October 15, 2019
Thank You, Brockport
One week ago the Brockport community suffered a terrible loss. This is not about the grief that we felt that Saturday afternoon and evening, or the pain we will undoubtedly continue to feel into the future. I would like to shine a light on the power of healing and the great effort that goes into helping our children cope with feelings that we ourselves often don’t understand.
We are extremely lucky to have a strong support system in Brockport Central School District. This was not a loss we could have handled without the love and support from many people. This is not to say that we have “handled” the loss of a fantastic person and teacher, but to explain that in life, we find ways to continue for our children and our families.
Our district crisis team and the county wide supports were amazing in our time of mourning. They assembled quickly to devise a plan which addressed the mental health supports for both adults and students in the days immediately following the accident. The compassion we received helped us to be strong for our students.
Parents of students in Mrs. Ray’s room had the difficult task of delivering unimaginable news to their children and then sending them off to school. Teachers had to navigate classrooms where some students were aware of the passing of their colleague while other students were unaware of the news from the weekend. We didn’t make whole class or school-wide announcements related to the accident in an effort to minimize trauma, but we allowed students to discuss their feelings with trained support staff in a separate location in the school.
Monday, October 7, 2019 was filled with tears, laughter, and yes, learning. Learning math, learning to decode or comprehend text, and learning how to cope with loss. Every staff member in Barclay was present. The students provided an opportunity for normalcy in an abnormal situation. Familiar faces from Ginther School were present to work with students in Mrs. Ray’s room as they navigated a strange new world.
Time kept moving forward.
The community supported our school.
We received thoughts, prayers, and nourishment from far and wide. I initially would have thought it unnecessary to receive food for the staff, but it was extremely helpful to not have to devote any energy to planning even simple meals – that precious energy was being given to the students.
Thank you, Brockport. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for providing us with nourishment. Thank you for your words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for the hugs. Thank you for the tears. Thank you for the laughter.
We made it through the first week. There are many to go. Carrie Ray’s memory will never leave us. Her energy and compassion were immense. We have big high heeled shoes to fill.