Tomorrow is the 1st year anniversary of the suicide of one of the students in my department.
A lot of students were deeply affected by the loss and some even dropped out of school because they just couldn't deal with the tragedy.
Two days ago (Wednesday) one of those students actually plucked up her courage and made her way to the University and specifically my office.
We talked about how her year had been and, after a while when the conversation got a little awkward I asked if she wanted me to walk her to the classroom where her friend had died. She seemed relieved that she didn't have to ask - so I put on my coat and boots and we plodded through the obstacle course of slush and snow that were Montreal streets. Fortunately we arrived at the building a little after-hours so the place wasn't teeming with students and we both had time to remember our fallen angel. It was like putting a bandaid on a sucking chest-wound but healing occured nonetheless - for the both of us.
Our Dean of Students sent the mother a bouquet yesterday. I am proud of my University and its people.