A week ago, my coworker, a yard duty supervisor, was found dead in her van after she went missing for three days. Her husband was the first to find her van parked in front of another elementary school a few blocks away from her house and less than a mile from my school. It is deemed as the city’s 34th homicide of the year, and a suspect has already been arrested and charged with murder. The story is so horrifying and tragic! She worked at my school for 12 years, and she has 2 sons who are only 15 and 20. Yesterday was her memorial service, and it was heartbreaking to see her 2 sons embrace each other as we paid our last respects to her.
A mother who was the head of the household and an inspiration to her sons by working hard to give them a good education is now gone. A yard duty supervisor who watched my students at recess and lunch every day is now gone. Grief counselors were at school last week to help teachers and students cope with her death. Students expressed their feelings by creating banners with heartfelt messages of thanks and “We will miss you,” which were put up during her memorial service. My Kinder students who didn’t have much time to get to know her haven’t brought up the topic in class, but if they did, I’m not sure how I would help them cope with death. Please pray for her family and my school during this difficult time.
Life is short. Yesterday would have also been my late dad’s birthday, and today is the 12th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11th. In a moment’s time, these lives were taken away from us, but God has a purpose for all things and we live for His glory. I remember finding a whole new meaning to these lyrics from “Blessed Be Your Name” after my dad passed away.
You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say, Lord
Blessed be Your name
Coping with death, especially the passing of my dad, has helped me to see the temporality of this world with its false joys, false hopes, and needless anxieties and worries. Thanks to Jeremy Lin for this analogy – Stuff in our life comes through on a conveyer belt and when we lose sight of where our identity is, we let stuff accumulate on top of each other, ultimately clouding our view of keeping first things first. Thus, I must remind myself daily that this is not where I belong and heaven is my home where I will finally meet God one day!
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.” –Isaiah 6:1-4