#sosmagic20 Heartstretched

It started with a picture.
One picture on Facebook.
Four smiling faces. Four friends looking forward to a night of fun and laughter. Four friends. Soon, much too soon, to become three.
One picture and it was seven years ago, the Monday after prom.

In high schools, the Monday after prom is lazy, full of chatter about weekend events, and whispers in the corners about things teachers shouldn't hear. Phones get passed around with pictures to share and underclassmen listen wistfully about the magic of the night.

But they don't prepare you for Monday after proms like that one,

"for the silence
for the echo in the hallway
even though students walk through them"

I wrote those words seven years ago, and as I write them again today, my heart remembers breaking for a young man who thought there was no other way. The eerie quiet came back, the silent tears remembered. I thought I was prepared for the day, but I wasn't.

This week, as I've checked out Facebook memories, those from seven years ago stand out. His friends are still grieving and I offer virtual hugs, though I know it's not the same as wrapping them in my arms and listening through the tears like I tried to do that day.


  1. Your words bring tears to my eyes. I can feel the heartache that lingers seven years later. We are never prepared for this.

  2. My heart breaks for you all. I feel your pain.

  3. I've lost three students, and one was a suicide. Actually all three from my very first class. AS you said, there is just no prepartion for this.

  4. We never understand, and we are so helpless, even years later. Thank you for sharing--I hope some solace for you in writing the words.

  5. The contrast of magic of prom and the shock of suicide. Heartbreaking. Heartstretching too.

  6. When I read things so heartfelt and touching I have to just sit quietly with them for a bit. Otherwise, my brain would go into overdrive whirring repeatedly trying to make some sense of it. In the quiet I learn, once again, there are no answers I can find. Finally I turn to the God of all comfort and pray up the whole situation.

  7. I'm glad you write. Suicide is such a difficult heart stretcher...and I am grateful for the pause you have given me. The pause to remember the value of life and the way we never really know the impact we have on each other. The pause to remember grieving sometimes doesn't "cycle through," but simply becomes part of our overstretched hearts. Much love to you, Mrs. Day.

  8. Thanks, all. I wish I could scoop up all my kids from seven years ago and hug them all. I know they needed it this week, and so did I. But writing helped.

  9. This post reminds me of all the things I love about you. You know everyone matters. You do all you can to make sure they know it, too. It was why so many years ago I wanted to see you in action. I learned the magic of your work is true. And even though magic that powerful can't solve it all, I know your virtual hugs to those former students are truer magic than any other hugs I know.


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