I got an AlertNow message from the school at 5:30am. It wasn’t a snow day, it was an important staff meeting. Over the last few years I’ve gotten a few of these calls – we received two this school year when the school was broken into. It always gives me an uneasy feeling because you know something has happened, but don’t know the what. It is that ominous feeling of tragedy, sorrow…
I sat in our staff meeting stunned…one of our Third Graders was killed in a snowmobile accident last night! His 17 year old cousin also died. Tears gently flowed down the cheeks of many of us. How do you explain to children about the death of a friend? More than one dozen children in our school are relatives of this young man. The morning was spent sharing the news in classrooms and letting kids grieve as they needed to. I don’t know how the classroom teacher and paraeducator kept it together today. One of our 2nd Grade students told his teacher that the class should “Celebrate”. She was puzzled and asked him why and he said, “We should celebrate his life!” Out of the mouths of babes…more tears by adults.
Recess was the hardest time for me. He was not there running and playing. His best friend just sat on the steps – dazed. How do you console an 8 year old who has literally just lost his best friend? These lyrics by Casting Crowns came to me, “Love them like Jesus”. One little girl came to me and said, “Mrs. Gallagher, Hunter sits next to me in class…” Then she grabbed me and hugged me tight. My tears flowed. “Love them like Jesus”. How do you comfort a 12 year old who just lost 2 of his cousins? “Love them like Jesus”. I live in a small town and many of the people are related to this family. All I can do…the best thing I can do is pray for the family and friends and be there to listen and give BIG hugs…
His yoke is easy, His burden is light
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions
Just know that He loves them and stay by their side
Love them like Jesus”