The next two days will be difficult ones for so many of us at BHS as we prepare for the wake and funeral of Mark Welsch. BHS will have counselors available throughout this period to support our students and their families. We strongly urge parents who have students who will attend these services to accompany their children or to have them attend the services with another trusted adult. Even though this is a time in the lives of our students where we are trying to allow them a bit more independence, attending the services for a classmate is something that none of us could have imagined.
Taking Care of the Caretakers
Along this line, it is important that parents also take care of themselves in order to better support their students. I know that we had a strong parent turnout at a meeting on Tuesday as we talked about dealing with the loss of a student and how to discuss this with our children and help them through the grieving process. As caretakers, we have to make sure that we take care of ourselves so that we can continue to take care of those who need our support. We have already scheduled a coping group for those of us at school who have been working overtime to support our staff and students in regards to this loss. I greatly encourage parents who have been touched by Mark's passing to consider this option for themselves.
We would certainly be willing to organize this if people are interested. A point made by Dr. Berkowitz at our meeting on Tuesday evening was that, even if your children do not feel like talking about their feelings, it is still important for adults to share their feelings and emotions as we model how to get through a difficult loss in a healthy manner. There is no one "right way" to get through this. However, there are a few "wrong ways" to go about this and they are to ignore the topic and to let people deal with the issue in isolation.
Finally, it is more important than ever to monitor the activities of our students and to make sure that they are all making constructive decisions as they cope with this loss. We encourage you to verify their whereabouts and voice your concerns to them about their safety.
Reach Out For Help If You Need It
As always, if there is anything we can do or if people have thoughts or concerns, we encourage you to contact us. You can reach the BHS Guidance Office at 781 270-1856. You can also reach me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my phone by clicking on the call me link on the right side of this blog. The Burlington Community Life Center also has support services available and they can be reached at 781 270-1961.