My community is grieving. It is a tough time.
We've suffered one of those things that happens to other people, not to us.
Three young men were leaving the Homecoming Dance and died in a single vehicle accident. One of the young men was new to our school, and unknown to me. I knew the other two young men, and what I think has made this particular loss so incredibly deep, is that most everyone else here did, too.
You know that game, the six-degrees of Kevin Bacon? Where you can name any celebrity and within 6 people connect them to Kevin Bacon? Six steps, that's pretty close.
The two young men had been in Tabb Schools for years and had zero degrees of separation.
They were essentially known by all.
One was a smiling soccer goalie, he wore incredibly bright florescent green in the goal-box and had very light blonde hair. He stood out. He had a smile for everyone and was the kid you met and remembered, his personality assured that. He was friendly and funny and has a sister just one grade level older who is beautiful and well-liked and lovely.
The other young man was strikingly handsome and played multiple sports. His mother teaches at the high school. Think of a single football team and how many kids are on that. Now add basketball and baseball and I think even some track. And not just for his schools, but multiple community teams as well. Now multiply that by the number of years he'd been playing. It is truly countless teams...and teammates. Add his mother's years of teaching and her co-workers and his athletic younger brother to the mix. Add his dad that coached many teams.
The loss of these boys is massive on its own, but the number of people who knew them or their families makes it incalculable.
We grieve their loss as a community, and have come together as such. I want to make the point though that thousands of individuals have lost someone they knew first hand. This tragedy has directly touched many, many lives.
Each of those people touched matter and each need some love, care, and attention to navigate this.
It's overwhelming. I used the term the other day, 'grief triage': Like in an ER where you have to try to sort out who to attend to first.
The volume of people deeply and personally touched by these deaths makes it a loss on some scale that I wish didn't exist. I say all this to help myself to understand what I'm experiencing and perhaps to foster some perspective for those on the outside looking in.
Six degrees might have given us some breathing room.