Line of Duty Death

I have blogged before about being a Fire Chaplain and the joy that that aspect of ministry brings. The down side to that ministry is being on a team that has to inform a family of a death in the line of duty. I can say that so far I have been spared that particular part of ministry.
Yesterday at our chaplains conference this topic came up. A very sensitive area and one that has to be handled just right. I always find it interesting that people think it is easier for one in ministry to bring the bad news. Why is that? Why am I, just because I happen to wear a collar, any more prepared to bring the news than anyone else? The answer for me anyway is because someone has to do it. Usually the chaplain and the chief go to bring the news, and it is not easy for the chief as he has just lost someone in the line.
I am working now on the protocol for the Line of Duty Death Notification for our department and it is amazing how detailed this document is. It leaves nothing out and allows for no mistakes. After all, we owe it to the bravest to handle things in the right way.
This brings up another topic. Does everyone have a will? Recently a parishioner died in the parish and he had no family. This set off all sorts of questions about what to do and even who will make the arrangements. I was so surprised by this, but I come from a large family so the chances of me being that last are pretty slim. But, have we made arrangements for us or told someone what we want done? In other words are we ready to go? We need to make sure that our death will not be any harder on the people we leave behind. Even if we think we have nothing, we should have a simple will. Oh and let me make this pitch. Do not forget your church, whatever church that might be, in your will. Okay shameless commercial over.
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