Heartbreak and Hope

Colored stones laying on ground.
"Hope is never lost."


Everyone likes a break. Whether from school, work, or daily responsibilities, it is good to break away from Life’s routine and breathe in some fresh perspective once in a while.  English teacher Mariah Kirsch did just that over February break and inhaled enough gentle perspective for all of us.

While visiting relatives in Florida, Mrs. Kirsch and her husband drove to Parkland to visit Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. What they saw was nothing less than a pictorial collage of heartbreak- and hope.

“It was an incredibly emotional site,” reflects Mrs. Kirsch. “There were posters, banners, t-shirts, flowers, painted stones, and various other memorials stretching around all of the fences encompassing the school campus. Police cars were parked in front of the school with their lights on-- my guess is they've been there since the shooting. We were certainly not the only visitors there.  My estimate is there were 30 other people visiting at 6pm on a Friday evening.”

Organic memorials that spring up spontaneously after a trauma such as the one in Parkland serve as a powerful visual. Whether family, friend or stranger, humans need a way to express grief and acknowledge overwhelming sorrow. May the students, faculty and staff at Stoneman Douglas High School feel the silent solidarity of our compassion. And, at the intersection of despair and confusion, may we all find a message of Hope.