Cara's classmate is dead, and the lessons begin for the rest. The night of the accident, a bunch of kids went to the school and, in their grief, spray painted the walls with messages to their friend. I am surprised at the number of parents who see this as acceptable. Their children need to express their emotions. I'm with that. However, their 'children' (who will be graduating in a couple months) need to learn to express their emotions as adults. Hand lettered signs tapped into the ground would have given them the same opportunity to express their emotions. We'll be paying to have the walls cleaned, unless the school intends to leave those macabre messages to a popular dead girl forever.
Cara went to school yesterday. She signed herself out. I did not know that she had done so. I guess I'm a little on edge, too, because this made me very nervous. She rode the bus to school, she signed herself out early, rode home with someone, retrieved her car, and was gone. I was not happy. I could have called her at any time, but I assumed she was at school. I didn't see the need. At 4 in the afternoon, I was talking to her on her cell phone. "Where are you? Why did you leave school? How did you get home?" I was surprised to find that the teachers were not teaching yesterday. They were consoling. I understand this. My own Sunday School class was completely derailed by the children's need to talk about the accident, and the crying teenagers they'd seen. It was a good opportunity to discuss the importance of our church community. We talked about what they could do to be positive examples of God's love to those hurting teenagers. So, yes, I understand the importance of consoling these teens. What I do not understand is the wisdom of allowing them to hop into cars, head off to parts unknown. This seemed like a potential tragedy in the making.
Grief is a part of life. There are lessons in dying. If you are wise, you learn them. As awful as this horrible thing was, there are lessons here, about caution, about love, about life itself. You learn them. You apply them to your own life in tribute. You grieve. You allow yourself to be consoled, to be loved. In that consolation, you are pulled back into the river that is life, and the currents of that life sweep you down river, away from the grief. You shouldn't forget, but you learn about the inexorable pull of life. I believe that in our pain, wisdom takes root and begins to grow.
I am sorry that Cara grieves.
I am sorry for this class.
It makes me sad that there are so many people that are missing a chance to teach a valuable life lesson.