Friday, October 14, 2005

My amazing friend Mandy works in a Children's ICU.

I've always told her that I could never do her job. The weight of all the sadness there would be too much for me. Children who are sick...sometimes dying. It seems so unnatural and wrong.

My job may require patience (occasionally there are *some* rough days), but I don't ever have to watch grieving parents watch their child suffer.

Schools are full of life...and hope. Mostly healthy kids, learning, playing, growing.

This morning at one of the elementary schools where I teach, I was surprised and concerned to see tears in the office. The matter-of-fact, cheerful, efficient secretary didn't greet me as usual. I thought maybe she had just received news about a family member or close friend. This afternoon, when I returned to the school, I understood.

The classroom teacher quickly tried to warn me that something really sad had happened....the kids might say something. We'd talk after class. But as I started to welcome the kids, several kindergarteners raised their hand.

"Mrs. Corbin, Alexis isn't here because she died."

It was true. My beautiful little kindergartener, died last night after complications from a heart operation.

We sang together. Silly songs about "Old King Cole" and "BINGO." They laughed and sang and played, but it was hard. Maybe not for them. They can't and probably shouldn't feel the weight of this. Not yet.

I think that must be the most awful pain that a parent could ever feel.

I still feel sick.


Redbaerd said...

great and horrible post, Ang.

I'm sorry. I do think it seems like the most unimaginable thing for any one to live through -- let alone for any family to live through.

we just watched the film _Ordinary People_ last night -- and the memory of a dead son haunts this family in the most horrible and moving way.

It helps me understand our own family so much more profoundly to see and think about living so profoundly in the shadow of loss...

Lindsey said...

That is horrible. . . i cannot even imagine. It reminds me of Daniel's message though about how it is a common worry of parents in other countries. Here it is rare feeling for some of us, but not for others. Others have to live with that feeling daily. No matter where it occurs though, it is still painful. I will keep the family in my prayers.

Isn't it the strangest feeling to carry on when you are the only one in the room that truly feels sick. I remember returning to teach only four days after my mom died. My principal told me not to tell the kids what had happened. It was the weirdest felling to know that something so huge and terrible had happened, but the kids had no idea. I would catch myself thinking, "why are they laughing? Don't they know what has happened?"

Whoa, long paost. . . sorry.


I love you, ang. I'm so sorry.

England said...

sorry about my recent lack of correspondence. busier than snot. we'll talk soon!