What happens to the family of a first responder when tragedy strikes? Well, it depends on the tragedy. If an officer gets a physical injury while on duty, there will be support from all over. I can remember when we endured our first shooting, there was a sea of officers from one end of the hospital to the other. In the following days and weeks, people brought food, cards, helped with the children, and much more. It was a very difficult time for our family. The support made it so much easier on all of us. There was a constant flow of messages, visits, cards, etc. We knew we had support. There were still difficult days, but the support was there.
A few years later, when PTSD crept into our lives, there was utter silence. There was no one coming with food. There were no cards. There were no messages. People avoided us like we had the plague. As he slipped deeper into PTSD, I found myself completely isolated and alone as I tackled daily life. My days were spent working, caring for the children, cleaning, cooking, running to practices, and all the while trying to determine his mental state every day to determine what would be of utmost importance that day.