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She Said His Name

A mini-crisis erupts near the end of the day. I leave my students busy working to chase down an athlete. As I come to the office, I see a crowd. I get a bit closer and understand why. A co-worker is standing there with her 2 week old baby. I avoid all eyes and walk past at a world class pace. Two minutes later, I walk just as fast and avoid even more eyes on my way back to my classroom. The day ends and I head to our staff meeting.

The co-worker and her daughter are there. I find a table that contains zero babies and zero pregnant women. The meeting begins and my co-worker and her daughter are acknowledged. Everybody claps. Everyone except me. In my head, I think "I can't clap. I am holding an apple." I can't even fool myself. My co-worker takes the floor. I look away. I zone out. I hear a few words. I feel anger. This isn't fair. Why am I stuck in this room. The teacher beside me puts her are on my back, gives me a squeeze, and leaves her hand there. Tears started to flow. And they wouldn't stop. I grabbed my keys and fumbled my way out the back.

I needed to be alone. I needed to cry. But first, I had to hold it together. Students were still loitering in the halls.

Eventually, about 20 minutes later, I snuck back into the meeting. It was hard to go back. I didn't want people to realize I left and by coming back it seemed to emphasize the point.

After the meeting I had a moment with the teacher who reached out to me. She told me I wasn't a soldier and I couldn't be expected to march around the school like everything was fine. Then she said, "Tripp is such a lucky boy." She said his name. She just said Tripp. Tripp's name is rarely spoken during the day and because of this, it stands out. She went on to say, "we grieve as deeply as we love and Tripp is loved very deeply by both of his parents."


  1. Hugs to you. I can't imagine what you're going through. I had my own loss but I recognize that each loss is unique and different. Tripp is a really lucky boy. He has two parents that love him so much and a big brother too. He will always be a part of your family no matter what. He will always be your son. I give you lots of credit though for going back to that staff room. If it were me, I don't I could've went back. You're a very strong woman and an inspiration to all of us that read your blog.


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