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Dear Graduates: Sometimes There Are No Answers.

Tonight marks the graduation of the class of 2014 for my children’s elementary school, my very own alma-mater.

And while parents are overwhelmed with pride & joy & tears of happiness, there is a feeling that is looming amongst those that are part of the Class of 2014- both the graduates and the parents.

Class of 2014 College High School Graduation CapWithout getting into too much detail, I’ll share simply that three graduates have experienced a tremendous loss in the last three weeks, two of them in the last three days. Just in time for their graduation.

I will add that these have not been your average run-of-the-mill, such- is-life-but-still-sad types of loss, but the kind that come too soon, too suddenly or following other tragedy to have befallen the same family.

I do not have a child graduating this year, but like so many in the community, I still feel for this class.  The kids have worked so hard to get through. They are giddy with pride & excitement to move onto high school, but there’s a palpable void and everyone seems to be feeling it. Worse yet, there are no answers as to why, no plausible explanations, no words of comfort.

As I said, I am not even the parent of a graduate, so it’s a little awkward that I should be writing this note…but my heart sent me to my computer and I just started typing.

Dear Graduates:

To those of you who have experienced loss directly, and to those of you who are feeling it for your friends…I certainly can’t offer words of comfort to you or to your families – I wish I could.

The only thing that I can tell you is that the community is all around you, thinking of you, with you. People that you know are right there to lend a hand or a hug, as well as those of us who quietly shed tears thinking of you as we drive in our cars, gather notes for our meetings or prepare meals for our families.  The whole community is feeling for the Class of 2014, most especially for those of you who have directly suffered such tremendous loss.

But there are no answers.

And perhaps that is the hardest, yet most important lesson that you will take with you as you take the next steps on your journey.

Sometimes there are no answers.

But there will ALWAYS – ALWAYS be questions.

And that’s the good news…because it is the questions that propel us forward to seek the answers. It is the questions that inspire us on our journey of discovery. It is the questions that keep us going…even in the absence of answers.

Never let the fact that you have not been able to find an answer stop you from asking questions.

Never let the fact that there seem to be no answers quell your curiosity.

Never let the fact that there are no answers stop you from moving forward.

You can pause.  You can be frustrated.  You can cry.

But never, ever, let the fact that there are no answers stop you from asking questions.

Your questions will define the world in which we live, in which your children and grandchildren will live.

And that gives me hope on a day when there are no answers.

May you all continue to go from strength to strength.

Wishing a heartfelt congratulations to you and your families on your wonderful accomplishments.

Despite the pain, YOU are worthy of celebration.

Be Strong. Be Safe. Be Happy.

Have a wonderful & safe summer,


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