Small Words

A parent emailed me this morning to let me know that her daughter and her daughter’s classmate were having a rough day; a friend of theirs died yesterday. I was at the door of my classroom when they came in; I asked each of them, “Are you ok?” One wanted to talk for a bit; the other just said, “Yeah, I’m fine,” in a rather tremulous voice.

“Are you sure?” “Yeah…” “Cause you don’t have to be.”

I didn’t think much of this. I was just checking on her. The whole exchange took no more than 20 seconds. I was wishing I could think of something better to tell her; there’s really very little words can do in the face of grief.

Her mom emailed me this afternoon to tell me that the first thing she said when she came home was that I’d been sweet and kind today. I’m sitting here thinking that her mom was sweet and kind to tell me. None of these were big things, but each made a difference to someone.

I am grateful that my words, which seemed so small and powerless against grief, were somehow comforting.

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One thought on “Small Words

  1. Reading this post reminded me that I wanted to email a parent about a conversation I had with her son. Nothing related to loss, but the tone of compassion in your post recalled to mind the compassion from this student as he shared some information with me about his mom. I wanted to pass along the warm-fuzzies to her and this prompted me to do so. Thanks!

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