Saturday, February 16, 2008


Today was the memorial service for our student who died last weekend, and I spent the morning trying not to think about it. I am very bad at grieving; I end up giving myself headaches from furrowing my brow and sore throats from swallowing hard over & over. While I intellectually know what I should be doing to process what has happened, emotionally I become paralyzed. I have small fits of crying, away from others, but mostly my brain keeps saying idiotically "I don't like this." And I do the things I need to do to help others.

There was a bit of irreverence at the service this afternoon, which actually felt reasonably appropriate, but the friends & family who spoke were overall lovely, genuine, moving. I was a little nervous about going - the last time a student of mine died was after my first year of teaching; I'd skipped her funeral during the summer and ended up breaking down, noisily, at our back-to-school gathering. But I thought of all our students who would be there, feeling so vulnerable and stricken, and the school staff, who have welcomed me into their world the past three years; we are all wrecked for these kids. I wanted them to know how much this young man meant to me, too, and that I will also miss him. And I wanted his family to see us all and reassure themselves that his life did touch us positively, that there was goodness in him that did not go unnoticed.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth
you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran