On Saturday, September 14, 2002, 11:36:16 AM, Iteachart7@aol.com scripsit:
> Dear Friends;
> Our Headmaster fo 17 years , Carl Rice, died last night. He was waiting to
> have by-pass surgery on monday. He had a Liver transplant 2 years ago and we
> thought he could be anything after that. We have to be in school early on
> monday and I'm not sure what the students reations will be. How does one
> prepare for this.
We had a parent of one of the children in our grade seven classes
die suddenly the other day. If our experience might be useful to
you, this is how it went:
Almost immediately, it seems, all the children knew about it and
were gossiping about it via MSN messenger and/or email. The
teachers (not so tech savvy)were pretty much in the dark. Talk on the playground the
next a.m. was all about it as well. An announcement was made
during morning announcements and we said a prayer (we're a
Catholic school). The kids were really chatty and excited ... it
seemed very much like they were trying to 'cover' their emotions.
At lunchtime a chaplain from the schoolboard came in and held a
little service just for the kids in our grade. We started by
lighting a candle and then she talked to the children about how
they might be feeling and that such feelings are normal.She asked
them to tell her about the student who lost his father and any
memories they had about the father if they knew him. She
asked how many students had recently lost someone they knew (a
surprising number have ... many, I suspect, were not so recent)
and she asked those students who it was (grandmas, grandpas, a
neighbour, etc.). She then asked all the students to try to express
their feelings with one word -- if they used one another student used,
it was okay. Words like 'unfair' 'confused' 'sad' were mentioned
and by this point, a lot of students were genuinely crying and
'letting it out'. We then said a prayer and wrapped up. After
some left, one group really broke down ...
In the afternoon as an art activity we asked the students to draw
something, write a poem, write a letter, etc. expressing what
they believed the student who had lost his father would want to
hear from his friends. These all turned out very nice and we
mounted them on construction paper and will be laminating them
and turning them into a book. One of the student's friends will
be giving him the book in private at a later date ...
The funeral is on Monday ... students are allowed to attend if
they have a note of permission from a parent.
David Meadows Libertas inaestimabilis res est.