I received horrible news this evening. I received news that my former student drowned in a pool on Thursday.
I left Indonesia and left my students; begrudgingly, I left those students.
I left them and felt heartbroken and torn. Wondering how they would turn out when they got older. Would they remember me? More importantly, would I ever see any of them again?
In my mind, I told myself, you may never see these kids again because they live in Indonesia and you are moving to another country and other things like that.
But it never crossed my mind that I may never see one of my students again because they would be dead the next year.
I can still remember sitting at the lunch table with Gaby and listening to her tell me that her best friend was jealous when she would make other friends and I said, “Don’t worry, I will talk to your best friend. You should be able to have other friends!” And she smiled and I took care of the issue. And I still remember her writing me a letter telling me about some problems she had and just being able to be there for her and listen. And I still remember telling her what a good student she was; such a smart young lady. And I still remember crowning her “Queen of the Day” with the Lady Queen’s Crown where she learned (through a workshop that I created) about self-worth and how to be a leader in class. She was so proud that day and so was I.
What a tragic time this is for me. So far away from everything. Not able to be with the students that lost their friend. Not able to be with the teachers that feel the loss I feel in my heart. Not able to attend her funeral. Not able to give my condolences to the family…and her little sister… my heart aches because of it all.
Sometimes, I utterly despise my travels. I lose touch and am so out of reach.
I mourn the loss of my former student alone. Here with my relentless regrets, inner anguish and turmoil.