I want to start this post with a few disclaimers:
- I spent a little longer than five minutes writing this post. If you read it you will understand why it warranted some rule-bending.
- This post contains some sensitive information. If you have difficulty reading about suicide or death you may not want to go any further.
- I normally don’t post things of this nature, but I need an outlet for the things I’ve been dealing with this week.
- I’m fine. But my heart is broken…
I first met J my senior year of college. He was a first grader at the school where I was working part-time. Some days I dreaded going in to work after a full day of student teaching, but J always changed that. The moment I would arrive at his school he would greet me with a hug, goofy smile, and “Miss Lauren!”
J became my buddy.
When we had field trips he always asked to sit with me. We would play around with filters on my phone and pass the time making silly faces.
Two years later my husband got a job at that same school as third grade teacher. When he brought home his roster and I saw J was in his class I told him all about him. Throughout that year I loved hearing stories about J and I would ask about him often.
Over the past few years I would see J or his parents in the community and say “hello.” Every time I saw him I remembered those bus rides and his innocent laughter and hugs.
But this fall, something was different about J.
I was so excited when I found out he enrolled in my school. I even made a joke to a co-worker that I would trade J for any other student because sadly, he was not in my class. I told this teacher about my memories with J.
Now…to this week.
I found out early in the week that J had committed suicide.
My heart is absolutely shattered. I may not have known him as well these past few years, but whenever I thought about J it brought me joy. He made coming to work fun and he filled those long hours with jokes and giggles.
I will never understand why this happened. The why doesn’t even matter to me.
J is gone and he has left a path of destruction. He was loved. He was good. And he will be missed.
As a teacher, hearing this type of news is devastating. You spend so much of your time trying to connect with kids and build the element of trust. You want to see every one of your students succeed at life. A difficult part of this whole situation is that J wasn’t just someone who sat in my classroom for one year. No, my path has intersected several times with J since he was six years old. For almost nine years I’ve watched him grow.
My husband and I have been struggling with this news for days.
It has made us hug our own children a little tighter, pray a little longer, and repeat words of affirmation more often. I know from this situation that it could happen to anyone. J had parents who loved him and supported him in so many ways. So, I’ve been on my knees for my own girls this week.
Let the people in your life know that you care. Every child, student, adult that means something to you–let them know. Be there to listen when loved ones need it. Spread love when you sense hate. Don’t let an interaction go by without telling people that you care.
Life is short.
We have no idea what people are going through.
May J be a catalyst to help the world to choose LIFE.
J, you are gone too soon!
The Ameri Brit Mom