I needed a day to step back from this so I wouldn’t be cussing and shrieking and wailing.
My son came home from school on Friday clearly unhappy. He came in and handed me a paper and said I should read it – now. And then hovered in the doorway of the kitchen, waiting. The paper was from the school advising us that a student had died that morning in a car crash on the way to school.
While my son did not personally know this student, he was upset because so many of the students just shrugged their shoulders and said, “So, we didn’t know him.” He can’t understand how they can just dismiss it. Also bothering him was the fact that a student has died every year for the past four years. This may not seem like so many to people in a large school, but our 7th – 12th grades have only 800+ students. It’s a small community.
News from school, the student grape-vine, and the media, revealed that the student appeared to be traveling at a high rate of speed when he crossed the center line and struck another vehicle head-on, killing two and sending one to the hospital. It was speculated that he was rushing to get to school because it was prom night and if you are not in school that day you may not attend prom that night. But what happened? He was traveling a road he had driven since getting his license. What made him cross the center line? There doesn’t appear to be any obvious answer. Incomprehensible, as a parent, is the fact that this is the second child these parents have lost.
The occupants in the other vehicle were on their way to pick up their daughter from college that day. And they turned out to be the parents of one of my daughter’s high school buddies. So I got to tell my daughter that this young woman’s parents had died and her brother was in the hospital.
How do you help your children deal with the fact that not everyone feels things as deeply as we do and that children dying is part of life when you have trouble with this yourself? Every fiber of my being screams in rage every time a child dies. I cannot accept the senselessness of children suffering and dying as being part of ‘Life’s Plan’. It serves no purpose. There is more than enough awfulness in life without dragging children into it. What can anyone say that could possibly make this acceptable? Because I just cannot see it.