To Deputy Shoemate, Tyler, Cason, Max and Levi, I wish you God's Speed.

It seems like just a few months ago that I penned an article called “Healing.” That article was in response to the loss of four young lives on August 4, 2015. This was an unimaginable loss and the journey to heal has been a difficult one; sadly now we must begin again with the losses the area suffered last week.

There are no words that I can put onto paper that will make these tragedies understandable, no words that will bring closure to the loss these families feel today. This will be a process, a process with good days followed by extremely difficult days. 

The only thing I know with any certainty about the future is that you live in a community that will stand by your side, a community which will share your pain in the same way that they share your laughter. This is a community that draws each other close and protects their own in times of tragedy. I have seen the caring and giving in this community for many years, and I am humbled to call this place home.

I would ask everyone to consider one thing, please let these families heal. Many times through the power of a keyboard we post words that we would never say to someone we knew or loved. While there may be times this is done with good intentions, this is not the time for opinions or critics. These families need only our support, our love and our prayers. 

Please keep in your thoughts those firefighters, police officers, paramedics and 911 operators who worked these calls. Emergency responders are not immune from the heartache of these tragedies and they carry these losses with them for the rest of their careers. 

I want to end this article in a very similar fashion to the one written in 2015, because the words still hold so much truth.

I hope that we as a community can move forward and heal while never forgetting the loss we have endured. To the families, I wish you peace and healing. To the responders, I wish you strength to answer the next call, and to Deputy Shoemate, Tyler, Cason, Max and Levi, I wish you God’s Speed.