4 April, 2017
Weight of Passing
It was the week of August 16th when it all started. School was in the process of beginning when tragedy struck Lincoln Lutheran. Two passings before the year had even had the chance to begin for the junior class of 2015. It began with the sudden passing of Tara Ziegelbein’s father in South Dakota, and a baby not yet born to this world. Both passings very hard for the community of Lincoln Lutheran as a whole and especially for those two families in particular.
7th grade year was a year that included many hardships for not only my family and I, but for the whole community of Lincoln Lutheran as well. 2013-2014 is a year I continue to think about to this day and how hard of a year it was. The weekend before school was suppose to start there were two very tragic deaths around the community of Lincoln Lutheran. Throughout the year there were many occurrences that helped add to the stress and adversity that people may have been facing. Nothing became easier as the year continued on, as there were more deaths to come during the school year.
The year was not any easier as we continued on. During November one of the juniors tried hanging himself, but was unsuccessful at the time until a couple weeks later when his health declined at a rapid pace. He committed suicide for reasons only that student and God will ever know. This again was very tough on the whole community of Lincoln Lutheran and for the family of the young student who had a bright future ahead of him after high school. This along with the two passings at the beginning of the year brought the Lincoln Lutheran community closer together and brought everyone together through Christ.
February 18th was one of the hardest days I would have ever imagined. This was the day I unexpectedly lost my grandfather. I am still able to remember the phone call I received that morning from my Aunt who wanted to speak with my dad. I remember her voice sounding very heavy and she had a sad tone to her voice that day. Throughout the whole day I felt it in my stomach that there was something that wasn’t right. I felt as if I had something on my shoulders that I knew nothing about yet.
I remember the moment my mother told me that my grandpa passed away. We were walking out of SuperSaver after an indoor soccer game in which I played well and scored one or two goals. She told me “so this morning grandpa suddenly passed away. So be kind to your father when we get home.” My heart sunk after hearing this news. I spent the next couple of hours thinking about how I would never see him again, and it was about a day before everything really settled in with me and my thoughts. I will admit I was trying to be very strong when my mom broke the news to me, but it was also very hard to stay strong. There were days, nights, and moments that I wanted to breakdown and cry because this kind of death was something I had never experienced before. Before this day, I had never lost someone who was as close to me as my grandpa was before and it was very heartbreaking and troubling. I remember many times I would be sitting in the back of the car on my way to some place and I would just think about how I would never be able to see him in real life again and how I hadn’t seen him all that terribly recently.
There are still times today that I think about all the fun memories my grandpa and I would have together and how much I miss him each and every day. There are times I would just love to have another moment with him and tell him how much I love him and how important of a person he was in my life. He was such a good role model in my life and he was someone I was always able to look up to whenever I would need someone to look up to in my life. The saddest part was what my father told me, “he woke up that morning joking around with the nurses in the home and it seemed as if it was going to be a good day. Then all of the sudden he fell and had a seizure and by the time anyone was able to help him it was too late, and he was gone forever.”
This was something that took a big tole on my family, and myself. The day after I heard the news I remember returning to school and the first thing that happens when I walk through the door is Hope walking up to me and wrapping her arms around me and saying how thankful she was for me and how she was there for me if I were to need anything. It’s times like those that I am thankful for the friends I currently have because they helped me through that tough time in my life.
Still as the year continued nothing became any easier for the Lincoln Lutheran community as the last couple weeks of school rolled around. Everyone stressing about all the projects due and high schoolers stressing about the upcoming finals they would have to take. I do not have much memory of the day in which it took place, but one thing I remember very well was when my parents shared the news of Koby’s death with me. I was working on homework when our home phone rang and it was Mr. Heibel on the phone. No one in my family thought much of the phone call because we have had them before about different things, but this one was different. My parents picked up the phone, and I had no idea of anything that was happening that night. When the phone call ended my parents walked into my room and grabbed my yearbook to look for a certain student. My dad asked me if I knew who Koby Hruza was, but being a little middle schooler I had no idea who he was. I then asked why he was looking for him, and that was when he informed me of Koby’s death. My heart dropped at that moment from hearing this news. That night I was unable to sleep because of all the thoughts rolling around in my mind.
At school the next day everyone was sad about how he decided to take his own life. There was a band show a few days before he passed away, and one of my friends who was in band told me about how all the high school students had not come up on time for the concert. None of my friends knew that they were all saying their good-byes to Koby and they were trying to help him in any way they thought possible.
With all of these hard times during my 7th grade year I always felt as if there was a weight that I was carrying upon my shoulders. Each passing I felt more and more weight on my shoulders, and I even had thought about what I would do it one of my friends had every committed suicide. The thought of this was pretty hard to even think about since I have been with some of them my whole life. This whole experience taught me not to judge people or make fun of them because we never really know what battle they may be fighting within themselves.