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.