Tuesday, April 08, 2008

All Our Loss.

Even though I really love what I do for a living (with a passion that burns brighter than a couple of dozen suns, yadda-yadda), I don't think I'd trade my life for a news story.

At least, not the kind of local news story that we normally cover.

What I do for a living isn't always safe. We deal with plenty of natural disasters, politicians, cats, criminals and the general public and you never know when any of them might turn on you.

There are stories that I'd risk my own safety to cover, but on any given day when I'm leaving for work, I generally expect to come home again.

Last Friday I was helping cover the memorial service for Brent Lovrien. He was the fire fighter killed in an explosion back on March 26th.

Man, I've covered a lot of funerals and it's never been easy to speak to the friends and family of the deceased. Their experience and grief isn't going to be the same as mine. The best I can do is offer my condolences.

Even when that seems like an inadequate gesture in the face of overwhelming loss, my experience is that it does offer some comfort.

At this point, it's not what I would call a huge struggle for me to hold it together. Not really, but the emotional impact of the day does give me pause. My own family loss isn't so far in the past that I'm not easily reminded of it.

I see it in the sadness in the faces of the people I encounter. Sorry, but that's what I'm carrying.

If it meant protecting the life of another person, I like to think I'd have the courage to put myself in harms way. I'm lucky (and I'm sure my family is thankful) I don't have to face exactly the type of danger a policeman, soldier, or fireman might face. I'm also lucky that my life isn't so unexciting that I have to imagine myself in scenarios of heroic activity.

He didn't know me. We never met when he was alive. I learned only a small measure of truth about him from the people who spoke during his memorial service. Even if I hadn't heard about what a swell guy he was, because of the career he chose I'd still have a lot of respect for Brent Lovrien. People like him follow a path in life that carries actual risk.

At the end of their day I'm sure they also all expect to come home.

Brent Lovrien was of the people who watch over us, but life goes on and someone will step up to fill the position in the Fire Department he leaves behind. Before we move too quickly forward, not to dwell on it, but for now we should recognize that as a person Brent Lovrien can't be replaced.

There is one less good person in the world and we will always be diminished by our loss.
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Bridgette Alyce said...

This story gave me the chills. I appreciate you sharing this solemn occasion and celebration of the life and service of Firefighter, Brent Lovrien. This is what I mean by "journalistic skills", Bryan. I never knew him personally, but you brought him so up close and personal, that when I read this the other day, the loss was so intense it was palpable. I couldn't even respond. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to write about Brent. My entire family has tried to move on since his loss but it has been difficult. Most people do not take the time to realize what men like Brent do on a daily basis. Most people don't even realize that even after a month since he has passed that several more firefighters have passed away. These men run into a burning building when everyone is running out and to have that kind of courage is amazing. Louis Aldana's speech about Brent at his funeral at the Cathedral tells you a lot about Brent. He will forever be missed by his friends and family. Please remember to go home at night and tell your loved ones that you love them. You never know if you will have the chance to do it again.

12/13/1972 - 3/26/2008

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