Today the college gathered to remember Professor Lucia Donre. Every organization has their own ways of honoring a fallen comrade, and today the college engaged in the college’s own rituals for loss. Being there was so very important, being there for each other, being there for her family. We stop for a death, we pause, we commune, we console, and for a moment we hold each other.
We speak centrally of remembering perhaps because faculty are, in part, engaged in remembering the knowledge gained in a field and sharing that knowledge with a new generation of learners. Education is an institution devoted to not reinventing wheels. Although faculty publish, not all of their wisdom resides in publications. A loss of a fellow faculty member is a loss of a beloved colleague and a loss of knowledge. A light that shined brightly is lost.
In the small island world here, faculty and their families are interconnected. We know each other’s children. We socialize together, we meet and eat in the same handful of restaurants. There is only one college on the island. Lucia’s older daughter was student in a class of mine. A younger daughter is a friend of my own daughter. We are perhaps all the more keenly aware that we are mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers. We know and care about those who feel the loss most directly.
We are left with only our cherished memories, the joys and sorrows shared. We gather and reshare those stories, reshare the love Lucia brought into our lives.