Some days are more difficult than others in the school counseling world. Today was a tough one in helping kids process and mourn the loss of a classmate and friend due to an unexpected and tragic event. There are things they don’t teach you or even tell you when you choose this profession. They don’t tell you that you will helps kids through suicidal ideations, grief, loss, pain, unexpected tragedy, abuse and suffering on so many levels. They don’t tell you that once, twice and even worse, more, you will lose a student to a tragedy. They don’t tell you that while those are some of the most difficult professional moments they are also the ones where you truly work in the capacity you were always destined to. You learn early on in this career that you have to have a heart but you also have to have a backbone. You have to know that for that kid, in that moment, you are the one they are turning to for support, care and love so you get the precious opportunity to step up. You get to be the person, if you’re lucky enough, to have their trust.

As counselors we get tied up in the mundane tasks afforded to us by the role we play in education; whether it’s scheduling or other duties and unfortunately lose what we are genuinely there for. When you are working in the capacity that comes most natural to you, you don’t feel the systemic frustrations of the profession nor do you feel the sense of viewing what you do as a job. You see your ability to help others heal as an extension of your truest nature. You get to be reminded that you excel at relieving and sharing the burden that these children carry. We get to hold their trauma to make it a little easier for them to breathe. We get to have the opportunity to take something they struggle with, turn it to a teachable moment and give them skills, hope and a chance to express themselves. You get to see their face lighten up when they reach that “ah-ha” moment. You get to be reminded that these moments are pure, they are why we do what we do and it forces us to push forward in demanding that we have the chance to be utilized for the greater good in our schools; helping our youth. Without them, there is no us.

If we aren’t caring for them,we aren’t caring for our future.

Watching these kids support and lean on each other today and feeling the honor bestowed in the fact that they trusted me enough to open up about what it’s like to lose their friend was humbling but also awe inspiring. We got to see that there is hope in humanity through the eyes of these kids and the way they care about each other. So let’s not shutter the light, let’s help them grow. ❤️