By Jennifer Grigg
Dec. 30, 2011 - My thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and fellow firefighters of Paul Nelson, 21, of Nipissing Township Fire Department in Ontario, and Dan Botkin, 29, of Enderby Fire Department in B.C., both volunteer firefighters who died in the line of duty this week.
As I sit at home watching TV and playing video games with my two beloved daughters, I can’t help but think of those affected by the tragic loss of these two men who gave their lives doing what they love. It is my hope that perhaps that thought alone may offer even the tiniest bit of solace to those who knew them – knowing that they were indeed doing what they loved when the unthinkable happened.
Today is my older daughter’s 12th birthday and it’s a bittersweet day for me. As we celebrate her special day and reflect on how quickly the time has flown, my heart is also heavy for the loss of Paul and Dan. Although I didn’t know them, there are many who knew and loved them and, unfortunately, grief is something that we all have in common.
I lost a third member of my family this year when my brother passed away in June and if there’s something I’ve learned from grief, it’s that even if you don’t know what to say, it’s better to say that than to say nothing at all.
Rest in peace, Paul and Dan.
To their families, friends and fellow firefighters – I am truly sorry for your loss.