April 12 was both horribly sad and bittersweet.
As I waited in formation, for hours, with hundreds of my fellow first responders, I had a chance to reunite with coworkers and friends. The sharing of our stories about Constable Sarah Beckett and our past exploits, both humorous and macabre, seemed to release a bit of the hard knot inside our hearts.
When the hearse arrived, however, not a sound was heard except the catch in our throats. As we started to march, the sky opened up and it poured down rain. It was like the heavens themselves could no longer keep the grief in.
I have always held the belief that funerals are not for the departed but for those left behind. The coming together and celebrating the life of our loved ones, screams out to the universe that they were loved, that their life meant something, and that they will not be forgotten. I believe we accomplished that yesterday.
To the public who came out and stood in the rain to show your support, thank you. It meant more to us than you will ever know.
To the police officers who took shifts so all of Sarah’s coworkers and friends could come to the funeral, thank you.
To all of my fellow first responders whether they be Dispatch, EHS, Fire or Police who took time out of their busy lives and traveled at their own expense to show their support, thank you.
To Sarah’s Family, for allowing us to grieve with you at this very difficult time, thank you.
To all the RCMP families who have lost a loved one through off duty injuries, illnesses or lost their battle with an occupational injury and finally sought peace, we have not forgotten you.
To all first responder families and friends, whose never ending love and support allow us to continue to serve our community, thank you. Without you we could not survive this job mentally or emotionally. You are our rock, our shoulder to cry on and our bastion of peace and sanity, and we don’t tell you often enough …
Constable Roz Guineau, Central Saanich