Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You're going to tell ME?

Joe's orders were cut today. We now know what company he's going to. And if my research is correct, he'll be deploying in only a few months. A thought whacked me in the head earlier today. If something happens to Joe, I will be notified. It makes sense. I'm his wife. His next of kin. I would want it that way, right? I would want to know as soon as they could release that information. Right? Do they call me? Do some soldiers in Class As come to my house? How do I get this horrible information? Is it just a phone call? Could I be in the middle of Wal-Mart and get that life changing phone call? As an Army wife I guess I need to be mentally able to hear that news. It's still an odd thought. I'm only 25. There are certain things I'm not sure I can handle as a person, let alone as a wife. But maybe it's not a situation anyone can handle so I should just lay off the anxiety and just take it day by day.

I digress. My main concern at this point is... how do I tell everyone else? Who do I call first? Or more probable, who do I text message first, because I will be unable to speak due to the uncontrollable sobbing. I will have this info that no one else wants to hear. I will ruin their days, weeks, months. I will shake up the world for so many people. It will never be the same. What do I do with this information? My mother suggested I call my father so he could tell her and then she could comfort me. But my side of the family is easy. My parents will be sad. My brother will drive out to get me. But they will be here for me as much and as fast as they can (depending on where I'm living of course).

But how do I tell his mother? How do I call her up and tell her that her only son was killed in the line of duty? If I'm in town, I will go to her house. But what if I'm not? What if I decide to stay in Colorado Springs?

So the plan I have come up with (I'm a massive planner if you haven't noticed) is that I will call my brother in law. He and my sister in law are local. They live up the road from my mother in law. I can tell him about Joe. Then he can go be with his wife to console her when she hears the news (she is Joe's sister). And then the two of them can go tell my mother in law. She will need someone there with her when she hears the news. I could never just call her up and break the news. I just couldn't.

But now I feel guilty. Should I be the one to break the news? It feels like hot potato to me. I have to pass the news on as fast as I can. And once I tell my brother in law I can let go of the responsibility of telling my mother in law. Is that just an awful thing to say and think? Am I being amazingly selfish? I would talk to her afterwards, but I feel the need to make sure someone else is there with her. I'm trying to be as smart about this as possible. And once I have a plan, I can push it out of my mind and know that that situation is taken care of.

Comments? Concerns? Any ideas whatsoever?


The Undomestic Army Wife said...

First, you won't have to worry about getting a phone call in the middle of Wal-Mart. two men in their class a's will come deliver the news to your front door. They will also work with you on your next step. But you don't want to think of that.

A deployment in the military at this time is a no-brainer. Hopefully your husbands family has mentally prepared for the "what could be" and it won't be as hard on them. I would do like I did and just call up family and let them know of the what-if that could occur so when the news of a deployment does come, they will be ready to hear the news. It won't be like a wham bam kinda thing. I did this recently when I told my parents I was moving to another country. Also, if your husband feels comfortable giving the news then I would let him do it. Otherwise, in these kinds of situations you have to let your strength take over. You might as well get used to it. When your husband calls you to give you your updates and say hi, you will be the one calling family and letting them know hes still alive and well.

If you mentally prepare for it the best you can now, you will find that the day the news actually comes, it won't hit you as hard. I know that once we get to Germany, the unit he is going to is deploying. Now whether or not it is his actual squadron, I am not sure. But, once I get the news that he is actually leaving, I won't be as shocked or sad.

If you have the strength to get through this, you will find you don't cry as much as you think you will. I thought I would be a this big huge blubbering baby and it was a piece of cake. Yes. It sucks. I won't lie. But it won't be the end of the world.

Hold your head up and put a smile on your face. Always know that every day is one day closer. Not another day down. Stay positive.

I am going to end this now because I have become that person whos comments I read and I think "Wow, how annoying." But seriously, if you need anything, please let me know. I am on Blogger and Twitter.

TheAlbrechtSquad said...

I have made a similar plan, in fact when my husband was injured in Iraq this last time, that is exactly what I did, I called my BIL and I let him call my MIL.

I'm a planner too, I have planned so many things in my head.

Java Cupcake said...

Planning is a good thing. But remember, as much as you plan... things probably won't go according to your plan in the heat of the moment. It never does. But do know the Army will have a Care Team there & ready to assist you with ANYTHING you need. You won't have to do anything you don't want to. Also, check your husbands DD93. He can also put his parents on that form and they too can be notified by the Army if something were to happen to him.

Good luck :)

Julie said...

I am about 95% sure that if something happens and his mom is on the notification form, then someone will come to her house too. You would not have to be the one to tell her.

It's hard thinking about this, it really is. But what got me through is knowing that most soldiers do return home. No, not all but most do.

Nuclear Wife said...

When my dad died my mom wasn't sure what to do about telling me. Instead of calling she called my cousin and had him and his wife with whom I am very close come to my house then they had me call her. I knew before I called what was happening but it did soften the blow a little to be eased into the situation and to have them there knowing what was going on when I heard the words from my moms mouth. Not at all the same situation since my dad was a sick old man not a young healthy son but if God forbid something does happen to your husband and you think that you should be the one to tell your MIL it is one option.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this, you gave me permission for all the crazy thoughts in my own head :) :) :) :)

Sara said...

Everyone has crazy thoughts. I'm just nuts enough to write them down for others to read.

Thanks for everyone's input. Joe's mother and I have a very strange relationship. We arent incredibly close. We have very different views on the world, and her son. And if I'm 14 hours away, I wouldnt want her to be waiting as I was driving to Arkansas. She and her daughter and son in law are very close.

I will have to ask Joe if his mother is on a notification list. It would be nice if you could add more than one person.

liberal army wife said...

Yes, you can have his mom on the list - and no, you aren't nuts. We all think this, believe me. and yeah, I have a list. I also finally got Chief to help me make a few of the decisions I'd be forced to make - by just letting him know that it would help me if he would. It's something we live with.


kelly said...

Not nuts at all Sara - my husband deployed 6 weeks ago and i rest easy knowing that my 'call' if it comes will come from his dad. he will drive the 3 hours to come to my house and he'll wait until the kids are in bed!! My biggest worry was having the Notifying Officer (UK system similar but different labels) turn up just before the school run! Everything you write on here is insightful but that may be because you write what we all think but you put it very clearly. sometimes i don't know what i'm feeling at all. I feel guilty that i don't miss my husband enough. but if i let myself start all that then my life would go to pot. I choose to live in a bubble of normal daily things. I rarely consider if he has to kill others or if he is being shot at. I KNOW that this does happen on a daily basis so i don't need to think about it further. It's in a box labelled 'open only if necessary'. There are a lot of other things in that box - the funeral arrangements, the letter to our children (should i read it now anyway?) the financial details of 'leaving the Army' no longer being an Army wife etc. But unless i need to open it, then it stays closed and i do all the things in your poem instead.