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.