Deep sorrow exists when we acknowledge the inability to catch all those who fall and that pain, for a moment, can be blinding enough to make resources and love feel unreachable to people near us.
Death grips, it chills bones and breaks hearts. The journey of my educator spirit has been greatly influenced by the mental health and hope, the lives and the deaths of students and colleagues around me. My own story is saturated with the struggle to belong, feel worthy, and to move into spaces that I can offer the world goodness and not just feel hurt.
So my breath shortens when I walk past the picture of a young man who shared a conversation with me just hours before life was let go. Shoulders feel heavy as a one year timestamp circles around and the agony parents and friends feel since he left clings to the air. My eyes blur with tears and images for a country I was convicted to go see in the aftermath this student death.
I will speak of the life we get to live, of the hope we must chase, of the beautiful we are. I will do this because I have seen those who do not believe it. I have taught young people who have forgotten and I have walked alongside adults who can not shake the dark voices. I have seen the world in privilege and prosperity and also have seen the world steeped in poverty and injustice. I can not change everything and will not claim I get it all right. But I stand today, having felt the shadows, having lost people, and knowing that Bangladesh is part of what makes me unique and bold.
If there is a country or corner, a longing or a learning which makes you see how remarkable you are — go there, sit a while, refill and refresh.
If there is a way you can gift hope or encouragement to others in your family, profession, social circles, or strangers — do it, intentionally and frequently.
We were not made to do this life alone, but we were made to do life.
“Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.” ~ Mary Oliver