This week one of my students from last semester was killed in a motorcycle accident. And he wasn't just any student, but one who, while in my class, also lost his two year old son after a routine tonsillectomy. That loss, which was so incredibly heartbreaking, was part of what inspired this post on the emotional toll of teaching. And now, less than six months later, he has also died of an unthinkable accident. He is survived by his wife, daughter, and unborn child.
I have been utterly heartbroken over this situation. As an instructor at a large university, I interact with a couple hundred students per year. I do not get to know them all personally, but the idea of any of them dying was something I never considered. And the idea of losing this particular student, who has already had to live through such extreme grief, just seems beyond comprehension.
As I sit here, I try to think of what I can do. I have donated to the families GoFundMe page, and I have shared his story with those around me. I did my best to support him after the loss of his son, and I will do my best to support his wife and children after this great loss. But in reality, I am outside the scope of their grief. While my heart breaks for them, I am simply an observer, and it feels so helpless. It makes me think of how others must have felt when we lost Missy. Wanting to do something, anything to help us in our darkest hours, and yet being unable to fully convey how they wanted to share this burden.
When you lose someone close, that grief is all consuming. But when you lose someone who is not close, that grief can be overwhelming as well. As I struggle with that, I just wanted to say that I know many of you felt the way I feel now when I poured my grief out on this blog these last few years. Thank you for being so supportive. Thank you for always listening. It means more than you could possibly ever know.
**Please consider wearing grey on Wednesday, May 18th in honor of Brain Cancer Awareness Month and in memory of my little sister. If you would like to be included in the annual #GreyForMissy post, please take a picture of your grey and post it to any social media site tagged with #GreyForMissy or #GrayforMissy and I will add it here. You can also share the photo on the BioGirl facebook page or email it to me at biogirl79(at)gmail(dot)com.**