It is the time of year when many people start summarizing their learning and thinking ahead to what both the holidays hold and the new school year beyond that.
I am no different and with less than two days on the calendar, the countdown is surely on – although the making and creating hasn’t slowed down in the classroom!
My introspection this year takes a different turn as I am once again deeply inspired by a member of the Rosenthal family, Jason Rosenthal. Husband of Amy Krouse Rosenthal – one of “my people”. Jason suffered a deep loss when his wife Amy, 51, passed away from ovarian cancer. Recently he shared this loss and his subsequent journey into uncharted territory of doing life without Amy, in a recent TED talk:
Saying goodbye in International Schools can be a grief filled process. There is happiness, sure. Celebrations of friendships made. But there is definitely grief for friendships ending, or in my case, friendships that could have been – the year just goes so quickly to make all the connections you wished you could have!
In saying goodbye and in starting a new experience either in the same school with new colleagues, a different school, or a whole new life experience (hello ‘Adult GAP Year’ – I’m talking about you!) we are all gifted the opportunity of a figurative blank sheet of paper. The chance to create our own new reality. An intentionally empty space into which we get to create our fresh start.
What will you do with this gift?
How will you honor those you are parting ways with?
What will you do over the summer to prepare your heart for new students, colleagues, experiences?
In life, Amy was a great source of happiness and really made me smile. In death, she has taught me to think more deeply about the gift of every day. She clung on to life fiercely. Even before she was dying.
This might be my word for the coming year. I’ll keep you posted.
You Might Want To Marry My Husband = Amy’s love letter to Jason