A girl in my grade died yesterday night. The teachers gathered us into the hall and told us the news in 4th period. When the principal broke the news half the grade started crying. Looking around I could see stricken, sobbing faces all around the hall. I felt really sad even though I didn't know her. It was when a teacher is talking to us and his voice was breaking that I really did cry. It's always shocking to hear about death, and even more shocking to hear about the death of someone you knew. It was so unexpected, who would have thought someone so young could have just gone?
The teachers told us that it's something no one wants to hear, but there's no better way to break the news. Her best friends were taken out of class before hand and told separate. They said we are such a tight community and that's why news like this hurts us a lot. It's also because we're such a tight community that we can support each other and get through this. There's a group of DET counsellors in the library ready to help everyone and they're be there tomorrow too.
It's hit some of the girls so hard. There's someone in every group that's sobbing their hearts out, and everyone else in the group would comfort them. There's a group of four girls that were hanging onto each other and crying so hard their faces were all red. One girl had to be half carried away by two teachers. Girls were hugging each other and crying into each others' shoulders. These displays of grief made me tear up several times.
Out in the quad all the girls are sitting down and it's silent except for the sound of sobbing. It's like we're all keeping a vigil for her, an hour of silence. There was a bubble around us all, in that time nothing outside mattered except the grief for our friend. The whole grade is collectively grieving for her, whether we knew her well or not. Sometimes one person would start crying hard again and that set everyone off again. Girls with quieter reactions would stare at one spot wipe their eyes occasionally. Teachers were going around comforting students and handing around tissues.
I think it's not just about her death, but this bringing back memories of deaths the girls have experienced before. There's also the shock of someone you know dying, it's generally something unimaginable, especially at out age.
The girls that were handling it the worst were helped up to the library where the counsellors were. Everyone else stayed in the courtyard for two periods, until lunchtime. Juniors walking past the quad could tell that something was wrong. They thought the silence was strange, and they knew to keep quiet too. When lunchtime came almost everyone has stopped and everyone started talking again. Quite a few girls didn't eat anything.
One girl in my group is so nice. She knew just how to handle the girls that were really really upset. I think this was hard for a lot of the teachers too. I've seen some of them wipe their eyes. It's also really hard for them to get everything organised and keep this information quiet until they could tell us in the most appropriate way they could manage.
No student had a clue before the assembly. A message had came around in second period, and our English teacher was absent in third period. A teacher came to ask for a girl, and I realise later that she must have been a very good friend. Even when going down to the hall we were trying to guess why, but not this, no one could have guessed this.
A lot of teachers weren't teaching for the last few periods. Our grade mostly wandered the corridors, trying to find friends, comforting them or just trying to find something to do. I heard that half the grade went home, and while that's probably an exaggeration, I saw very few year 11's in the school after lunch. If someone is coping really badly and want to go home, of course they should. But I think after the initial reaction, it gets better. Very few would be so bad they can't function, or at the very least not everyone that went home early. It's pretty slack that they're using this as an excuse to jig school, even if no one is teaching.
There'll be special year assemblies tomorrow to see how the girls are coping, and Harmony Day is postponed.
The school doesn't know how it happened, but I presume it's an accident because the school had no warning, no sign. I hear she's a really nice girl, very friendly, very smart, so it's a great tragedy that she died. Having anyone die so young, with so much unlived potential is always a tragedy. She's just turned 17 a few weeks ago. My heart goes out to her family and friends, I hope they're coping with it. Really, it's the people left behind that suffers the most.