Diapers and Dragons

Friday, May 6, 2011


I'm angry and I'm crying and the only reason I'm still here at work is that if I go home I'll have nothing to keep me busy and occupied. Laundry and cleaning don't count because there's too much time for thinking.

This last weekend one of my former students was in a terrible car accident in West Virginia, on his way to an audition that would hopefully continue to move him along in his amazing gifts for music and dance. He suffered horrendous head trauma and has been in a coma all week.

This morning he died.

It's not right. It's never right, but it seems so particularly horrible when it's a bright, brilliant nineteen-year-old like Nate. He was one of the memorable ones. I can't remember a day when he didn't have a smile or funny comment to brighten up the day--and not in an annoying Pollyanna way. He made people feel better about themselves. He had a sweet confidence and joyful soul like few people I've met.

Just a few months ago he came into school with a couple of other former students to bring me lunch, because I always forget lunch, and because gifts of food are always welcome. He was full of hope and laughter over what he was doing in college, where he was going in life.

And now he's gone. And his mother will be facing her first Mother's Day without her son.

I hate this part of my job. It's always tragic when people die, but even more so when they are young and all that life and hope and potential is snuffed out long before time. This isn't the first time it's happened, but it is one of the hardest.

Rest in peace, Nate. You will never be forgotten. Thank you for making all of our lives just that much brighter during the all-too-brief time you were here.

4 bits of love:

Monica said...

This is so very painful. I'm so sorry to hear this, and my heart goes out to his family and to you and your school community.

Don't keep yourself occupied. Just let it hurt. Let it be the only thing you think about for awhile. Spend time with him.

Melissa said...

I'm so incredibly sorry. I agree with Monica though. Let yourself grieve for him. It sounds like he was well worth your tears. Think about him, remember the wonderful things. Maybe write some of them down - a wonderful gift for his mother?

Go gently. I'm so sorry for your (and all who knew him) loss.

GingerB said...

Hugs to you TeacherMommy, and your big, soft heart.

Katie said...

I wish I had some helpful words for you.
I don't know that I do.

Thinking of you.

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