3/30/11

The blink of an eye.


It was the overwhelming smell of flowers that hit me as I walked into the building.


It’s always that way.


I breathed it in as I glanced around the packed parlor of the funeral home. The line when I arrived had been so long that it took quite a while to make it inside the door. It was the line that first caught my attention. Not the length, I had expected that; it was the large amount of young people peppering the line that reminded me of the enormity of this loss.


We are members of a large educational community; but in reality we are a small group. We know each other from schools in which we work, from committees, from the pool, the grocery store, little league, soccer, swimming, field hockey, PTA, PTO, football games and wrestling matches.


We are a family.


But now the members of this very large family are standing in line to pay our respects to a small family. A family that is trying to figure out how a vibrant, loving, healthy, active young teacher and mother could be taken from this life so soon.


And that is an answer they will never receive.


As I inch closer to the family, I notice their incredible strength. Her husband and son hug each friend, and even though they’ve been experiencing something that will forever alter the course of their lives, they stand tall and strong, comforting the people who have in fact come to comfort them.


I think, from my own experiences, that they might not remember all of the dozens and dozens of bouquets, the hundreds and hundreds of people, the number of hugs they passed out, or the words we all struggled to find.


But I do think they’ll remember this.


This daughter, sister, wife and mother is greatly loved and admired by everyone in this community. She smiled every day, loved every child, laughed at herself and helped others do the same. She impacted her students, her co-workers, loving friends, and people too numerous to mention. Her joie do vivre will continue to live on through all of them.


And while that might not bring comfort today, tonight or tomorrow; sometime soon, it will. It will be something they will always remember.




That is an incredible legacy that we would all be grateful for.

22 comments:

RottenMom said...

I'm so sorry. My prayers are with her family. And with you. XO

anniep said...

Our school community has been where you are now. It is a place of heartbreak but somehow the bond we discovered that we all had was comforting and in a way it made us feel proud to be a part of that community. I recently discovered your blog and spent some time reading your previous posts. I think I have found a kindred spirit. We really have the best job in the world, dont we? Here's hoping your kiddos bring you the comfort mine have brought me this year.

ann at
http://justsayingyall.blogspot.com/

Lorraine said...

This is something we just went through in November. The loss to our "work family" is no less painful than of our real family. I'm so sorry for your loss.

noexcuses said...

I understand what you mean when you talk about community. Everyone feels it just as everyone is there for comfort. I am very sorry for the family's loss, as well as, the many lives that were touched by this woman.

Brian Miller said...

prayers...vm....

a Broad said...

Oh, how sad and touching.
I am sorry for your loss, for the family and for the children who will never experience her laughter and her gifts..

KL Crab said...

My condolences on your loss. Recently in our small school we lost a student in an accident. The outpouring of support is quite moving, I think we really do make our families where ever we go.

J.J. in L.A. said...

I'm sorry for your community's loss, VM! It's amazing how one life can affect so many people.

A fellow student died in an accident when he was 13 years old. I knew him and cried my eyes out that night.

At our high school graduation, the valedictorian dedicated her entire speech to him and how he should have been there with us. She got a standing ovation from us, the teachers, and everyone in the stands.

No one thought that she'd even remember him, but it just goes to show how his passing affected all of us.

The Empress said...

These things do happen, don't they?

I'm so sorry for everyone.

SkylersDad said...

There are not enough words, all I can offer is hugs, and to hold you from way over here.

Cheryl D. said...

It's always so sad when you hear of a young person dying before they should. It's just not right.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

So sad. You're right about community. There's a bond that says, "I care."

Rick Daley said...

Sad circumstances inspired a beautiful sentiment. My condolences for your loss.

Jeff D'Antonio said...

There are no words. My heart goes out to all of her family and friends, and to everyone in your community whose lives she touched.

This was beautifully written.

Sue said...

I never understand stuff like this. If anything, it reminds me to live life the "right" way, be kind to others, and give and pay it forward whenever I can. And always to appreciate those I love, because in a "blink of an eye" it can all be taken away.

Take care,
Sue

keturi/faro clan said...

for a moment I thought, wow she doesnt live in Oregon she lives here in Alaska! Then I realized no she is speaking of a teacher but for that you could have been at the funeral I was at recently. My friends son was taken too soon from this earth in a horrible car accident. I dont know how the families do it. I marvel at their strength to just get out of bed let alone deal with the day to day mundane things and to go on. Thank you for sharing and helping to remind me that I need to call her today and tell her the funny memory I have of her son.

Lili said...

Blessings to you hon.

Lynn MacDonald said...

I hate that for you and for the family. My kids had to deal with loss at a young age and also lost friends at a young age. It's something thats inexplicable.

I'm so sorry for all of you...

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

why is such a hard, unanswerable question at times like these.
so we fill the silence with love, prayers and casseroles.

we get through these sorrowful mysteries together.

Cora said...

I'm so very sorry. How terribly unfair.

Casey Freeland said...

Wonderful, heartfelt tribute. Life is not meant to be fair. But at least when it's not, we can cling to each other and weather the storm.

Cheers,

Casey

Pastor Sharon said...

This contribution is incredible. I am so sorry for the loss of this great lady.