This blog has always been my space to write, to bare my thoughts, to sit and let the words flow out. And I’ll be honest, this post wasn’t planned but it’s one that I needed to write, one that I had to mark here on my little space on the internet. A student of mine that I taught throughout her college years, someone that I think of often, someone that I knew had so much promise, died yesterday. A young beautiful soul, taken far too young, taken so unfairly. I hadn’t seen her in years but when I heard the news, it broke me.
I’ll never forget her smile and as cliche as that sounds, her smile was wide and bright, always. It lit up her whole face and brightened the whole room. She was smart and funny and beautiful and a talented designer with so much ahead of her. I often drive by the building that she used as her senior project and every time, I think of her, wondering what she was up to, wondering where life had taken her. And perhaps that’s why the news hit me so hard. Perhaps because she was one of the students in that very first quarter I taught and someone who I came to admire very much. She was one of my students that meant so much to me, as each and every student did for the four years that I taught them, many of them becoming dear friends.
This past week has been really emotional, seeing so much hurt in the world, so much pain has been beyond difficult. And then this… to be honest, I’ve thought a lot in the last couple days, thank God I don’t have kids growing up in this painful world. I’ve thought about how much sadness seems to overwhelm us. How much is happening around us and is causing so many people so much pain. I’ve wondered what the reason could possibly be for someone to die so young, so unfairly, someone with so much promise. I’ve questioned everything this past week and I still am.
I can’t imagine what her family is going through, her friends, the people she was close to. I knew her for only a few years and she left a mark on me so how they can even be breathing right now is a miracle. I won’t pretend to know what they’re feeling, the hole left in their lives must be unbelievable. I pray for them, for peace, for love and that her memory will comfort them as the tears fall.
It’s easy to let the pain, the sadness take you down. It’s easy to give into it, to let it break you. It’s easy to wonder if all the pain is even worth what’s on the other side.
But after this painful week, I can’t let the tears drown me. I can’t let the pain erase what’s ahead. I won’t give up on the light, even though all we might see now is darkness.
I’m dedicating my next steps to her, to the things I know she would have achieved. I’m sending love and peace and hope into the world that tomorrow might be a less painful day and every day going forward as we create a better world together.
Grief is a weird thing but the thing is, it can only make its mark when you love someone. It can only make its mark through love.