I'm the person that comes inches close to tragedy without experiencing it myself. Does that make any sense? I have WAY too many close calls on the interstate, I've broken my back yet wasn't permanently injured, I slip and fall on a daily basis yet sustain mostly minimal injuries, I don't think rationally yet have never been in a dangerous situation. I'm the girl who gives homeless guys rides (not smart I know, I promise I've stopped doing this). Friends of friends have passed away unexpectedly, yet I still have all of my childhood friends. My family has had health scares, but we've overcome them all.
I've been incredibly lucky so far. I also know though, that being a teacher I will experience tragedy, and frankly I don't know how to handle it.
I started thinking about this yesterday when a precious boy in a town closed to mine was killed in an accident on an elementary playground. It broke my heart, and I thought about all the teachers at that school. About what they must be going through. How do you tell a classroom full of 9 year olds their friend won't be in class anymore? How do you ease their pain? Help them make sense of what they are feeling?
I remember several instances in junior high and high school of teenagers losing their lives way too early--from car accidents, suicide, illness... Every year there would be several pages of the yearbook dedicated to these young lives, moments of silence and roses at graduation ceremonies. Graduation ceremonies missing students.
I know that undoubtedly the next time this happens, I will most likely know the student. Have taught the student. How will I deal with that? How will I comfort my students, comfort myself. Make sense out of the confusion the world sometimes offers us. How do I point them to God in a time where they need it most, without pushing religion on them?