Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Falling Child

At The Dalton School, a storied private school on the Upper East Side, an eleventh grader fell to his death at 11:15 a.m. today. Reports say he opened a window in the unoccupied dance studio on the 11th floor of the school and jumped. Children were playing on the sidewalk when he fell. They scattered, screaming, mercifully unhurt. His mother, who lives a few blocks away, ran to the scene and broke down. I cannot even imagine what this must have been like for her. To even try to picture it lacerates the heart.

Apparently, he was a kid who won awards, a mathematician, a football player, track and field athlete, and website whiz. His name isn't on the news yet, but all over Facebook, hauntingly like the last time this happened, those who knew him or knew of him are bidding him "R.I.P." And they call him by name.

My God, how tragic that youngsters, 17 tender years old, can be so convinced that life will never get any better than the dark moment they are living through. What psychic demons must have taken hold? This also kicks up echoes for the students at my daughter's school, who lived through their own sorrow a short month ago.

I understand that on the street outside of Dalton, where he fell, candles and flowers and tributes are a spreading testament to the fact that this boy's life was so much more prized than he, in his last moments, knew.

Rest in peace, Teddy Graubard.

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