If you live in America, you should be paying attention to the fact that no one has ever pepper-sprayed Westboro Baptist Church for spreading hate, but students and grandmothers asking for positive change are valid targets.
I barely knew the guy from a can of paint and I only had about two classes with him throughout my whole high school career. he was insanely aloof and only talked once in our shared class. His passing shook the whole school. Almost everyone cried throughout the school day (sans a select few). The whole day was emotionally charged, I had never felt so exhausted from the grieving and sadness of others. I had not felt I deserved the right to grieve, I sat in each of my classes stonily as my classmates broke down one by one. I described it in a text as, “Sadness shrouds everyone’s shoulders like a cape” (incredibly cheesy I know, but I was running on two hours of sleep and no coffee).
While driving home I explained to my dad in the kindest tone I could muster that I was,”[…] not in the mood to talk”. His response was a flippant,”Oh please […] people die everyday”. I never wanted to slam someones head into a driver’s wheel so badly. HE WAS ONLY 17 YEARS OLD. This kid had his own company and invested stocks in ways that I thought were impossible. I could only WISH to attain what my classmate attained in his 17 yrs in 45 yrs. I came home and shed a few tears after that. Yes, people die everyday (especially young) but that does not lessen the pain and heartbreak his friends and family feel. Not in the least. When a person feels the grief of a whole school or family it changes the situation by ten fold, whether you were acquainted with the deceased or not. Death touches everyone’s life in some way or form everyday. How someone deals with death is personal and it is not up to anyone else to provide a solution for coping. People must learn to cope in their own (healthy) way. The best you can do for someone in mourning is to offer a tissue, a message of love and understanding, a hug, and some alone time. Nothing else. For some today was a day for grief and for others a day for remembrance. For many it was a day for both.