5 July 2011

The hardest words

We do a lot of training in the police. For all eventualities.

Of course nothing really prepares you fully for a riot, or having a gun waved at you. But those things, you deal with however you can, and it's all adrenalin and sweat and action and you get through, and once you have, it's pats on the back and a few in the pub and a celebration of another day you've survived.

And then you do training for informing people of tragedy. Loved ones who've died or been seriously injured. And when it comes to doing it for real, nothing's prepared you for that, either. But it's all long silences and awkwardly watching as someone's world caves in on them.

Obivously it's something I have to deal with more than most. It's hard every single time. It's different every single time. You're never prepared, no matter how many times you do it.

And telling people their child is dead...that's the hardest of all.

Add to that today that I'm not just telling these people that their missing child is dead, I'm telling them that through an interpreter. And they're terrified of me, because they're currently staying in this country as illegal immigrants. Everything I say will be carefully translated and i watch, sitting in silence, as the reality hits them.

And these are just the first parents I'm going to go through this with.

Is it better for them, knowing, but now also exposing themselves and the rest of their family to the law, and the prospect of deportation? Or is it better for the ones we may never find, who choose not to come forward?

I really don't know.

We're starting a huge campaign within the community to try to find out the identities of all the victims. It's a hard slog of trying to win trust and break down barriers. I hope, for them, it's worth it.


And after that doom and gloom, here's a typical Sherlock conversation from this morning, when he arrived in the kitchen.

Me: Sherlock! Why are you picking your nose? Stop it, it's horrible.

Sherlock, frowning: It's not horrible. Earwax tastes horrible. Bogeys are nicer.

I wish I'd had a come back, but it just made me wonder how do we all know ear wax tastes horrible?? Is it just a universal fact you'rer born knowing? Or do we all experiment, then wipe it from our minds in disgust?


I should add, he and Mycroft (and I salute you, Mycroft, for being in control of that situation!) made Brownies last night - and they were delicious. Well done to both of them.

And John was wonderful. I didn't want to go back to his, I thought I'd go home and be on my own. But...well, it doesn't make either of us feel better, doing that. And I'd've had a drink.

It's just going to take a while to get used to being around people who don't treat the job as an inconvenience that should be left at the office, and never brought home in any way shape or form.

48 comments:

weefreethings said...

Yay, Sherlock! He has an interesting approach to distracting you from the horrors of the real world, but it's a somewhat effective one, is it not? Sometimes, fluffy bunnies are not enough; then it's earwax to the rescue! :)

Sherlock said...

Earwax IS horrible.

And I watched the pictures about Pride today, with the people in the olden days, and it said it used to be illegal for men to like men, but you and John say it's natural and not a choice, so how could it be illegal? That's stupid. Things that are illegal should be bad things that you don't have to do, like murders. Not things that you don't have a choice about.

Why are you a policeman when they used to let things like that be illegal? I'd tell them they were stupid and not work for them because they're stupid and wrong.

crankybookwyrm said...

Rather nice when people love you for all of what you are, not just the easy parts, huh?

I can't even imagine how anyone can do the work you do. I'm just glad you have a haven to retreat to afterwards, with earwax, bogeys and brownies.

iamshadow said...

According to the internet, kids who pick their nose and eat it have stronger immune systems. So, if you can get beyond the automatic revulsion, it does mean less chance of tending a sick Sherlock. Which is worse?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Cranky - never thought of it quite like that. Yes, it's bloody lovely.

Sherlock - yeah it was stupid. Luckily the law has changed now, hey?

John H. D. Watson said...

Oh. Sherlock... Well, that is thoroughly distracting, I have to admit.

I'm glad you came back here last night. I would be anyway, but you looked so lost when you got here. I don't like to think of you on your own like that.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Yeah. Soon as I said it I knew I was being stupid saying I'd go to mine.

Fraid I won't exactly be sparkling tonight either. But hopefully home earlier.

John H. D. Watson said...

Earlier's good. Did you remember to eat your lunch?

I won't be sparkling either, I'll be groaning. Went for a run today for the first time in ages. May've overdone it a bit.

Kath Ballantyne said...

Luckily the law has changed now, hey?
In the UK yeah. It's horrific how many places in the world where it's still illegal and you can get the death penalty for it.
And it is stupid. Very, very stupid

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Haven't had time - or inclination, if I'm honest - on the lunch front.

Sounds like you'll be the one needing the massage tonight? We should try and sort out doing something together. I seriously need to do some exercise. We can attempt to spur one another on.

Large - yes, it is startling how many places it's still illegal. Wouldn't catch me working for law enforcement in any of them, obviously!

John H. D. Watson said...

I don't think you need it as much as I do (see my post just now when you have time), but that'd be great. It's always nice to have company.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I think I do. I'm incredibly unfit. Probably still got 30 years of tobacco in my lungs.

Could you pull the stitches out of my leg tonight? Missed my hospital appointment.

Sherlock said...

Can I do it? Please please please I'll be really really careful!

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

You can do at least one. If one goes well you can do more. Under John's strict supervision.

Sherlock said...

THANK YOU!!! I AM GOING TO DO IT REALLY WELL, YOU'LL SEE.

John H. D. Watson said...

L - you're a brave man.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Seriously...what's the worst that could happen? I mean...apart from needing more stitches?

Sherlock - good. Just listen to John and do everything he says and I'm sure you will do it really well.

Kholly said...

You take good care of our DI, yeah Sherlock? He's having a challenging couple of days so it's good that you're able to help him with his recovery. I'm sure you're capable of doing a good job as long as you don't let yourself get too excited. You'll need steady hands and a gentle touch you know.

