Tears in the sun (and in class)

So, I cried buckets in class today after one of my students showed her “What is my passion?” video. I was so moved by her wanting to be a teacher — because so many of her own teachers had touched her life. She so eloquently put together a tribute to her education and her dreams. Twenty seconds into the video, my face began to twitch and contort and I knew I was in for. Tears from the deepest part of me began to rise and then just when I thought I had it under control, they gushed out of them ducts like I was in Marsellus’ funeral.

I stood up, grabbed some tissue in my bag and started to really weep quietly in the corner.
At this point, it was too late. The class was on to me.
One of them asked if I needed a hug and I just nodded my head like a kid. I leaned into her arms and cried some more.

I was crying for so many reasons.

Her beautiful video.
An angel’s safe homecoming
and
finally really feeling the enormity of what I had just lost.
The gaping hole was so vast and overwhelming, I couldn’t breathe.
He is gone.
It is over.
I pictured him dancing on his own. In the beach, in my house, in the bar.
And I wondered if I truly, lovingly danced with and by him.

I’d like to think so.
That I loved him well.
So well that I let him be who he was without question.
That any time I pictured him otherwise, it was just a picture of the highest and most enlightened version of himself. Pictured it because I wanted him to be the best he could be, around me. Because this is what we wish for the people we love. That they are happy and whole. And that we were part of the happiness somehow. Because that is what makes us happy and whole — to love another so unconditionally — to help another grow, to be a source of inspiration, to help the beloved find joy even when everything seems so hopeless for them.

And right now, if the only way to do that is to let him go,
then game.
I will let it be.
White flag na.
Surrender.
Setting him free, will ultimately set me free.

So today I cried in class to finally embrace my pain.
Sure, a week delayed.
I realize I did this unearthing in the safest place I know.
My classroom… surrounded by the best kids in the world.

grateful slice: tears and teaching

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