Death of a teacher?

At school today we were told that our shop teacher, Mr. Foster, had been killed yesterday in a car crash. I'm having a hard time dealing with it. I am currently taking shop, and am very close to this teacher. He was a kind, sweet man. And I just can't believe it. Yesterday, he was whistling down the halls and telling us how not to get our hands cut off in the machines. I had gotten cut off by the bell when going to finish sanding away part of the handle. I would have finished it today. Now he's gone. I may never finish that project. I feel so angry, because I know it could have been prevented. Had I or anyone talked to him before he left, so he was delayed a little bit, he would be here now. And he wasn't even a fragile person. Everyone loved him. A friend of my parents, who is involved in the school board, found out early today. She told my mom that she knew he thought highly of me. I will never be able to thank him for being my teacher. But to think he was talking to me just yesterday, and then at 2:30 he was gone. It's terrible, and I hate it. I don't want the last time I see him to be at a funeral. Has anyone had to go through something like this? How am I supposed to handle this?

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post
12 replies since 14th May 2010 • Last reply 14th May 2010

i am so sorry for your loss. it is never easy to say good bye to some one we love and when they go in such an abrupt matter the shock can be even harder to bear. You have wonderful memories of this man and I suggest you focus on those rather than how he died. The what ifs will drive you crazy. sure it could have been prevented but there isn't anything you can do about now. maybe you could lead a project to in honor of his memory? getting together with those who are also suffering will help you. when a friend of mine died suddenly last year a bunch of us just got together to celebrate her life It still pains me that she is gone but I remember her spirit and her positive impact on my life. At first I was so haunted by what if I had been a better friend, why did i take for granted our relationship, thinking she would always be there. these kinds of thoughts just make you feel worse. you had a great teacher, and he has a wonderful student. funeral should be a celebration on the life that person lived. of course it is sad they are gone and everyone grieves their own way. personally i just prefer to do something positive about it. when my friend died I made a shadowbox of some pictures and her favorite quote and things like that. when i look at the shadowbox i think, I had a wonderful friend she really taught me a lot. (((HUGS)))

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

oh gosh, I am so sorry

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

What a sad thing to deal with. I'm so sorry for your loss. It's tragic, sudden and so unexpected. It may seem wrong to you at the moment but think about finishing the project that you were making in his class as it will be something you can look back on with fond memories of your teacher and a testement to his teaching. Have your school considered having someone who you can talk to about how you feel? I'm sure you won't be the only student affected by this. I agree with Heather.....what if's won't change what happened and will cause you so much pain. At the moment you are in shock and your body will be tense, you may even feel physically sick. Please look after yourself by remembering to eat and sleep. Much love and hugs x

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.

~From a headstone in Ireland

sending you love, He's in your heart forever and that's what's really important. He's become a part of you and will live on.

xoxo, I'm so sorry.

k.k.

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

Gosh I'm so sorry for your loss, time tends to heal all wounds you will never forget him. Some things will never stop hurting but it will hurt less and less as each day goes on. It's totally understandable if you don't want to go to his funeral. Remember him in your own way... you could always write a letter to him and take it to him after the funeral, or pictures or a little something to show your respect for him...

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

I am so sorry for your loss. It must feel so unbearable. I like what Sheila said about finishing the project you started with him. It will be hard but you will cherish it when it is finished and it will be something you can keep. Also I find find doing something physical helps in these situation. It gives an outlet which can bring some healing. Nearly 5 years ago I lost one of my clients. I work at a daycentre and I had been his linkworker. I'd seen him every Monday and Friday for years and then he had a heart attack. He didn't die straight away, it was probably another year of gradually deteriorating when he died. I can still remember the day he died and being told. Like Heather I felt haunted by my memories. I felt so much emotional pain that it felt like it was physical. I also linkworked his best friend and held his hand at the funeral. It was extremely hard, especially the first 6 month. I felt like I'd never keep it together but somehow you do. Now when I look back it is with happy memories. He was such a character and so cheeky. I ran the Friday and Monday gorup he attended and our Friday Gardening group (which he was member of) got together after the funeral and went down our local garden center and bought a beautiful rose bush and we planted that in his memory.
If you can manage it I would recommend going to your teachers funeral. We have lost quite a few clients since and I have always found the funeral like a last chance to be with that person. You have gathered together everyone who knew that person and they all bring together their memories and that bit of that person that they have been left with and I think for a moment you almost have that person there. I hope that makes sense. One of my favourte quotes by Morrie Schwartz probably says it better: -
"As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on—in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here"

