I am sitting at home. At 3:45pm I will head to work, not to actually work but instead to meet a few colleagues at the bar. We have earned it.

The end of the spring semester is always a wild ride. Too many events packed into too few days. Even when their course load seems overwhelming students instinctively know that soon they will give up this space where they are surrounded by friends and are encouraged to ask profound questions daily so they try to pack in as many experiences as possible. It is exhausting for everyone. By the beginning of May my cats and my wife are all complaining about how much they miss me. Frankly, by the beginning of May I miss myself…

This week was finals week. Last Friday I left work thrilled for the release of it all. The events were over. Students were staying their goodbyes and celebrating. Slowly the students were trickling off campus and I could finally think about my summer, my wedding, a break.

Sunday night at 10pm my 3 favorite colleagues called me within 10 minutes of one another. One of our students had committed suicide. The sense of freedom evaporated in seconds and as I sit here 5 days later I know it will never quite return. I will still think about the summer, plan my wedding, and take a long break but the sense of relief is gone, replaced by a sorrow that will take months to dissipate. I’ve lost my innocence in so many ways over the years but this one was new to me. The pizza and cupcakes for dinner, waking up in my bed in the late morning, sitting with a kitty draped over my arm are all sweeter for the sadness, but if I had the chance I’d take my previous view of the world and undo the past few days in a heartbeat.

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