesh.
- A rookie police officer of only a couple of weeks who rolled up on a scene to find a dead 6-year old, whom he had to carry in his arms to the wailing screams of the young child’s family.
- A woman who was violently and repeatedly raped as a child by family members, and now had dedicated her life to helping others like her, yet was still wrestling with her own demons.
- A former Marine who shared the toll of war on the company he served with in Iraq: 11 suicides and counting.
- A young woman who was going through a divorce and facing life alone in a city without family.
- And during all of this, I was preparing for a weekend with families who had lost loved ones serving in the Armed Forces.
Just a normal week.