Life Tributes

Perhaps the most valuable steps schools can take is to do Life Tributes (a school-based memorial event) following the death of a student or staff person.  Although many administrators fear that this will “make too big of a deal about it” or “stir things up just when we were starting to see a return to calm,” these thoughts entirely miss the point.

Life Tributes have a profound and positive effect in allowing students to really turn the corner and return to a sense of normalcy at school.  While most are quite brief (perhaps 20 minutes), this is an opportunity for students and staff to give meaning to the life lost, to share highlights of memories, and for some, to make amends.  This has an entirely different function and impact than simply allowing students to attend the funeral arranged by the family.  That is their message to the world of what their child meant to them.  The students can watch and listen, but it doesn’t provide the same internal shift for students that organizing their own brief gathering can provide.

This is a quarter- or half-day workshop.  We will also have an online segment on this later this year.

 

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