I'm all in a twist and trying to think of how to put this together...
My Dad and I talked a long time last night about the power of telling one's own story... about how he was coming to see how powerful that was, and how healing. It was a really great conversation, and I am grateful for it.
I just found out, almost 3 weeks since it happened, that a GMU student who was engaged to one of my international students committed suicide. I had heard that a student had died, but I had not heard the circumstances, and until 30 minutes ago when I saw a picture of her on Facebook, I didn't know who she was. She was from Lynchburg, VA -- 30 minutes down the road from where I grew up in Roanoke-- and she was gorgeous and bright and talented and I remember seeing her with my student and thinking they both looked incredibly happy and beautiful. My friend Ben Masters, who knew her personally, writes eloquently about his reaction to her death here.
All I can think of is this girl who gave up her struggle with depression despite all she had going for her, and of my beautiful young student from Zimbabwe, left to bear this loss.
and this is all I can think to say, again and again and again... that no matter how pointless you may feel it is, no matter how little you feel you have to give, tell your story. Tell it to somebody... PARTICULARLY if you feel that it is pointless and little, because the person who needs to hear it probably feels exactly the same way about themselves.
and that's all I've got for now. Rest in peace, Brittney Kittrell.