Dear Class Of 2020

in Family  •  March 26, 2020

Congratulations on all your hard work! You have been working for the last 12 years towards this goal. The grades, the extracurriculars, ACT, SAT, college applications, scholarships, enrollment for university, all of it. Phew, that’s a lot of work.

Yet, here we are, in the middle of a pandemic, no work, no school and missing “normal” life. You’ve been robbed of your Senior Prom, your last few months with your precious educators and your amazing friends. Those graduation announcements and Senior photos your parents paid hundreds of dollars for(and we would happily do it again), all those activities you were looking forward to, art awards, field trips, so many “lasts” that you now will not get.

I know you are grieving. I know you are hurting. You are unsure of the future now when just weeks ago you had it all planned out. So did your parents. We’ve been dreaming of this year for you since you were still in diapers. Learning who you will become, what field of study you will dive into after high school. Watching you spread your beautiful wings and fly, hoping you don’t free fall but rather soar through the beautiful air and take in everything around you, slowly, deeply allowing the world to leave a profound impression upon your soul.

Now we sit and watch the news, waiting for something to go right. Instead more uncertainty, more unknown, more broken plans. You are grieving what you’ve lost. Your best year of school, memories you now won’t get to make. Fear is a powerful emotion, not knowing what to do now is scary, and you’re looking to us, your parents and grandparents to help you navigate this hell.

I felt this before, holding you in my arms at 7 months old, watching the tower burn, then a second plane crashing into the second tower. I held you in disbelief, this is America. These things don’t happen here. But, it did and they do. I feel that exact same feeling now, wanting to make this all better, safer, and more stable for you to walk out and start your adventure. I can’t.

But, what I can do is be here for you. I can tell you to ignore those saying you’re whining about missing your last year of school. Those that are comparing your situation to those that were at war in the late ’60s. I’m here to tell you it’s okay to cry. It is okay to be scared of the uncertainty that you are facing as you look at the pile of college items you have already amassed. It is okay to feel fear and worry for your dear friends, and it is okay to be sad, angry even.

Not one person has the right to tell you not to feel. They do not own the right to grief and sadness. They do not deserve to tell you how to feel or not feel.

Grieve Class of 2020, cry for the time you have lost. Go outside and scream at the invisible nothing that has taken your final year of high school. Put thought to paper, let it out, shout about what you fear and how you feel. Don’t let anyone take this from you, don’t let them tell you “it’s no big deal.”

It’s a huge deal! You worked so hard, you did everything and then some to get where you are headed. You made things happen, you made lists, created beautiful artwork, stories, you did awesome. The world failed you, you didn’t fail it.

Be angry, be sad. I know I am. I am pissed this is happening. I’m furious with those saying it’s not that big of a deal. I’m sad for those who have lost and will lose someone they love to this pandemic.

I’m sorry Class of 2020, I love each of you, I’m rooting for you. It’s been an honor to watch you flourish in high school. It’s been amazing to watch you navigate the last 12 years in school and out. Now we will finish this horrible year out and I will be your biggest cheerleader as you pack for college.

Class of 2020 Mom