Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This probably isn't my place, but...

...I need to say something about it. Something really sad happened last night to a local family and it has grazed our family in a very unexpected way. A little boy in JAM's class, not someone I knew other than in passing at some events here and there, but according to all reports one of the sweetest little kids you'd ever be lucky enough to meet, passed away last night. Apparently this fantastic little guy had been born with some health problems and the fact his family got to be with him for 9 years was something of a miracle in itself.

So here we are, on the periphery (at best) of this tragic event, and it's amazing the effect is still so great. Wifey related to me that she can't get the image out of her head of the time, just last week, when she's helped him down the stairs off the school bus on JAM's class' field trip. Although I came home too late for the big talk with him and I missed it, JAM had his own feelings to work through regarding his interactions with his friend. Without going into too much detail, apparently his friend had some mobility challenges due to his illnesses and at times this year JAM had decided not to play with him while on recess in favor of playing kickball, which apparently did not include this young guy. It sounded like JAM was hard on himself for what he characterized as his being mean to his friend, but even though I wasn't there I don't think I'd go as far as saying it qualified as being mean. But, I wasn't there so I have no idea what was said or how it was said. We just have to help JAM think about the times he did play in the sandbox with his friend, the times they did have fun together.

I told JAM about the time I was in high school and a good friend of mine passed away. I told him how sad I was and it was good for me to be able to relate to him that way I think. We'll keep talking to him, and I'll make more special time for that tomorrow. Tonight I let him have something special that he's been wanting for a while - we let him watch two episodes of the animated Star Wars: the Clone Wars off the DVR. Hadn't let him watch that before - the violence is a bit much but I thought he's getting to the point of being fine with it (he'd probably already been there - it was us that was lagging) and he deserved something fun to get his mind off of the day. We all need that sometime right?

There are these life lessons that I know we'll have to go through, with all the kids, but that doesn't make it any easier to anticipate or to deal with. And again, we're so out there on the periphery of this sadness, I can't even come close to imagining how the family is doing right now. They are great people, and we're looking forward to doing whatever we can for them but we know they've got so many people who are closer than we were looking out for them. I just hope that some good comes out of this - the kids work to realize that life is short, that they need to be as good to each other as possible (one thing JAM said - this little guy was just nice to everyone, even if they were mean to him because of his disabilities he still just wanted to be every one's friend), and hopefully we're all surrounded by people who love us.

I'm not particularly religious, to any one deity or dogma, but I will pray that God's looking out for that family tonight and in the future. And I'm going to hold on to my little ones just a little tighter.


Amanda said...

That's so sad - I was wondering what it was that D was posting about.
Someone in 6th grade died when I was in 2nd grade at a pretty small school, and I remember hearing about it over the intercom VERY clearly. And the crying - even the teachers. And when I was in 7th grade, someone in my class died in gym class. Death is a fact of life, but it feels particularly more cruel when it's a child, and horribly tough when you, as a parent, have to figure out how to help YOUR child deal with it. Hugs to you all, and especially to JAM.

morninglight mama said...

I'm just not able to articulate what I'm thinking about this tragedy without going off in a dozen different directions, so thank you for expressing this. JAM and I were talking more this morning, and he said, "My head is just full of so many WHYs." That I understand exactly.