Ooh, SMZâ€¦lousy position. Have you tried sitting down with your FF, and just telling him straight out, â€œI love you, I donâ€™t mind you being gone, but it makes me a basket case when you tell me all the time that you might not be coming back.â€? SMZ, the reality is, the vast majority of firefighters DO come back, every time. Itâ€™s not like the military, where thereâ€™s a concept of â€œacceptableâ€ losses. Granted, itâ€™s a dangerous job, but hey, inner-city pizza delivery is worse. In a way, it looks worse in than it is the firefighter community because weâ€™re so tightâ€¦we all mourn together, which makes every death more immediate, even though there really are very few of them. Short answer: your feelings are totally normal, but it doesnâ€™t sound like your FF is helping a whole lot.Â
My solution is two-fold: first, a little bit of firefighter re-education, starting with the above conversationâ€¦firefighter wives are like army wives, weâ€™re really trained to support our man. This is important, yeah, but itâ€™s also important to get it through your manâ€™s head that the folks at home need some support too. It really goes both ways. Which comes to my second pointâ€¦educate yourself. Hang out in your FFâ€™s dispatch, maybe take a few classes, read this site, learn all you can about wildland firefightingâ€¦and it probably wonâ€™t scare you nearly as much. Oh, and listen to FireMomma, and Sammi, and Abby. Theyâ€™ve got far more experience in the domestic management of firefighters than I.
Nerd on the Fireline