Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Today two of my students' mother died.


The funeral is tomorrow.

I have no frikkin clue how to deal with this.

One of the brothers is an EMT. Barely old enough to drive, he's been cruising around on ambulances saving people's lives. Maybe because he knew he couldn't save his mother's. He doesn't do so well in school, doesn't get his work done, because he stays up all night saving lives.

I should grade their finals.

The funeral is tomorrow.

We may not have classes.

המקום ינחם אותם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים


Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

I am speechless.

Did you know that this was imminent?

12/13/2005 9:36 PM  
Blogger Mirty said...

Just be there. You don't have to know what to say. Your presence will be helpful to them at the funeral, at the house for shiva.

12/14/2005 12:36 AM  
Blogger Lab Rab said...

Go to the funeral. Listen.
Go to the shiva. Listen. Let them open up to you.
When they return to school, keep on listening. And observing. Look out for them.
And remember - right after a trauma people are inundated with good-intentioned friends. It's a few months later, however, after there's been some time to gain perspective, that people really need to talk. But they find that nobody really cares about their crisis anymore. Be sure to keep being there for them through June.
Steg, you're one of the best. I'm sure you'll know what to do.

12/14/2005 2:11 AM  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Steg -

I'm sure your studens will appreciate you being at the funerals.

In terms of the EMT guy -- though lots of teachers would disagree with me; give him a break. Saving even one life is amazing. Doing it routinely is astounding.

Tiny actions like this that help him with the rest of his life have a way of working themselves out over time, and you won't regret it.

I can prove it. I had some teachers that went to bat for me, and they don't regret it now either.

12/14/2005 2:39 AM  
Blogger MC Aryeh said...

I think Lab Rab hit it on the mark on all counts. Are you expected to say something about it in class? Does the school provide counselors?

12/14/2005 3:04 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

The student services person called last night to tell me about it. She said that depending on what the students want, different teachers will go to the funeral or stay at school to try and have as normal a day as possible for those students who want that. There'll be someplace at school for students to just go and show up if they need to talk.

12/14/2005 7:03 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...


of course i'm going to give him a break. it's just part of the gravitas of the situation. you can't do anything but be in awe of the guy, grades or no grades.

12/14/2005 7:06 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...


everyone knew it was probably imminent

12/14/2005 7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oy. Our sympathies and prayers are with them and you. Puts everything in perspective, doesn't it?

12/14/2005 1:07 PM  
Blogger Balabusta in Blue Jeans said...

Oh. The daughter of a coworker of my mother's died last week, leaving two little girls. There aren't words. You'll do what you can.

Be well.

12/14/2005 10:41 PM  
Blogger tuesdaywishes said...

The heck you should grade their finals! Give them a 'pass'. See how they do next semester, if their lives have reached some kind of normality.

My hubby lost his dad a few months back. No one is ever ready, even if the person is old and suffering, and even if the "kids" are all "grown-ups". Kal v'chomer when they are still really kids.

12/14/2005 10:50 PM  
Blogger Sweettooth120 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/16/2005 2:48 PM  
Blogger Sweettooth120 said...

My husband teaches 5th grade and has unfortunately had to deal with this on several occassions. Lab Rat speaks with wisdom and it's great advice to follow. It's exactly how my husband learned to work through it.

12/16/2005 2:50 PM  
Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

No, no! Not "Lab Rat". LabRab! A very wonderful bochur!

12/17/2005 7:43 PM  

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