SURVIVORS GUIDE TO
FOUR LETTER WORDS
It took at least two years before I would accept that I was a survivor. It took a little longer to understand how important some four letter words were. These words and comments apply to survivors and supporters alike.
HATE. While a person may hate the situation, you cannot carry anger and hate for someone who may have perpetrated a crime that caused the loss. Forgiveness can be a work in progress for quite a while.
LOVE. For fellow survivors and, especially, for the deceased officer.
PRAY. We, my family and I, could feel the uplifting force of prayer aiding us through those early very dark days and nights.
HUGS. Just as prayers are food for the spirit, hugs give strength to the body. If you are not one to give hugs, then hold out your hand to a survivor.
HAND. Take a survivor’s hand and lift them up. Or give them a hand with chores around the home or bring a meal or make calls for them.
HELP. One of the best ways to help yourself is to reach out to help others. By doing, by listening, by being there.
HEAR and HERE. Listen to a survivor’s story. In the over dozen years that I have attended COPS Parents’ Retreat, I have found that asking; “Tell me about your child” will yield at least an hour-long conversation mixed with smiles and tears. And be present by giving your full attention to the speaker.
LOVE. The depth of the love and caring for the officer yields the depth and breadth of the grief. The relationship of a mother or a father differs. As do the relationships of a spouse, child, sibling, in-law, co-worker, in-law or friend.
HERO. It was not just a police officer who died. It was a person who deserved the respect and love of family and friends.
HEAL. Take care of yourself and others with kind actions. If you get ill or withdrawn, you cannot help yourself or others.
HOPE. A way to look ahead. I know I will see my son. My faith tells me that we will be together again.
Father of Officer Peter Grignon