I’m feeling the weight of life’s fragility tonight. Two people – one of my brother’s long-time friends and a student’s father – have been killed in car accidents within the last week or two. I didn’t know either of them personally, but my heart is feeling heavy for the people I do know are missing them so, so much.
My poor brother. His friend, Rudy, was only 21. And yesterday his life ended on the way to work in Los Angeles. I can’t even bring myself to imagine that life-shattering phone call his parents received from halfway across the country. One commute to work. One phone call.
My student went to school one morning not knowing it would be the last time she’d see her dad. Her mom came into conferences tonight, flanked by her sister and younger son. Her eyes were teary and red, and she apologized for losing it right outside my classroom. When she told me that her daughter (my student), who is autistic, is asking every day when her dad is coming home, she held her hands to her face and sobbed. What was I to do except cry with her?
This morning when I read the news that another teacher was killed by another student who somehow got a hold of a gun (again again again), I really questioned whether it was even safe to come to work any more. I mean, really.
But death creeps up on us all no matter where we go to work, no matter how much our children need us, no matter how many times our parents will wish it could have been them instead. Death doesn’t always suck, but sometimes it really, really does.
To be very honest and quite personal, I’m not a religious person anymore. Sometimes that makes things like this harder for me. I do, however, believe in the power of good thoughts and positivity. I will send out my love and support tonight and hope it reaches someone.
*Update: More recent news sources state the young man who killed his teacher on Tuesday afternoon did not use a gun. He used a box cutter. Even worse.