How do you recover from loss? The loss of a friend, the loss of structure, the loss of normality and a timeline filled with bereavements.
I am still recovering. I am hoping time will heal, I am hoping getting back to a sense of normality will help.
On Monday 25th May at 7:00 am, I got a phone call from my sister telling me that someone I knew for over fifteen years, who was a colleague and a friend for two years, passed away.
At that point I knew far too many who lost loved ones to Covid-19. I had just recovered from Covid-19 and was not ready for the pain of losing a friend, someone I saw almost every day to Covid-19. It really hit me! I remember how hard I sobbed as I was telling another friend and colleague. I have tears streaming down my face as I am writing this.
As educators, parents and caregivers, we worry about recovery for the children in our care. School leaders have tasked their staff with the responsibility of planning a recovery curriculum. Parents and caregivers are occupied with getting their children through unscathed. But it is crucial that we recuperate, rest and refuel in order to help the little human beings in our care to recover.
I hope school leaders take that into consideration. This is not the time to play lip service to staff well being. Balancing student progress and staff well being will be more challenging than ever. There are some people who think that teachers have been off work for the past 13 weeks but we know that is not true. In fact, it has been a very challenging time for some, juggling home and school responsibilities at the same time, in the same space can be very demanding. Then there are the staff members who have suffered a loss and need healing but who may not take the necessary time to fully recover because they want to help their students progress. We must look out for them, we must look out for one another as well as we look out for our students.
When asked about how I am coping with the lockdown, my answer is always the same ‘it’s been a blessing in disguise’. And although this is still true in terms of the strengthening of our connections as a family, I am fatigued. My days and weeks have blurred into one. I am now, more so than ever, craving for a sense of normality then something will happen to remind me how blessed I am. So I am choosing to be grateful.
I went into school yesterday and as I was clearing out my desk I found a packet of my friend’s favourite biscuit. That was the last tangible thing he gave me. The sense of loss hit me again, but I am holding on to many fond memories I have of him. My friend, Hassan Farah, was like a parent, a mentor and confidant to me. He guided, changed and shaped the lives of so many young people. His kindness and wisdom was unmatched. The impact he has had on me and so many others is immeasurable. He was very much loved and respected by all. He was a champion for so many and I miss him dearly.
So, like I said, I am still recovering, I am hoping time will heal, I am hoping getting back to a sense of normality will help.