Teachers Aren't Supposed To Die This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   It's not fair, it's just not fair," I kept saying to myself as tears streamed down my face when iI received the news that my math teacher had passed away. I didn't think teachers were supposed to die.

Mr. O'Keefe had been out sick with a serious case of pneumonia, but we had no idea it would lead to this.

As I looked around the room, I noticed a lot of people were feeling the same way. This was all happening much too fast. It took awhile for the shock to wear off and for everyone to realize that our seventh grade pre-algebra teacher was not coming back. No more fun learning math. No more old, sappy jokes to make us laugh. Many took it harder than others. Counselors were brought into the school for us to talk to. As we talked and allowed the subject of death to come out into the open, we started feeling better.

We looked back on all the laughs and memories we shared with him. Tears came flooding down our faces as we smiled and thought about his argyle socks, his Reebok hightops, and his spring water. Whenever he drank it, he would never fail to tell us how gross school water was.

As our tears dried, our smiles slowly faded. This was going to be very difficult to overcome, but we found the best support during this tragic loss was each other. And sure enough, we all adjusted.

A teacher, we all learned, is a very hard person to lose. Teachers aren't supposed to die. They're supposed to be there for you to come back and visit when you're in college and when you get married. But this wasn't going to happen and we had to bring ourselves to face that fact.

Every one of my classmates and I attended Mr. O'Keefe's wake to pay our respects to his family and say our final goodbyes. It was extremely painful and sad, but we felt it was something that had to be done.

To this day, I still think back to my seventh grade year at the Hobbs Junior High School and all the wonderful memories of Mr. O'Keefe we shared. He will never be forgotten. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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