I received a message this morning from a former colleague. My friend was killed last night. After the army, he became a deputy sheriff. He was shot responding as a SWAT officer. The gunman killed himself.

Today is a weird day. I haven’t spoken to him in eight years, but of everyone I worked with at the time, he was very kind and willing to help. He was reliable when I was the only female staff in the unit. And when I became a mom, he visited me in the hospital and took care of my work until I returned.

It’s hard to process grief when you don’t feel it belongs to you. I’m trying to keep it to myself. Charlie has been considerably vocal about how tired he is and how much work he has today. The kids are on a shopping high from getting school supplies and new clothes. Here I am trying to keep myself together until bedtime. Sleep is where I escape to when I am sad. In my house, we call them “Big Feelings” when the emotion is to large to stay in our body. I’m having big feelings today.

I didn’t pay any attention to the packaging of the kids supplies for where the trash would go. I doubt I get much else done today. My grief feels like a bare minimum survival mode.

It’s also much like helplessness. I want to do something that would help, but there’s nothing I could do. Throw money at it? Say things I think are nice, but are actually not helpful at all?

Moving forward through the pain of loss is not how I thought I’d spend my week. I think I’ll go for a walk.

Until later.

Beth Pedersen

This is a fictional character in a fictional world navigating the collapse of society. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, business, events and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

That being said, today’s journal entry includes real feelings about a real friend. El Paso County Deputy Andrew Peery reached the end of his watch on August 7th, 2022. My brother in arms. Godspeed.

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