Changing how we deal…
Yesterday I was about to get into the shower…I had taken off my shirt and let down my hair…when I heard the news. A well-loved and respected Kingswood Oxford teacher had been killed in a car accident. I threw on my sweater and cap and ran over to my neighbors’ house. She is also a KO teacher, leader and all-around amazing person.
She opened the doors with tears in her eyes. The kids were behind her…with questioning looks, sadness, confusion, questions…Shock. That was what they were all experiencing.
And…since the sudden and tragic loss of my own father in a car crash…I have figured out a lot. So…I ran this message over to her….hoping she wouldn’t realize that I hadn’t showered yet!
No one knows how to handle a sudden death. No one!
But…in this instance, right now, our community…our town… has to deal with an entire school of kids who are having to mourn. Some of who, have never known anyone who’s died. This might be their first real experience with death. Some kids…might be feeling a huge loss. Confused and unaware of “How” to mourn.
So I gave her this idea. The amazing woman who was killed was an art teacher. I suggested that her artwork be hung all over the school. That her students make a book of their artwork…and explain how this teacher brought this piece of art to life. How did she teach them…did she teach by showing or explaining? What were her favorite mediums? Did she win any awards…what was her favorite piece of art?
Collect them all…and have an art show…a celebration! An Auction…and set up an artist scholarship for an amazingly talented student, who might not be able to afford a prestigious private school.
Teach everyone how to turn…
Hopelessness into mission
Sadness into Action
Frustration into Purpose
Anger into Passion
Isolation into support
Loneliness into Community
Despair into Sharing
It’s a skill that everyone will benefit from. A life lesson…It can be hers to teach!
Transforming tragedies into personal challenges…with a purpose at the end. A destination. A place of comfortable closure…with a positive benefit. A lesson. A love and new understanding of yourself…and the person you lost.
A tragedy can define you or propel you. Find a way to always make it push you into something better. Something bigger. It makes every tragedy into a positive…and though this process can sometimes take a while to get to…when you get there…You won’t be alone. I promise!
And you will have made a difference…not matter how small.
What an amazing gift that would be to give to a whole school full of children. What an amazing gift from an amazing teacher.