This is Maggie:
I love Maggie. She’s a senior, and since her freshman year Maggie’s been on the speech team, in musicals, in plays, in my classes, and she’s been to New York with me twice. She was even signed up to go with me again next summer for the third time.
When August comes around and I’m trying to find the enthusiasm to go back to work, Maggie’s one of the students that I think about and say, “Ooo, yay! I get to see Maggie again. I love Maggie.”
Maggie’s happy and kind and more enthusiastic about the people and things she loves than anyone I’ve ever met. She’s one of the best human beings I’ve met.
Maggie was murdered last week.
We don’t have a lot of details still. She went home after school on Friday to change clothes for a concert at school that evening and didn’t return. Her house was robbed and burned. Thursday they told us her remains were found at the scene.
It’s been a horrible, horrible week. It’s been a week of kids and adults in all stages of grieving, of people in my school constantly checking up on me to give me the head-tilt of “you okay?” and to offer to do anything while acknowledging that there’s nothing to do. It’s been a week of remarkable acts of kindness and waves of fresh grief as new information comes slowly to public knowledge. It’s been me trying to teach kids who didn’t know Maggie at all and kids who grew up with her and can’t stop crying. It’s been me figuring out how to coach my class through making the call whether to cancel their play which Maggie was in and which was supposed to be this weekend when half the kids know she’s gone and half still believe fervently that she’ll be back in time to perform. It’s been a week of figuring out when to show my own grief and when to strap it down so I can be the adult in the room. It’s been barely making it through each day and going home at night so emotionally exhausted that I wonder how I’ll get up and go to work again the next day.
It’s been a week.