Loss of a Student

Today the nation grieved as we remembered the 10 year anniversary of 9/11.  This post is not going to be about the events that took place a decade ago though, rather it is going to be about the tragic event that took place today.  This afternoon one of my students and a member of the soccer program died in a tragic accident, she was only 15 years old.

7 years ago, in my first year of education I had my first experience with the loss of a student, a 14 year old boy who died in a car accident.  I can honestly say that the pain I felt back then was real and surreal at the same time.  Now 7 years  later I have to say the pain that I feel now at the loss of a student is much deeper and greater.  I cannot get her picture out of my head and I feel completely helpless to do anything.  I have known the family for two plus years, since my move to this school, and had the good fortune of getting to know her older brother very well (he was one of my team captains).  Last season, I had the opportunity to get to know MY better as she was a freshman member of the girls varsity soccer team and traveled with us to all of the games.  In the month plus of school that we have had thus far, she showed me that she was a dedicated student as well as a gifted athlete.  She was a student that had a bright future ahead of her and she had a dream of going on to play college soccer at the same school as her older brother.  That dream vanished today in the blink of an eye.

I have seven years of experience in the classroom and have spent my entire adult life pursuing higher education degrees, but nothing has or can prepare me for the loss of a student’s life.  There is no written word or advice that can be given that can heal the hurt created by the sudden loss of someone so young and with so much future ahead of them.  1o years ago, the world changed and tonight my world has changed a bit more.  How could someone with so much life to live really be gone?  How could it all be over that quick?  How am I supposed to help children start healing tomorrow when I am hurting this much right now?

No amount of time is great enough to heal the wounds that were inflicted today.  Being a father of two young girls myself, my heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to MY and her family; I cannot imagine the pain that they are in right now.  My world is full of pain right now, but tomorrow I will be strong for all of the students that must learn life’s hardest lesson; our time on this earth is precious and short and we are fragile creatures.  We should spend our time cherishing each other and each moment.

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