Today one of my students asked me if my daughters were Anna and Abigail, “you know the girls that died in the leaves.”
My heart instantly hurt. I never say that my daughters died, never. I only say that Anna and Abigail went to Heaven, because that is what happened.
“Yes, Anna and Abigail are my daughters and yes, they went to Heaven.”
A couple of other students started talking about the worst night of my life with details they heard on the news or maybe overheard from their parents. I stopped them and let them know that if they wanted to know about Anna and Abigail and all of their wonderful qualities and gifts I would love to talk to them for hours about it all, but hearing the details from “the tragedy” of my life hurts my heart and I would appreciate it if they wouldn’t talk about it right now. One student decided that he wanted to continue to show the rest how much he knew of the story, my story. I stopped him and asked again politely with tears in my eyes.
He got it.
One girl asked if I was sad.
One student, a girl about Anna’s size, stood up and wrapped her arms around me. I held her tight and said thank you.
These young hearts have so many questions. I can’t make sense of my loss how could we ever expect these little minds to make sense of it all.
All I can do is be honest with them, answer their question and let them know when my pain is too great and I can’t talk about it. I will continue to share stories about my family, my life and our love story in hopes that they see that even in the depths of sorrow there is joy to be found. I will also let them see my raw emotion, because all of us are entitled to feel sad and to show that sadness to the world ~ even their PE teacher.
I shared with the class, “there isn’t a second that goes by that my heart isn’t sad and aching the loss of my daughters, I miss them so much. Daily I get a choose on what I am going to do with that sadness, today I woke up and decided to choose to come to work and teach you all how to play a really fun game, do you want play?”
They all yelled, “yes!”