Friday, July 8, 2011
A Duty and Affirmation
One of the saddest duties a principal has to perform is attending the wake and funeral of a student. Upon hearing about the details connected to the tragic accident to Eric Colligan's passing, I was numb. Who was Eric Colligan? An sophomore honor's student, baseball player, a Yankee's fan, enjoyed cajoling his classmates to eat celery sticks, a "mensch", an all around good guy. Upon hearing devastating news, I went on automatic function mode: it's all about getting the details and informing the members of the McKee Community. That's the easy part, getting and relaying information.
The hard part, going to the wake and the funeral. A principal is supposed to have the ability to articulate thoughts in a clear and coherent manner in most situations. Most people in the McKee Community know I am never at a loss for words. That did not happen for me on this occasion. I was rendered mute. Today I went to the wake of Eric Colligan. Looking at the coaches, the lines of students, looking into the faces of the parents, grandparents, friends of the family, was heartbreaking, but also an affirmation of a community coming together to offer soothing words, solace, warm memories and balm in the midst of an emotional storm.