I have started this post about 20 times in my head. And then, I wasn’t sure I even should write this post. In the end, I am writing it because I need to get t he gunk out of my head. I am just going to let my mind dump out the thoughts that are currently rambling around in there.
Last week, I arrived at school on Monday like it was a normal Monday morning. But this Monday was unlike any other. On this Monday, I received the devastating news that one on my former students has been killed in a one-vehicle accident over the weekend. To say I was shocked, would be putting it very mildly.
I STILL can’t quite wrap my head around this young man of 21 being gone.
Work exploded with normal end of the year activities and a last minute chance to save our summer program. Work had a way of keeping me busy…too busy to focus on my grief. Work had a way of keeping me so busy I couldn’t focus on much else. I did manage to get myself to the gym and out for a great nature walk last week and I am so glad. These activities helped me handle the stress of work and my grief.
Friday was a day of Tropical Storm Andrea and that bitched dumped some serious rain on our heads here in South Jersey. I worked all day, busy at my desk. This was the 5th day in a row that I was chained to my desk (when I was not teaching) and it took its toll. I missed out on participating in our school’s annual Volleyball Tournament. I could not take the time away from my responsibilities and join a student team and I didn’t even have enough time to break away for the Staff versus Students game. Missing out on volleyball upset me the most because I had been so looking forward to these games. It has been years since I have played volleyball and I was finally confident my knees (and ankle) could take some of the action. Friday’s rain matched my mood perfectly.
I had intentions on going to the gym after school but when I left my school and ran to my car I was DRENCHED. The puddles were deeper than my ankles so my sneakers were drenched and the extras in my bag also got soaked. I went home and napped. I went to the gym a few other times last week and I am glad I did. It was good for my head. However, on Friday, a nap was a better idea! I am so glad I napped because the rain just kept coming down stronger for the rest of that night.
Right now, on Saturdays I clean changeovers in Ocean City. Basically, this means we clean beach condos when one renter checks out and before the next renter checks out. We rearranged our schedules so that I could attend the funeral for my student.
Funerals are hard.
I listened to many people talk about this young man. I was a bundle of raw grief. I cried for his mother, his son, his fiance, his father, his sister and brother. I cried for his friends, my other former students, and I cried for me. After the service, I spent a few moments with a few other students. They were in the same class and I have many fond memories of all these boys. There were five of them that sat around my table each day and standing with them after Brian’s funeral had ended brought back many many fond memories. Granted, they weren’t all great memories….the boys tortured me a little but they taught me so much about teaching and especially, teaching this population.
Brian, the young man we lost, was always smiling and goofing around. He will be missed!
Until the funeral, I did not realize just how hard his passing had hit me. Seeing other former students alive and doing well (some had overcome addictions since graduating) and growing up was so nice. Seeing them, had a way of reminding me its not all negative and nasty out there. There is negative and nasty but there is also life and promise and positive all around.
After the funeral, I went home and I talked to my husband about my students and my job. I told him stories of awesomeness and stories of sadness and despair. I probably told storied for over an hour and it felt good to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly. It was also very exhausting.
I took another nap.
And then on Sunday, I didn’t do a whole lot. Honestly, I felt like I was recovering from a hangover. Not a booze hangover, but I just broke up with my boyfriend-I’ve been crying all night sort of hangover. I probably ate too much junk and lazed around too much but I really don’t think I could have done anything differently yesterday.
Q was with her friends for most of the weekend, but when she came home last night and hugged me, I felt alright. One little hug from my little girl (who is growing up too fast) and I knew I would be alright.