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Autumn Whisperings

TBTN another take

This relates to yesterday's entry on the Take Back The Night, where the procession started from the main steps of Widener Library, the centerpiece building of 70 libraries in the Harvard system --- the system is immense and so is Widener (you get sixteen million items to choose from, about four million are in that building, and it has five miles of shelves.) And we need to say:


We want to invite Shayla Partridge in, she's a second-semester Sophomore in Liberal Arts, she wrote a story one day before TBTN which shares her feelings about a first-semester Sophomore whose career ended last September.

Along with his life, by suicide.

Shayla shares:

"I was crying because there would be... one friend who couldn't be scared of the real world [any longer.] I had just left [his] memorial service."

"The passing of a student can hit hard, resonating emotionally and personally. Even for students who are unacquainted with the deceased, though the immediate impact might be minimal, the true effect is slow-acting, working its way into thoughts and reflections subtly over time... it is difficult to find yourself six months after the event, remembering that you forgot about the tragedy...

This is the saddest part: that we mourn heavily for a week or two and [then] get distracted by the business of daily life on campus.

But what I took away from [this time], now months following Luke's death, was this:

Life needs to be more important to us than death.

Dying is scary,
dying young is scarier, but
living with an eye towards death is the scariest.

Trying to make our lives into something we think they should be --- in terms of goals and accomplishments --- before we die, is a daunting and impossible task because [of] the randomness of life itself.

When we don't put our heads down and drudge through life to some final destination... we can see life as it happens around us, including the not-so-nice parts. We can admit to ourselves that we need help, that we are unhappy, that we are feeling lonely... we can acknowledge what really lives at this [college]... the sometimes stressful, sometimes wonderful, and sometimes terribly dark lives of ourselves and our peers.

We can get the help we need from the resources we need."

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None of us will really ever know what the precise words might have been "that can save me," as Kiota put it in her last days. But maybe these come close... Shayla is a year older, one year further along than Ki's last year, she is living and working in a school climate parallel to hers, and she is crying over the loss of a classmate and friend.

Shayla encourages her readers not to ignore one another, to sincerely offer to connect more than just surface-wise. As Ki's roomies apparently never did for her ("I'm invisible, apparently, unless I do something wrong.")

We'd like to link you to the full article, when you are ready.

It's well worth your time today. And any day.