The pain of losing a close loved one comes with emotions that are like a tangled, messy pile of yarn. The impact on regular day-to-day activities can leave a person feeling like they have lost an arm.
It can be especially difficult for a parent when that loss is a child, even if that child is grown. It’s not something you just “get over.” It takes time to process and figure out how to move on.
Such was the case for the father of Deputy Philip A. Rodriguez of the Mohave County (Arizona) Sheriff’s Office.
His son, Deputy Philip Rodriguez, was killed in the line of duty back in April of 2007, according to KPHO-TV.
The deputy was only 21 years old at the time, according to his memorial page.
He was returning from a call and traveling east on I-40 when his patrol car rolled over. He was thrown from the car and died at the scene from his injuries.
Rodriguez had only been with the sheriff’s department for about 4 months. He had previously worked as a detention officer for 17 months.
He was engaged to be married at the time.
His parents, two sisters and the rest of the family were devastated.
The Arizona DPS arranged to have the deputy’s name engraved on the Arizona Peace Officers Memorial at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in front of the State Capitol complex in Phoenix, according to the department’s website.
A family member later told the deputy’s father about it, and then contacted the DPS with a request to provide the deputy’s father with a photo of the memorial, according to KPHO.
The father lives in Idaho, but the DPS wanted to do something above and beyond just sending a snapshot.
On Oct. 19, the deputy’s father received a visit from members of the Idaho State Police Honor Guard, who formally presented him with a beautifully framed large photo as well as an inscription rubbing of Rodriguez’s name on the memorial.
The DPS Twitter feed shows the beautiful moment when the father came to the door and received the framed photo.
–Arizona State Troopers & Idaho State Police Work Together To Honor Fallen AZ Deputy–
AZDPS troopers created the memorial photo & frame, which the ISP Honor Guard then hand-delivered to the father of fallen Mohave Co. Deputy Philip Rodriguez.
Read more: https://t.co/W5P34nEt1J pic.twitter.com/wyG9oQ6hG8
— Dept. of Public Safety (@Arizona_DPS) November 7, 2022
The officers finished up with a slow, respectful salute.
The holidays can be extremely difficult for those who have recently lost a loved one, especially if that loved one happens to be a child or spouse.
This burden is not something that you must endure alone.
If you have lost a loved one and would like insights and support for navigating the painful challenges of the holiday season, please visit Grief Share’s Surviving the Holidays website.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.