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Thursday, June 17, 2010

It Happened At Work...



7:20 AM on a Tuesday morning

Girls crying in the hallway...

Okay, who broke up with who?

More girls crying...boys looking very sullen.

What the hell is going on?

Okay, must maintain normalcy...gotta figure this out.

"Girls, time to get to homeroom. Do you need to go to the bathroom to clean up?"

"No" (sniffle, sniffle)

"What's going on?"

"Kasey's father killed himself...shot himself in his mother's backyard."

Silence...what the hell do I say in response to that?

"Is Kasey here?"

"Yes" (sniffle, sniffle...trying to pull it together)

"Okay, you go get the counselor, and you guys go get Kasey...I want to see her."

This can't be happening. We already had one girl lose her mother in a car accident this year. This can't be happening again...he killed himself??? Why??? He has three wonderful kids...why??? Not for me to question...gotta make sure Kasey is okay.

"Kasey is with Mrs. S. and Mrs. B"

"Okay...go to homeroom...we'll take care of her...you are good friends."

Kids this young shouldn't have to comfort their friends on the death of a parent. It just isn't right. This isn't right...why would he do this?

It happened at work...on a regular Tuesday morning...I switched from hall monitor/teacher to grief counselor in a matter of seconds.

We all ended up going to the funeral services which Kasey appreciated very much. I taught her younger brother as well...great kids. They are doing well and have dealt with this the best that they can. I'm sure they're not out of the woods though b/c the reason that their father took his own life was b/c their mother was having an affair...she married that guy a year later. She came to our end-of-year picnic and we didn't even know what to say when Kasey introduced us. We were cordial, but I couldn't help but be shocked by how normal she was acting...like nothing had even happened.

Kids can cope with stuff like that b/c they have no way out, but I'm afraid that it might come back to haunt her when they realize a little more about life.


All names have been changed for obvious reasons.

This post inspired by MamaKat's Writer's Workshop prompts...