One of my kids died in a horrible car accident. He was a good kid.
I was not that close with him, but he would always volunteered to help carry his classmates' books back to the staffroom. I felt sad when I heard the news, but since I was not that close with him, I didn't cry.
Until I saw pictures of him sprawled on the road.
I lost it. Seeing his pictures immediately registered the fact this kid with the brightest smile, will never be there again to ask me, "Teacher, do you need help?"
That night we went to the morgue to see his body. I couldn't even look at it, never mind the black plastic cover. I wanted to remember him as that smiley, hardworking boy.
We never established a "friendship", but it still hurts knowing that under the plastic cover, laid a body who used to be a person. A teenage boy, full of life.
We paid our last respects to him and his family today.
I only managed to look at his lifeless body for a split second, then I started losing it again. The body that was lying in the coffin is not the boy I used to know.
On the coffin, it read: "Going Home In Glory. Pray For Me."
More damn ninjas cutting onions.
But what broke my heart the most was when I looked at his mother, grandmother and sister caressing their beloved 16 year old late son, grandson and little brother.
I'd like to believe that he would straightaway go to heaven because he was good, so that's my consolation. But what about his family who are still here on earth. How many years of the pain of loss must they endure? It's incredibly heartbreaking.
I never knew him well, only know him enough that he was a good kid, yet it still pierces my heart knowing he'll only just be a name on the class list, just an empty seat in the classroom.
I would have never thought that I, as a teacher, having no blood relation, would be affected enough by my one in hundreds of students' death. Maybe it's because I am a teacher, not just a person who enters class, makes kids do stuff, checks their work and get paid by the end of the month. They can be horrible asses (except for this one), but whether I like it or not, love towards them do develop over time.
Today in his class, I made his teary-eyed classmates, in which he was good friends with all of them, write goodbye letters for him and put all the letters in an envelope to be given to his mother. It was the least I could do. I even allowed them to write in Bahasa Melayu, during English class.
It's a nasty feeling losing a student, but I think losing a dear friend is even worse, especially at such a young, fragile age.
Rest in peace Kenneddy. This is my tribute for you.