Loss and comfort


“And this day has been especially hard for all of you because you are in the caring business. You work with your hearts.”

These words were spoken by the head of the crisis team that came to my school last week. That day, that especially hard day, a student, on his way to school, was struck by a car. He passed away.

At one point, after the crisis team spoke, a co-worker pointed out that ten minutes before this happened, the child’s mom was probably calling him, urging him to hurry up, get your coat on. It’s time for school.

And then, he was gone.

Two days later, that same co-worker turned to me, as we stood at the condolence book for the family, in the memorial that is the centrepiece of our school library, and asked “What can I say? What do I write?”

In those two days, between the loss and the moments of comfort, we tried to find the words to help our students.

The photo next to the condolence book is of a little boy with a smile and glowing eyes.

There are no words.

4 thoughts on “Loss and comfort

  1. And while there are no words to truly ease or abate the loss and pain, there is a bond created for those whom have experienced this tragedy in public and together. That bond forever changes how you see each other, for once we see those intimate, highly personal emotions – grief, mourning, sadness, regret, recovery, healing and growth – we forever view our friends, our students, their families as well as our families and ourselves in a deeper, more humane way. This is not to say the young person’s death is not tragic; rather, that many chnages come to those who are part of the shared sorrow, some things immediately, many others in the hard to imagine future.


    • That is very true. It is beyond tragic, and yet the community was able to show the depth and breadth of its caring and ability to bring comfort to the family and our students, as well as one another.

      The hardest thing right now is helping children to understand that this little boy and his mother did everything right and yet something so unimaginable still happened. This is what remains beyond understanding or explanation.


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