Slice of Life: Holding It Together

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

The email from our principal began: “Nobody knows why sad things keep happening to our faculty/staff.”

It has indeed been a year of loss within our teaching staff family. Two colleagues have lost their husbands in unexpected and tragic circumstances, the most recent happening just the other day. A cloud of concern hangs over us all at the school.

We talk to each other in low voices in the hallways, checking in with other. We ask about news from those who are dealing with grief, using the informal friendship grapevine to keep track and show support when we can.

Our principal has been there for all of us, making sure we have space and a place to share thoughts and connect, and those simple gestures of understanding and compassion go a long way in any place where people work together. That email invited us to come together, after school, in the library, for some community time. The upper administration also seems to understand, sending its thoughts (and gifts of food and nourishment) to us.

All of us are looking ahead to brighter days while opening our hearts to those of us still deep in the darkness of loss.

Peace (sent forth),

  1. So hard, but great that your school community puls together in these trying times. I hope that everyone feels supported. Sending you strength and wishes for brighter days.

  2. Peace and love through the darkness.

    Listened to Cheryl Strayed on a Super Soul podcast the other day and was reminded of this gem on surviving the really tough, devastating times in life:

    You float like a rabid ghost through the weeks. You cry and wallow and lament and scratch your way back up through the months. And then one day you find yourself alone on a bench in the sun and you close your eyes and lean your head back and you realize you’re okay.” – Cheryl Strayed


  3. Formal adversity and informal grapevines can be teachers, both. You and your colleagues are in my thoughts as you make your way through.

  4. “Sorrows come not single spies but in battalions.” Shakespeare likely popped into my head because of what I’m teaching right now, but this quote sure seems relevant too many times.

    My best to all on your school staff. Sending love and peace and healing your way.

  5. So sorry to hear about these tragic loses your school community has faced. The middle and high school I went to had an inordinate amount of people who were in terrible car accidents and who had other kinds of tragic endings to their lives. It’s hard to heal when things like this keep happening.

    May the new year be a good year for your school community.

  6. Kevin, I always say that life is fragile and uncertain. I am sorry that your school is filled with grief but it is good that your administration is understanding. Hang in there.

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