Talking about that 5 letter word

CarolinaFireJournal - By Dedra Cline
By Dedra Cline
01/10/2013 -

Welcome back. Hope you enjoyed the first column of “Lessons learned on the home front.” I am sure this stirred memories of those “seasoned” couples. Everyone has a story, even the newest couple of the department. After my husband and teenage daughter read the column, they both looked at me asking “What is a DH.” To some DH may be designated hitter, but to me DH is my Dear Husband.


We are not guaranteed the next breath of life, however, we live in a world where our significant other has a dangerous career.

This time we are going to talk about a five letter word no one wants to talk about. DEATH. Disclaimer here, find your box of tissues.

We are not guaranteed the next breath of life, however, we live in a world where our significant other has a dangerous career. Even if they belong to a volunteer department, it is a dangerous career. What we will talk about here is making sure that everything is in order in the wake of a death.

The first thing we must do is have that conversation with our significant other. The biggest question that needs to be asked is, “Who do you want to clean out your locker/office?” Why is this most important? We want the one in the department closest to our significant other going through their personal items and delivering them to us.

The next question is, “What is your request for final ride and what about clothing?” Some firefighters take their last ride on a fire truck with a host of firefighters walking behind the truck. If the final resting place is too far, one thought is for the fire truck to go for a few miles, then the casket be transferred to a waiting hurst and the walkers to board a bus to continue to cemetery. Clothing ... full uniform or everyday attire. Not all departments have full uniforms; some have blue shirts and ties. There are companies that will donate a dress uniform for a line of duty death.

Know where all account numbers and passwords are — checking, savings, 401(k), credit cards, loan account numbers and amounts, stocks, bonds and mutual funds. With the day of social media being so popular, include tweeter, facebook, etc. Know telephone numbers of those to contact. Business and personal.

Have the following documents available (you will need more than one copy):

  • Certified Copies Birth Cerificates — not just your significant other, however, yours, and other dependents
  • Certified Copies Marriage Certificate
  • Divorce Decrees
  • Adoption Decrees
  • Social Security Numbers of all dependents
  • Military Discharge Papers
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Wills
  • Vehicle Titles
  • Real Estate Deeds

In case of a line of duty death, your fire department and the state fallen firefighters organization will help plan the funeral. Knowing what is wanted and where needed items are, will help make the process less stressful.

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