Notification – and when to SHUT UP.
Alright people, let’s get this straight. Notifications are done the way they have been done, for a damned good reason. Our families deserve the courtesy, the compassion, every ounce of family goodwill we have; they do not deserve to have the worst news of their life delivered by Facebook Status update of some foolish woman who had to rend her garments and weep and wail online, about what happened to someone else! They do not deserve to get some text message giving them that terrible news.
That is what happened yesterday. A young woman got the news that her husband was killed, not by an official notification, but by a text and a Facebook status. Can you imagine that? Can you? I can. And my heart breaks for her. And I get so damned ANGRY at the twit who felt she had to be “the first” to break the news; at the IDIOT downrange who felt the need to break OPSEC. I know that he thought he needed to let her know he was ok – I get that. But that he had to open his mouth and tell her WHO was dead? That is so wrong, on so many levels.
I want them to sit and imagine how they would feel. I want them to imagine that level of pain, and sorrow and disbelief. I want them to remember what they did for a very very long time. I want them to know that they were the cause of more pain in a time of agony, and try to live with that – and sleep with the knowledge that most of the military families in this country are recoiling from their actions.
I know the feeling of wondering if your loved one is ok – we all do. The tension is horrendous, the need to know is huge. but dammit, that’s not a good enough reason to do this to anyone else. If you’ve received the news that your spouse is ok, be relieved, but for everyone’s sake – SHUT UP.
Let this be a lesson to all of us. In this age of instant access we have to remember that our actions have consequences, that there are others whose lives are affected by what we say, by what we do. If you find out news like this – SHUT UP! If your downrange family member tells you something like this – SHUT UP! The fact that they shouldn’t do that – take care of that later. But for everyone’s sake – SHUT UP! Don’t tell your best friend, don’t tell your mother, and for everyone’s sake, stay off social media. Don’t contact the family to offer your condolences, until it’s official. Do them the favour, give them the courtesy of NOT being the one they’ll hate forever. Just SHUT UP.