Kate and writing and loss

Because I was helping with the logistics of Kate DiCamillo’s visit to our school yesterday, and the logistics included helping two groups of 1200  students from schools all over the area arrive and leave from our auditorium for both morning and afternoon presentations, I got to attend both presentations.

The presentations were essentially the same. Kate talked about her journey as a writer. I soaked up her words. Listening to her thoughts about writing right in the middle of the slice of life challenge month was incredibly energizing.

One of the things she said during her second presentation was that she has a writing teacher. Kate DiCamillo has a writing teacher? Now? Wow. And she told the audience that her writing teacher once said, “Write about what haunts you.”

That line, “Write about what haunts you,” has been rolling around in my brain since yesterday afternoon. I read back through some of my blog posts last night. Yup, I have sometimes written around the edges of what haunts me.

And right now I want to write about something our school community is wrestling with. I won’t write in detail about it here. It feels more private than that. But I would like to tell my SOL community that we lost the husband of a longtime faculty member. He was young. He has young daughters and a wife with whom he was deeply in love. And he had no time. Two weeks ago he wasn’t feeling well. A week and a half ago he got a difficult diagnosis. He died Thursday night.

We’ve had our share of heartbreak in our school community over the last few years. We will get through this, just as we’ve gotten through other tough times. In many ways, we are at our best during times like this. Our school community of almost 900 students and 100 plus faculty and staff becomes a family. Each tragedy we’ve endured has strengthened us. But for now, we are raw and sad. And this loss haunts us.

20 thoughts on “Kate and writing and loss

  1. I was so sorry to hear about the loss of a treasured member of your school community. It cuts to our core when we lose someone, especially so quickly and so young. It sounds like you have a community that will support one another. Kate words really stuck me. Thank you for sharing them.

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  2. “Write about what haunts you.” will haunt ME for a while. Such powerful words. I'm sorry for your community's loss. So sad. May your colleague find comfort in so many loving friends.

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  3. Great advice! I will have to think about what haunts me…probably when I was in an attempted armed robbery while driving home one afternoon a few months ago. I've written about it, but it still haunts me nearly every time I sit in my car. Writing helps.

    If you can't write about your experience on your blog, I hope you write about it in a journal or an email to someone close to you.

    -Amanda at http://teachingwanderlust.com/2015/03/21/thankful-for-great-massages-sol21/

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  4. I am so sorry for this loss. I can tell that this is something that you needed to write about. When something like this happens, it makes us all question so much about ourselves and our lives. Leaning on friends and others in the community will help all of you through this difficult time.

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  5. Lisa,
    The strength of a community is always in how it stands together in the face of adversity. It's not how you want or would like to spend your time, but it is representative of who you all are collectively. Too many folks die way too early, some with enough notice, some with no notice – Be strong, be thoughtful and last of all do write – you don't have to share that writing with the public but it may be consolation for the family left behind!

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  6. Lisa,
    The strength of a community is always in how it stands together in the face of adversity. It's not how you want or would like to spend your time, but it is representative of who you all are collectively. Too many folks die way too early, some with enough notice, some with no notice – Be strong, be thoughtful and last of all do write – you don't have to share that writing with the public but it may be consolation for the family left behind!

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  7. Oh Lisa, I'm sorry for you and for you colleagues at this time. I know you will support each other well, but nothing takes away the heartache of such a loss. Prayers and hugs sent your way.

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  8. 'Write about what haunts you' was what I was expecting to be the wrap up to this post and then you moved to the pain of a sudden loss within your community. I am sure many are reeling right now. Hang in there and be kind to one another as you try and support each other through this.

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  9. I follow Kate DiCamillo on Facebook. Her words always inspire me. Write about what haunts you – wow – so much to say. I am so sorry to hear of your school communities loss. We need to remember everyday is a present.

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  10. I follow Kate DiCamillo on Facebook. Her words always inspire me. Write about what haunts you – wow – so much to say. I am so sorry to hear of your school communities loss. We need to remember everyday is a present.

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  11. Kate DiCamillo is amazing–lucky you getting to soak all that up! I am so very sorry for your school family's loss. It is never easy to lose someone, but sometimes circumstances make the loss even harder to bear. Your last two lines really expresses this feeling so beautifully and succinctly.Again–so very sorry for the loss.

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  12. At first, I was just jealous. I would love nothing more than to meet Kate DiCamillo in person. She is my hero! But then the so sad ending. The thing that touched me, though, was how your school is a strong community. Be present for your dear colleague. That's all you can do. She needs your strength right now.

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  13. At first, I was just jealous. I would love nothing more than to meet Kate DiCamillo in person. She is my hero! But then the so sad ending. The thing that touched me, though, was how your school is a strong community. Be present for your dear colleague. That's all you can do. She needs your strength right now.

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  14. This is a much sadder post than I was expecting! I really can't imagine having this tragedy happen–we all live so much more precariously than we realize. Writing what haunts us is difficult, but powerful. Be strong.

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  15. This is a much sadder post than I was expecting! I really can't imagine having this tragedy happen–we all live so much more precariously than we realize. Writing what haunts us is difficult, but powerful. Be strong.

    Like

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