And not in a good way.
I’ve sat down to write this several times now and haven’t been able to do it without crying.
About a week and a half ago, one of my girls passed away. She graduated this past May, so she wasn’t “current” but current enough that it ripped my heart out.
When my Dean and President came in to my office to tell me, I about fell backwards. I didn’t know what to do or say. I just knew that this beautiful young lady was gone and we didn’t know how.
Of course, being the counselor, I have to snap into action. It was lunch time and if the girls were going to find out anytime it was bound to be now. So while administration went to tell the faculty, I went to cafeteria with the girls. I wasn’t telling them; we weren’t sure how to do that yet, but I just wanted to see if anyone heard anything yet. The cafeteria was buzzing but no one seemed upset or alarmed, which was nice because then we could maybe control how the news broke.
That was until one person took it into her own hands to tell her class after lunch despite strict instructions to not say anything. By the end of the day we were in full crisis mode. Granted she graduated last year and was somewhat quiet outside of her class, so the whole school wasn’t shutting down, but I had a long parade of girls upset by this; just like I was upset by this.
She had her demons, that’s for sure. I met with her often because of them; but she was a beautiful soul. She always wanted to make everyone happy and would do anything for anyone. She loved everyone; I just wish she could have loved herself even half as much.
This past Monday several faculty members and myself took a group of girls that she was still close with at school to her funeral. No amount of training will ever prepare you for the death of one of your students. She might have graduated last year but she was still one of my girls; they’re all my girls at my school. I held one of my seniors as she was crying during the service; I was crying with her.
I saw so many of my girls from last year. I hated the reason that was bringing us all together again, but it was nice to see them all support their friend’s family. Even some who went far away to school came home to say goodbye to their friend.
It’s been one of the rougher weeks that I could have. As a community, we’re all still mourning her. But some of her friends are trying to make something positive out of all of this. They want to hold a school-wide assembly educating our school about the kind of demons their friend faced and what they can do about it if they suffer from it or know someone else who does. They asked me to help them organize it which I’m more than happy to do. Maybe it’ll help us all heal and bring some peace to all of us who are still so upset that she was taken from us all too soon.
Thankfully I am in a better place than I was a week ago. Last week at this time I was dreading tomorrow because I didn’t want to sit in a room with a coffin of someone who should still be with us. We’re all healing; it’s what she would have wanted: she wanted everyone to be happy.