Odd things happen in combat and Detective Will Diaz has just ran into an occurrence that will devastate his world.

He and RJ have tracked a murder suspect to a local church. When they enter, she declares sanctuary (which is turned down). Before moving her to the jail for holding and further investigation, Will receives word from his estranged brother that a vigilante group is going to try to kill her.

In the course of moving her, which involved a nice bit of shell game on behalf of Will and RJ, the convoy is attacked. Will and his fellow deputies do everything they can to defend the convoy.

In the course of defending the convoy, Will crashes into a pickup truck loaded with gunmen. The pickup runs off the road, over turns, and rolls over a number of the gunmen, killing most of them.

One of those killed is his brother, the same man who warned him what was going to happen.

Seriously damaged himself, Will is having a lot of problems processing this, but he’s going through, or will be going through, five different phases of grief. Those phases are:

     >Denial: Will doesn’t think he had anything to do with his brother’s death. Instead, his brother put himself in the position that got him killed. At the surface, it appears that Will doesn’t care. Quite the contrary. It’s the only way he can cope with the idea that his actions, which 100% justified, got his brother killed.

What Will Diaz is going through is common for most people. It can be triggered by death, divorce, and even a job loss. The trick is be aware you’re going through it, and most importantly, to allow yourself to.

It’s called grief, and walking through it is part of the healing process.

 A number of things can prevent a person or slow down the process. One of the biggest is denying your emotions. In short, big boys don’t cry. It’s okay to feel the grief and let it out through tears.

Overwork: In short, you don’t know what else to do, so you throw yourself into work. A lot of people will put their hand to anything that doesn’t require their dealing with the grief they feel. Will is going to be very guilty of that.

Drugs or alcohol: Like one old wino told me once, you can’t deal with something if you can’t feel. People will bury themselves in anything that numbs the pain. To degree, I did that when my first marriage failed, only it wasn’t drugs or booze I turned to. I put on my tennis shoes, and ran. I was easily doing ten to twelve miles a day. It was easier to put on foot in front of the other than deal with the pain and sense of betrayal that it had caused. Eventually, I discovered the road didn’t work and I let myself grieve over it and get it out of my system.