Monday, June 11, 2012

On a Somber Note.

Today has been one of the hardest days that I can remember. And I wasn't sure if I was going to write a post, but I feel like I need to get it out, so a post it is. Sometimes writing is all I have in order to deal with emotion...and I just want to forewarn those involved in my Victorian Event that you might not hear from me this week...

This morning, all of the teachers were asked to leave our third hours and meet in the media center. Our students were left in the room while we had an emergency meeting. Once we were all there, our principal informed us that a fellow teacher passed away. It caught us all off guard...it was just a huge shock. The teacher was a long-time member of the faculty, a coach...a well-loved and respected man. He taught across the hall from me. When I taught at this same school last year, he would often come down to talk and give me lesson ideas (since I was teaching history last year). He was always warm and welcoming to me...a newcomer to the building...

Once we were all told, we were sent back to our classrooms and the principal announced the loss over the PA. I have never heard such grief...there is something so heart-breaking about watching teenagers grieve. It got to me on so many levels...and watching them walk through the halls in silence? There is nothing as tense as a high school full of silence and sorrow.

I know that the rest of the week will be difficult. Today was hard enough. My afternoon classes just looked at me in silence when I came in the room-waiting for answers I don't have. I have a headache from crying and trying to hold it in. My mom was wonderful enough to listen to me this afternoon when I needed to talk it out. And I know that the kids will talk tomorrow. Today was shock. Tomorrow the real heartache will hit. And in addition to grieving, the kids have finals starting on Wednesday.

This will definitely be the hardest week....

What I keep remembering, as I am sitting here on the couch with my loving husband and animals, are the images I saw today. Big football players breaking into sobs, teachers with tears in their eyes waiting by their classroom doors, student signing the memorial banner for the teacher...

And the countless students stopping across the hall at his door, touching his name in remembrance, or reading the dozens of inspirational quotes he had by his door. Watching them just pressing their hands against those papers...it's something I will never, ever forget.

"I do not doubt that whatever can possibly happen, any where, at any
time, is provided for, in the inherences of things;
I do not think Life provides for all, and for Time and Space--but I
believe Heavenly Death provides for all." (Walt Whitman "Assurances")

20 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry and my thoughts go out to everyone involved. I expect that it's incredibly hard to lose a friend, and for some of your students he was probably a mentor. But your reaching out, and the students showing such obvious signs of keeping his memory in such a high honor is powerful, moving, and a real reflection on how wonderful you all are.

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  2. Allie, my heart goes out to you during this difficult time. And to his family, students and colleagues -- all of whom must be feeling this loss so keenly right now.

    I'm sure I speak for all your readers when I say you will be in our thoughts and prayers this week. Remember that you are not alone during this struggle. *hugs* xx

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  3. Oh, how terrible. We lost a student when I was a sophomore, and I remember the crying football players, tears in teachers' eye, terrible images. x

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  4. I'm so sorry, Allie. This post actually made me cry! I have never lost a teacher and I certainly can't imagine how terrible the loss must be. May he rest in peace.

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  5. Allie, I'm so sorry xoxo

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  6. How sad, I'm so sorry to hear it. When I was a senior in high school, three students died in a car accident during homecoming week. I hardly knew them, but I'll never forget how eerie and quiet the halls were that week. I'm sorry for your loss and for the students.

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  7. A family who attends our church just lost their youngest daughter in a tragic car accident. The only thing I can think to do is to love her and pray for her. We are so frail, so fragile, so temporal. Thank God for our Savior. I'm thinking of you and understanding your grief.

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    1. (I mean "love her and pray for her" as in the mother.)

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  8. How heartbreaking! My condolences -- I'm so sorry.

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  9. Sending lots of hugs, Allie. It will get better, but you're right, there's nothing quite like that ominous feeling and the grief running through a body of students. Lots of healing prayers coming your (and their) way.

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  10. Very sorry for the school's & community's loss.

    When I was in college, one of my professors passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from an unknown heart condition. We were studying the Transcendentalists at the time, and I think he (and losing him that term) might be part of the reason why I fell so deeply in love with Whitman and Thoreau (though not Emerson or Fuller - he loved both, I still can't quite get there).

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  11. I was so sorry to hear about this on Twitter yesterday. I can't imagine how difficult school must be right now, for all of you. You and your students are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  12. I am so sorry to hear your sad news. It is so difficult and particularly when it is so sudden. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

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  13. So sorry. Always sad to hear when a good person passes on. Your students are lucky to have you to help them through.

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  14. I'm so sorry to hear about this. It's never easy, is it?

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  15. So sorry to hear about this. It made me tear up - and I can't imagine what the students are going through, especially having to deal with finals as well as grieving.

    Sending love and hugs.

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  16. I'm so sorry Allie. What a horrible thing. My husband runs a company with two other men and one of them died completely unexpected last month. It was such a shock and he's still reeling. I'm sorry you're having to go through this.

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  17. Thank you all for your kinds words. It has been a really hard week...and it isn't over. Knowing I have support has helped me support my students.

    Thank you.

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