I found out that one of my former students was killed in a hit and run earlier today. My initial reaction: numbness.
It didn’t sink in. It didn’t seem real. It had to be a mistake. However it wasn’t.
He was 18 years old. He was going to begin his senior year of high school this September. I’ve known him since he was in the sixth grade. The last time I saw him was just a year ago when I had the pleasure of subbing at his high school.
When I think about him, it will not be his death. It will not be how he died or why. When I think about him it will be that mischievous smile he’d always give me when he was kicked out of a classroom and sent to my office. In fact, that is my last memory of him. Finding him roaming around campus because he’d been kicked out of a class and him and I spending the rest of the period together talking and trying to get him back into his class. He was mischievous but he was also nice. He was a clown and a ladies man. He was crazy and usually in trouble but knew that he had a lot of people watching him and making sure he had his head on straight.
I hate death. I hate funerals. I hate mourning.
I won’t participate in any of those things for him. I will always remember him as I knew him. I will pray for his family and all those who will without a doubt mourn his death. I will pray that the person responsible is apprehended and I will pray for them as well. I will pray. I will not mourn. But I will never forget my former student’s mischievous smile.