This week my spouse and I are preparing ourselves for the second regimental funeral in 5 months. We know in advance that this will triggering for him. We are already trying to get his family organized (like herding cats) and ready for the chaos of the day. His brother, who is EPS, cannot attend b/c he’s on course in Ottawa, which adds to his anxiety.
There is an attitude out there that “he signed up for this”. No, No he did not. He did not sign up for this. He signed up for making a difference in the world. He signed up because of his deep rooted patriotism and desire to serve and protect his community and his country. When he graduated, his trainer said that he had never even drawn his gun. He’d certainly never been drawn down on! I was told we never speak of accidents or shootings. It was as though I would jinx the whole thing. I was told I didn’t need to know, because it would never happen.
Two years after graduating the sergeant came knocking on my door. By the grace of God my husband was alive but I was not prepared. I was so shocked and caught off guard. This will be our ninth regimental funeral. Nope, we did not sign up for this.
When he was diagnosed with PTSD 18 years ago, we had no clue what that meant. Now I do. I know that going to this funeral will trigger him and we will spend the next three weeks getting him back on track. We already have an appointment made with the therapist. But this is what we do to honor those who fall. The esprit de corps and camaraderie that will fill the streets on Wednesday will remain with us and keep us going.
I’m so grateful to the people who’ve reached out to us to ask if we’re ok. We don’t have to justify our grief to them. They don’t ask us if we knew Cst. Woodall. They know it’s irrelevant. They’re all brothers and sisters and they all mourn each other equally. Hopefully this will be the last funeral regimental we will ever have to attend.
From a member of our admin team here at Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness