‘They didn’t know each other. They never even shook hands. Still, he remembered.’: Widow shares touching moment stranger honors late husband 6 years later

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“One of those moments happened tonight.

One of those big, beautiful moments that you can really only understand when you’re somewhere in the never-ending, messy grief process.

Somebody remembered.

Somebody we didn’t even know remembered.

When my husband Chad died, his police department made wristbands in his honor that say, ‘Caldwell Calvary’ on one side, and ‘One Forty-Nine’ on the other.

Tonight, Kaitlyn and I attended a Law Enforcement Appreciation event, and any time I’m at one of those for our city, I like to meet officers from our agency that I don’t know.

That Chad didn’t know.

So, this particular officer was giving tours of the SWAT vehicle, and Kaitlyn and I waited patiently while he was talking to somebody, but I was bound and determined to wait, and introduce myself both as a City Councilor, but more so as a cop’s widow.

He didn’t know me, and I didn’t know him.

But I immediately recognized that he knew who Chad was.

Because, on his right wrist, he had on one of those bracelets.

Chad died almost six years ago.

This officer started at the PD five years ago.

They didn’t know each other.

They didn’t run calls together.

They never bonded.

They never saved each other’s life.

They never hung out, they never told jokes to each other.

They never even shook hands.

But he still had that wristband on.

And another one that represented his own loss of somebody he loved very much, too.

You have no idea how much that means to the grieving person.

Whether it’s six months or six years…finding a stranger who knows your story and honors the person you love, is probably one of the best feelings in the world.

Just when you think that people are forgetting, just when you think their legacy is quieting down, just when you think they don’t know their name…

They do.

What an incredible honor it was for me and my daughter to see that.

And if you’re grieving your own loved one, I hope you get that, too.”

daughter with officer who remembers her father despite not meeting him
Courtesy of Diana Register

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Diana Register of Idaho. Her books “Grief Life” and “Grief & Glitter” are available in print and on kindle. You can find more of her books here, and her podcast here. Connect with Diana on her author Facebook page, and Instagram.

Read more from Diana here:

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