Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Heart Stopped...Figuratively

I work in a church. We have funerals from time to time. Last Monday we had a funeral for a very dear church member. He was being cremated but his widow still wanted the flag presentation at the funeral since he was retired Army. The funeral home arranged for military men and women from the local bases to come including a bugler to play taps. I knew this was going to be tough for me because of J.

What I didn't count on is what happened Monday afternoon. The funeral wasn't until 3:00 PM. It was about 1:00 PM. I'm sitting at my desk. My office has windows into our hallway and my office is one of the first you get to when you come in the back door. At 1:00 PM last Monday my heart stopped. Three people walked into our building in full military dress. For a brief second my heart stopped...I started to feel the tears...and a whirl wind of emotions. Then my brain kicked in thankfully and I asked them if they were here for the funeral. They were and I led them to our sanctuary. More came and it was a beautiful flag presentation but Taps always does me in. They did a great job. 

When I mentioned it to my co-workers they were so caring. They really wanted to know if I was ok. And my boss pointed out that I function in such a different world because it never would have occurred to him to think that when seeing the military people. One of the church people said "well first they would have sent a Chaplin and second there would have only been two and third none of them are a high enough rank to bring that news." I explained that my brain put that together but that was after my heart stopped.  

Funny part of this story. I was talking to J on Wednesday. We hadn't had a chance to talk since it happened on Monday. And I told him my heart had stopped Monday. He thought I meant literally and freaked out before I could ever tell my story. So once I got him calmed down and told him the story his exact quote was "well damn that sucked but I'm ok."


Reccewife said...

For my dh's deployments we put our pator as the primary contact so if something happened to DH they would go to him first and he would come with them to tell me. I just felt better knowing he would be there.
One day him and his wife stopped by just to check on me. I did the same thing you are describing. After that, he always called first. ALWAYS.
Even now with hubby home, after 3 tours my brain takes a moment before I calm down when I see soldiers in full dress in my neighborhood. Even though I know better, the first thought is panic.
I'm glad you were somewhere that there were people to help you relax.