FD: "DW like DW I talked to a couple months ago?"
My mouth probably dropped to the floor. If it didn't the next thing did.
She hugged me for a good 30 seconds.
DW: "Please don't think I'm crazy. This wasn't my idea, it was my therapists. But I'd like to stay in the room my husband died in if it's okay, and if it's not too much trouble, could we talk for a little while?" FD: "I don't think that's crazy. I think you're stronger than I ever could be. I don't think I could ever do something like what you're doing right now. And I'd be glad to talk."
So we sit down and we talk about her husband. She brought pictures of him and her and their kids for me, pictures of fish he had caught (deep sea fisherman hobbyist, I guess they lived in FL for many many years), and pictures of his memorial. She also told me his wishes were to be cremated and thrown into the ocean.
I guess that's illegal, so she put him in this big glass beaker looking thing with a big plaque on it, and but him into the gulf stream. The plaque has a website where you can tag where you found the urn if it happens to come your way, and it's going to travel all over the world. I thought that was awesome. We talked for probably 2 hours about her husbands life and their marriage and their kids.
At the end of it all, she told me: DW: "I really appreciate your heart. Not a lot of people are like you. I wanted to drive up here and do this because it wasn't fair to you to only have known him by his dead body. I wanted to put a face to the name for you, to show you how he was in life so you could picture something other than what you saw."
I cried. I'm a 6'4" 250 LB burly ex-football player with shoulder length surfer hair. I'm not pretty when I cry.
It's connections like this that make me tell people that hospitality is different than any job I've ever worked. One shift changed my entire outlook on life. Seeing that body was a big slap of reality to me. Anyone can be gone at any moment, and we can't take anything for granted.