Officer David Hogan passed from this Earth on August 7, 2009. And the world is worse off for it.
I have a million things still running around in my heart and head about this and I’m going to try and put some of them down. I don’t know if I’ll ever push the “Publish” button that sits there on the right hand side of this page – this exercise is mainly for me, and I won’t put anything out on the Internet that isn’t a fitting tribute to Hogan.
I heard about the car wreck and I dropped everything and went to the hospital. I knew that I couldn’t do anything there, but I went anyway. And I was there until an hour after Hogan passed. There were a few of us that were just sitting in the hallway outside of ICU, talking and decompressing. Most of the family had already left, there were only about 10 total people left out of the likely 100 that had taken over the 2nd floor of Bloxom tower. I wondered out loud why we were still there, and one of my buddies said to me “Because when we leave, we make it real”. And he was right. As long as we stayed there in that hallway we could put off the long drive home and try and begin living our lives without Hogan.
As that day wore on, more and more friends and coworkers came to the hospital. We literally took over the ICU waiting area, I’m really not kidding about the 100-ish people that were there. Hogan had a large family, and a large police family. Another thing I will never forget in my lifetime is when they would announce a “code blue” over the loudspeaker. See, they do that in real life in the hospital, just like they do on TV. Seven times that day they announced it over the loudspeaker, and each time we knew that they were talking about our friend. The one of the more eerie things from that day is how the murmur of that large crowd would grow painfully quiet when they would announce the code over the speakers. That many people talking among themselves makes quiet a racket, but when the speaker would come on and say “Code Blue, Bloxom Tower, Second Floor”, you could hear a pin drop in that place.
Over two weeks have passed now. Hogan’s funeral service was magnificent. The family filled the small chapel to the brim, and police officers stood lining the walls of the chapel. Those that couldn’t fit inside were in the entryway, and even more were waiting outside.
I went on vacation for a week in Branson. It was nice. But I’m still not sleeping well at night. I’m better than the first few nights, but there are nights like tonight where I know its not going to come for a while. How do you cope with losing not only a friend, but a larger than life, rock of a human being. David was a fighter, the injuries he received would have killed any other person right away, yet he held on for 10 hours. David had the heart of a warrior. I would ride into battle any day with him at my side. Now I ride into battle without him. I take heart in that I know his spirit will ride with me. Jesus, will this ever get any better?
Rest in peace, brother. I say again, the world is worse off without you.