When I went to bed last night, I didn’t get much sleep. As you can imagine, the activities of the day’s events were still burning in my brain… like a video playing over and over, unable to stop its revolution.
As I woke today, my heart was heavy knowing that I would, soon, be headed out to attend the funeral of several students where my daughter attends high school… including my precious Sydney.
When we arrived at the high school we checked in, and were escorted to one of the classrooms where were given a letter written to us by our child. Sydney had written one for each of us (this was part of the retreat they attended last night).
(*As a side note, I will not be posting her letters to us, as they are personal to her, and I do not wish to break her trust, or put her out there in such a real and personal way. At the point she is ready to share her words, I will have her do so here. Thank you for understanding this, as she is still at teenager, and somewhat desires her privacy.)
As the parents waited in the classroom and read their letters, the juniors and seniors were filed into the auditorium where they would also witness the laying to rest of their classmates. As we (the parents) entered the room, several of Sydney’s friends called out my name, looked at me with great sadness in their eyes, and blew me kisses. I simply adore Syd’s friends, and know they were affected by the events of the last few days. As this is the part of the purpose of this campaign, I was happy to have had them get my attention.
As we entered the room, there was a slideshow playing of all of the students… those in the accident in front of the school yesterday, as well as those who portrayed the walking dead. Each student had submitted 6-8 photos of themselves growing up, and as they were viewed a song played. Upon the stage sat two caskets with memorabilia from the two casualties yesterday. It was a very difficult sight to see. Also on the stage, were photos and memorabilia of those who were considered the walking dead.
There were 57 students represented at this funeral. Fifty-seven.
There were several speakers, including a Mom who had lost her son to a drug and alcohol overdose. Her recollection of the events that surrounded her son’s death were heart wrenching, and I could tell, struck a cord with all there. As I sat listening, I could hear lots of sniffles, sighs, and cries… and not just from the parents in attendance.
Siblings, students, and parents read letters they had prepared for their loved ones. It was so encouraging to see the amount of support that was given to these precious students as they head into PROM weekend.
Below you will find a video created by the kiddos who were a part of this experience. I ask that you take a moment and view it… with your teenagers, if possible. And, again, I want to encourage you… If you live in an area where this campaign is not yet active, please, please speak with your counselors at your school, and get it going. It is one of the most remarkable programs I have ever had the honor of being a part of. And I’m so proud of the BHS students who feel so very strongly about this, and have taken action to educate their peers.
(Please scroll to the bottom of the page and mute the running music player, so you will be able to hear the sound of this most important video.)
Every 15 minutes someone dies in an alcohol related crash…
(If you wish to view the first installment of this most important campaign, please click here.)