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Death 19 September 2006

Posted by Todd in Teaching.

One of my students was killed in a car accident last week.  I found out through a phone call from his sister.  It’s early in the semester and so I didn’t know him very well yet, but I feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut.  I think many of us educators have unconscious paternal connections to our students, and for some reason this feels really personal to me.  My thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends today.

When I was religious (a lifetime ago) I had all kinds of pat answers for why death happens and what it means to die.  It’s been years since I believed any of that, and now I find myself left with the anger at the caprisciousness of the world.  It is no wonder that we spend our lives seeking meaning out of the senselessness of birth and death.

But the connections are real, even if they are fleeting and tenuous, and when one of us dies, it’s an inevitable loss.   It’s more than just being reminded of my own mortality; it’s about all Kris had ahead of him, the promise of a life denied.



1. dekerivers - 19 September 2006

I think the hardest deaths are those of our young because as you note there is that loss of life and all that it might have held. When I hear and read of this type of death I think about all the little things that I had just been considering that were so all important. In an instant they are not that big of a deal. Perhaps these sad events should give us more perspective into how we live our lives and concentrate more on making them count.

I am very sorry to hear your news and wish you comfort.

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