Goodbye Flags and Dreams
3/30/2012 - Eileen Hopkins
One of my students died last weekend. An accidental drug overdose - a moment of poor judgement - cost this young man his life and rained sorrow and tears down on his family and friends. As I stood by the coffin on Wednesday with two of my colleagues by my side I could not help but think about how many times I have chosen to stuff down my pain at the expense of living life to the fullest. Death has a finality that cannot be reversed. I am blessed to be alive, to be on a path of learning to accept all that life dishes out and so grateful that each day brings its sorrows and its joy because I took a breath and decided that living fully was worth it. Tomorrow his classmates and famly and friends gather to celebrate his life with a service filled with Beatle songs along with Amazing Grace; smudging and a traditional final journey drum song; and, then, finally, with a keg of beer and hip hop mixing in with the tears. The flags at our school will fly at half mast tomorrow to honour this student and his family - one last goodbye to Daniel and his dreams of a better tomorrow.
|5 Comments From Other Members
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||Joanne Bolivar from West Linn OR wrote:
The sadness by a child leaving before his parents and through the tragic use of drugs hurts my heart. This is my husband's world in therapy to addicted soldiers. Before it was students and he goes with a heavy heart knowing not all students or soldiers will understand life hurts but the pain of death hurts more to those left behind. Your loss is palpable and it was beautifully described. Goodbye to a life which left too soon.
||Christy Steiger from Crown Point IN wrote:
This is heart-wrenching. It's an issue we teachers deal with that few outside of education discuss. We have complicated grief when a student dies. Sometimes, I think about what I should have seen, what I could have said. But there is little time for our own thoughts - we now have students to counsel. And we must decide what the day's lessons will be. And which friends left behind will need help. Regular classroom teachers are not trained for this, but we are expected to guide and help when a student dies. It's one of the hardest tasks teachers face. You are strong. I am so sorry for your loss.
||Anne Mudd from Wheat Ridge CO wrote:
This is possibly the worst a humble human being can absorb, to accept that life is so fragile. I have to say that I'm holding out because one thing that you wrote slammed me in the face, and that is a drug is being served at this celebration of a child's life that ended because of a drug. I'm sorry for everyone concerned, I'm sorrier to see the drug culture being perpetuated.
||Eileen Hopkins from Calgary AB wrote:
Thank you for understanding and grieving with me. I am touched by your reaching out into my world today.
||Janet Glaser from Fremont MI wrote:
This certainly brings one back to the reality of knowing how mortal we are and finite life is. Thinking of you and the child's family.
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