Sherlock said...

It's not challenging. He said the murderer said he did all the murders. So he doesn't even have to do all the detective stuff, he can just put the murderer in prison for ever.

I'll be very careful though because it's not nice to hurt people even if you don't mean to.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

It's not quite that simple Sherlock. There's still lots of work to identify who he killed, and all sorts of things.

I'll be home soon, okay?

Anon Without A Name said...

Sherlock - Lestrade's had a difficult day today too, giving people really bad news. But it's lovely to see that you're being careful not to hurt him, even by accident.

Lestrade - good luck ;-)

Sherlock said...

It's not Lestrade's fault they're dead. Why is it hard to tell them? They should be happy he caught the man.

And I'm going to do it right now. John stitched up a banana for me to practice on and I only cut it a really little bit, and Lestrade's stronger than a banana.

And he's got some really smelly alcohol which he says is medicinal.

Anon Without A Name said...

I'm sure they are glad that Lestrade caught the man. But, remember when John was hurt by those men, or when Lestrade was in that car accident? You were upset, even though they caught the bad guys who hurt them. This is a bit like that, but much worse. These families have just been given the very worst news they'll ever get, by Lestrade. That's a hard thing for him to have to do. And even if you're not sure why, he really does need a hug tonight. And to have his stitches removed very carefully.

Lestrade's stronger than a banana

I don't doubt that for a moment.

I think that's the kind of medicine that makes you feel better if you have a little bit of it, makes you feel worse if you have too much, and is really very bad for little boys.

Sherlock said...

I did his stitches! All of them except the first one, because John said he had to do that to show me and to check Lestrade was okay.

Lestrade didn't even watch, even though I told him to.

It smelt HORRIBLE. I'm not surprised it makes you feel worse. It was yucky. Lots of medicine is horrible though.

He gave me a hug after and now he's going to tell me a story in bed because I said he had to.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

He was actually very good - very careful.

And I'm glad he thinks Scotch smells horrible!

Now, Danger, you look stiff. (From your run...)

John H. D. Watson said...

Oh I am. Think you can help me out with that?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I'd like to hope I could.

God knows I need something beautiful to focus on after a day like today. And your body would fit that bill perfectly.

John H. D. Watson said...

Flattery will get you...well, the opportunity to rub my muscle aches out. Will that do?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

It's not flattery. It's the truth.

And I'd be happy to, the amount of help you've given me recently.

Just remember I don't have your medical expertise. You'll have to guide me - let me know where you're feeling tender.

John H. D. Watson said...

I shall do my best to direct your hands where they'll do the most good.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Good. I'm easily distracted by all the bits that might be the most fun...but possibly not parts which suffered on your run.

kholly said...

Good job Sherlock. Knew you could do it if you set your mind to it. I'm pretty sure you can do just about anything you decide to set your mind to.

J & L enjoy the massage etc.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I feel like there should be a blog tag 'etc.' now...

Kholly - his bedside manner leaves a bit to be desired... but he did concentrate hard. And he did his best. And it was my fault for jumping (as he crossly told me...). All in all, if he wanted to be, he'd make a good nurse.

John H. D. Watson said...

I feel like there should be a blog tag 'etc.' now...

Ha. It'd be your most used tag in no time.

Sherlock was very good, very careful. Not sure I could see him as a nurse - patience and cleaning up other people's messes not being qualities I associate with him - but maybe a surgeon.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I can promise you I am never putting my unconscious body into Sherlock's hands. Ever.

I'd wake up with eight livers or an extra arm or two heads or something, just to 'see what would happen'.

It takes two to etc., Danger.

John H. D. Watson said...

Eight livers might be useful. Under some circumstances.

It takes two to etc., Danger.

I certainly wouldn't leave you to etc. on your own.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Excellent news. Because after the past few weeks I think I've saved up quite a lot of pent up etc.ing which I may need a hand (and more) dealing with.

John H. D. Watson said...

We'd best get to it then. Nothing worse than pent up etc.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I think I've only got the energy to un-pent (or whatever you say) a small amount of etc. right now.

Thursday, however, is a whole other story. A lie in, and then 8 hours of you to myself...I can imagine that might be long enough to take the edge off.

Now get on that bed, and I'll make sure you're not going to be a mass of aches and strains for Thursday. THAT would be a crime. You're lucky to have a friendly rozzer dedicated to crime prevention on your side.

John H. D. Watson said...

I am indeed. The luckiest man in England, I should think.

Right, putting my phone down now.

Dittany said...

Maybe Sherlock could be an M.E.? It's not like corpses really care about autopsy table-side manners...

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Can't possibly be the luckless man in England, cos I am.

One more day...then a whole day with you. I can't wait.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Luckiest! Bloody phone. I'm the Luckiest. Maybe in the world.

Bronwyn said...

You know the saying it takes a village to raise a child? What does it mean that Sherlock and Mycroft have, not a village, but the entire internet? Amazing.

Toodles,
Bronwyn

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Given what the internet is mainly formed of...it means I'm worried.

Not that London is any better.

Bronwyn said...

At least you've mostly the polite, well-meaning nutters offering you advice. But it is a bit of the inmates running the asylum, yeah?

Toodles,
Bronwyn

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Ha, well, none of you come across as nutters, to be honest.

Slightly odd hobbies...but not nutters.

The internet isn't quite as good as the village for providing babysitters, though.

Bronwyn said...

Not without chaining the children to their computer desks. Which slides us into the category of creepy-and-probably-illegal. But, hey, I won't tell if you don't.

Toodles,
Bronwyn

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