Friday, January 20, 2006

Dark Days

It has certainly been quite a week here at school. When the councilors are in a bad mood, you know it's been a very rough time indeed. Last week the mother of one of our students went missing. She was supposed go to an appointment, and she just never appeared. She stayed missing for several days, and the worry over her whereabouts got more and more intense in the community. Some people were genuinely worried about her, while many others were just interested in the mystery. Finally, last Friday they found her car parked downtown (next to the police station actually, but it still took them four days to notice it). She had driven it there, climbed into the backseat where the windows were tinted, and then shot herself. Her kids were nine and thirteen.

When the news hit school (via an idiot parent who called their child at lunchtime) the students went mad. Well, I should say the girls went mad. They dissolved into tears, the wailed and cried. The boys do things in a different way. The stood around and looked stoic. Many of them were upset because they knew her, or because they knew her child. However, many more were upset to the point of hysteria because "a mom did that." They were shocked to the core that a mom, anyone's mom, could actually kill herself. Moms die sometimes, they understand that, but moms DO NOT kill themselves. They are moms, so they just can't.

I watched the kids get picked up that day. One big, tough boy hugged and hugged his mom when she came, and judging by her face I think it was an unusual thing. Another girl just kept patting her mom on the sholder as if she was making sure of something. Hopefully these kids will have learned more than just saddness from this event. There is certainly no way to kow why she did what she did since she left no note, but there is not doubt that her "furious goodbye" had a huge impact on the people she left behind.

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