November 3, 2010
One of my students died suddenly yesterday morning, from sickle cell anemia complications.
I don't know how to describe death.
I don't have the right words to tell you how the grief has affected all of us.
We hear so much about orphans dying in Africa from AIDS, genocide, human trafficking - catastrophes that play on the world stage and kill by the thousands. We do what we can, but such problems are so far beyond our personal capabilities to fix that our pity remains abstract. More so than the victims, we can only grieve the concept.
But this isn't some fundraiser to support Darfur.
This isn't a campaign to stop AIDS.
This is a real little girl whose head I stroked and told to feel better soon just two days ago.
Her name was Nyamekye Hanna. It means "God's Gift."
She was nine years old. She couldn't have even been four feet tall. She struggled in school. She had adorable chubby cheeks. She wanted to be a police officer when she grew up. And she had a family waiting for her in America.
As I sat with Esther through that terrible first night, she looked at me and said everything that was on my heart in one simple sentence: "It is beyond my understanding."