Tonight the final vote was cast to shut down this hundred year old institution that resides a few miles down the road from here, just north of us.
Most of the people who have lived here in the area during those hundred or so years, have had something to do with the school. Though her attendance has never been in the hundreds, she has hosted many many children over the years.
She's not been just a school either. She's been a community center as well. People from the fields would gather there for social occasions and play sports or sing in community choirs or work with pottery or a whole host of different things that people in a field would rarely have a chance to try.
But these years things have been more about money and cost projections and things like that. So tonight after a long and hard fought battle, Rosebrier finally lost.
In my line of work I've been present at many many deaths. The txts and emails and calls I've been seeing tonight brings home the stark reminder that this is a death.
The kids looking lost and confused with tears in their eyes. The parents who have no idea where to turn for school next year. The teachers who have worked there over the years whose livelihood is now threatened.
It is a death. There is a deep sense of loss and pain and if you are in the midst of it you will know grief these days.
So if you are one who is feeling pain because of this decision tonight, be gentle with yourselves. Allow yourself some emotional room to swing back and forth for a while.
And I'd encourage you to read this short piece on grief. It will help you understand what may be going on inside of you these days. Even knowing what may be happening to you can be comforting. Here is the link.
If you are the parent of a child who is hurting, talk with them and listen to their words. Invite them to tell you how they feel about it all, and take time to listen and honor their feelings. Give them a sense that you are watching out for them and that you will work out where they will attend next year together. It will be ok, even if it's different.
If you are one who doesn't understand that you can experience grief over such a loss as this and you'd like to just tell your friend or spouse or child to get over it, can I invite you to silently support your hurting friend/spouse/child.
Loss may effect one person in deeply emotional ways, and not effect the next person in the same ways. It's the beauty of being unique, we all react differently to events of loss. So respect one another's processes as you go through these rough patches.
Don't assume that you are not effected by this loss just because you don't experience it like others are. It may come later, in June at the end of the year, or more probably next September as your routines are suddenly different.
Just be gracious with yourselves, and be patient with those suffering near you.
As for what lies ahead, I don't know. All we know is that tonight we received some difficult news. And it hurts.
The hurt and loss come from how highly Rosebrier was esteemed and supported by you.
I think that we honor the school that way. After all, we don't grieve the loss of something we don't know or love. No, you hurt because you loved.
And to be loved well is the greatest honor.