Grief, observed


I had an aunt who laughed uncontrollably at funerals.

Everyone deals with things differently. In grief we fall in line with those who are sympathetic toward our individual outlooks. This isn’t to say one is right and the others are not, but rather that everyone finds solace in familiarity. When we first started, it seemed as though people gravitated toward one another by whatever secret chemistry there is amongst strangers. Then the school teams were formed, then the class teams were formed within the school team, and then teacher-corps member bonds led to sort of teams within team.

But after an event like the one that rocked Linden and Mifflin these last weeks, those teams are broken down. Some students joke. Some students cry. Some corps members speak up. Others keep quiet. Emotion is displayed or disguised. In group discussion, I mostly listen, stare at the floor and find patterns in the carpet. Perhaps I’m unwilling to open up in such a large group. But I admire those in the corps who can. I admire those students who ask for help and those who try to remain strong. I find myself frustrated with those who joke around, but equally frustrated with myself when I cannot put into words what I’m feeling. I remind myself that everyone grieves differently. Not everyone is used to tragedy, not everyone knows an appropriate way to react.

Within our corps and within our schools, teams are broken down and a Team is formed. We are united, no matter how we react, by a desire to make a difference. In light of the circumstances, we may be at a loss on how to create an effective plan, but I believe we’re all on the same page.  It’s frustrating in times like these to feel so small, so isolated, unsure of what we may be able to do, uncertain of how to move forward.

But I am thankful that together as a Team we can lean on one another and likewise be ones to lean on, to be a unified agent of change in our service.

— Kyle Bialko, first year corps member of the ATT Team at Linden-McKinley STEM Academy

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Solidarity among teams

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