Tuesday, September 20, 2005


"For there is nothing heavier than compas­sion. Not even one's own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the im­agination and prolonged by a hundred echoes." -The Unbearable Lightness of Being

I always remember this passage from Milan Kundera when I hear of the death of a loved one of a person I care about. The truth of Kundera's words takes on even more significance when a student's parent or sibling passes away. The tragedy of someone so young losing such an important part of her life weighs heavily on me, especially knowing that there is very little I can do to ease the pain. I love my students so much that it kills me when even the most trivial negative thing happens to them, so when one of them loses a family member, I struggle with the overwhelming urge to cry in sympathy and the ever-consuming obligation to be strong for them... not that there seems to be any need for the latter. My students always amaze me by displaying an emotional stability in the face of their loss that I don't think I'd be capable of maintaining if I lost a loved one. In a way, it makes me even more emotional: I feel so proud that they are dealing with it so maturely, but I also feel sad that they were forced to grow up so abruptly. I can only hope that beneath the strong exterior, they are having an easier time coming to terms with it than I am.


At Tuesday, September 20, 2005, Blogger Elyse said...

I guess you really know that you're loving when you also hurt when the person is hurting.

At Friday, September 23, 2005, Anonymous Jac said...

I suggest you read "slowness" too. There are some thought-provoking words there but it isn't about death though. More of how one deals with life.

Yes, death. Although we could look at it positively and say that our loved one is with the Creator.

I wish i would die before my loved ones though...


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