By Heather Haider
Preparing a uniform for a Line of Duty (LODD) funeral is never easy.
It's not that ironing is hard, it's all the emotions and thoughts that you are flooded with.
Do you tell the 2 year old watching that you are prepping for a funeral? Or do you tell her Daddy is just getting ready for work?
These past few days have been tough. Many tears and even some laughter.
Many moments that induced a perspective change.
Last Friday night, I laid in bed next to my snoring husband. Typically, I would have immediately pushed him to get him to stop. That night, I thought how lucky I was to be lying next to my snoring husband, because another Minnesota police wife would never be able to again.
I am so incredibly proud of my husband for his desire to honor the fallen and remember the survivors. I am also so very sad for a fellow wife. Her world has been rocked and I cannot help but think, "what if this happened to me?"
Death Packets & Unanswered Questions
Did you know that police families have "death packets"? These pieces of paper contain the info that answer the questions that are asked after an officer is killed in the line of duty. It is neither fun nor easy to put together, but it is essential to have. (Even if your agency doesn't require one, I highly suggest making one. A downloadable template is available though Minnesota Chapter of Concerns of Police Suvivors - COPS)
Every time that there is a LODD, our packet gets a little longer. There are more decisions that I didn't know that I needed to make. I want to make them now instead of later.
The most recent questions....How will they find me to notify me if I'm not at work? Do I allow our children to be photographed by the media? What pictures do we release? How will we cover the expenses? Who will be our family liaison? How will I tell the kids their daddy is gone? So many questions.
Circle the Wagons
But for now, I will love my family a little harder and I will hug my LEO friends a little tighter as we police wives circle the wagons around Shawn and Wyatt as we grieve another loss together.
Please join our circle of wagons by donating to help with the unexpected costs associated with this tragic loss. All funds donated are tax deductible and 100% of the funds will go directly to the Mathews family. Even if you can't donate, please consider sharing this link (https://www.youcaring.com/WPDMathews) to invite more wagons into the circle. Every dollar, every share counts.
How does your own tribe circle the wagons when one of your own is hurting? Please comment below so we can learn from you.
Heather Haider has been married to her LEO for 12 years. They have 2 kids. She is currently the Vice President of Backing the Blue Line.