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

I have gone through a similar thing. I had this social studies teacher two years ago for one semester and he was sush a great teacher. He was young and he was very involved in the school's volleyball intermerials and he would always come to class late and sweating and tell us all about his great game. The semester ended and he was no longer my teacher, he started teaching woods class and I'd still say hi to him in the halls. The next summer I heard on the news that he was missing. He had been in a boating accident and they couldn't find him. I still had hope, I hoped that he would be found safe. But, the next week the news said that they had found his body. I was devastated. He was so young.. it just wasn't right. I sat there and thought of all the things he was going to miss in life like marriage and kids. But you cannot do that. You have to think about the times that were good, the times that you actually had together. As time goes one the grief will fade and soon you'll only have happy memories.

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

I love that quote Kat......so true Happy

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

Kiko-this touches me greatly.

My son's classmate was lost to our community 10 days ago.She was 14yrs old and newly joined the school this year.

I am going to send a book into school on Monday to share with their shared Math teacher around using paper memory quilts to support grieving communities.

In the past I have used memory tree where each person writes and memory on a leaf to make place to express emotion and memories and this was eventually made into a scrapbook which remained at the school.

A quote from this book- Bill Zimmerman's My Paper Memory Quilt

"The act of creating art of any kind-whether through drawing or writing or music-is for many a healing process.By doing so we transform some of the pain or grief in our hearts into something greater.Such as a beautiful story.A poem.A piece of music-or even a striking panel for a memory quilt."

Death is always a challenge but it really is the only certain thing in life

Be kind to yourself -Don't feel alone make sure above all else celebrate that you met such a fantastic teacher

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

Thank you, everyone. This is a comfort, to know that other people have been through the same type of thing. I know that I will get through this, and thanks for helping me along.

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. It's terrible when something like that hits a school- it has happened to me twice (as a teacher) - a colleague, in one case a close friend, has died suddenly and it's so awful.

We had some of these things put in place, I wonder if you could speak with the pastoral care people at your school and see if it's available?
-A 'memory book' or 'memory wall', helping students and staff get closure
-A mentor or therapist doing confidential support for those feeling upset
-organising a memorial service or concert in the teacher's memory
-raising money for a charity or to create a monument for them.
All of these things really helped bring people close to support each other, gain a sense of closure and balance and also helped maintain the memory of the lost teacher.

I do hope that you are OK and remember that sadly things like this do happen but that they get better with time. Everyone grieves differently and in their own personal way- you might find people get 'angry' at those who seem less upset (including at staff- but remember we can't take time out or break down when we are supervising a hundred kids' education and safety, no matter how sad we feel inside- it could upset and distress students especially the younger ones) - however this anger is just another coping mechanism. It takes patience and inner strength but people and schools do get through it in the end, so take heart.

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

wow, i really feel for you. Two years ago i lost a teacher whilst he was on a school missionary trip in thailand. He was there with other students volounteering at the local orphanage, which was a major part of his life. During one of the days however he got hit by lightning, the school group was with him at the time and one of the kids im friends with attempted to give him mouth to mouth. This really disturbed everyone, but what got so many of us through it was the fact that we knew he died in Thailand doing, helping the Thai people and doind what he loved. Around the same time the year after this we lost another of our teachers who died after just giving birth to her son. From what we were told she got to see her son and briefly say goodbye before she passed away.

Right now your going through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining,depression and acceptance.Even though his death has touched you in this way, there is a way through it. I think its great that you're talking about it, because the truth is death is not something we can deal with on our own. If you remember this, and if you can see that there will always be someone there for you, you will pull through this. My best wishes go out to you, and i hope that you get through this....

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post


Reply