Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Remembering a Classmate at Graduation Who Has Died

Graduation is supposed to be an exciting time of year for classes. Together they have triumphed over hard teachers, school rivals, and made memories that last a life time. For some classes though, graduation is a firm reminder that time has truly passed and that their class is not complete. Whether is was sickness, car wreck, or an accident of some kind, a life was taken that should been walking across the stage with them.

Personally, I have dealt with this and have seen it handled very well in some incidences and not so well in others. Here are some suggestions that I felt were very special for the classmates and victim's family.

-Leaving an open chair with the cap and gown laying on it.
-Each graduate walk in with a white rose which is then placed in a basket to be laid at the classmate's gravestone
-Planting a tree at the high school in memory of the classmate
-Placing balloons and flowers around the memorial tree on graduation day
-Dedicating a song or slideshow to the classmate

I think that it is very important that the graduation be just that - a graduation - and not another funeral. But I do know how much it means when a loved one is remembered at a time like this.

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