I want to preface this by saying that I have never before seen an episode of Glee. While I understand that lots of people love it and that’s cool, it’s just not really my cup of tea.
That being said, it was hard to miss all of the buzz last week when the promo spot for “The Quarterback” episode was released online. This episode was to be the tribute to Cory Monteith’s character, Finn Hudson. Monteith, as you’re probably aware, died of an accidental overdose this past July. Though I’d never seen a single episode of the show, I watched the promo because I (strangely) gravitate toward tragedy for some reason. Immediately, something felt very familiar to me, and I knew that I’d finally have to watch an episode.
I just finished watching it. And it was brutal. So brutal that, instead of getting caught up on other shows as planned, I’m here, at 2:15 a.m. on a Saturday night/Sunday morning, writing it out.
I remember sitting in homeroom in 8th grade and having the teacher read us a form letter telling us that another student had died. He was a year ahead of me. He committed suicide. I didn’t know him, but I was really shaken up about it because I was in 8th grade. I’d just dealt with my grandmother dying a few months before, but this was different. This was closer to home in terms of age. And it stirred up the emotions that I was still processing from losing my grandma (the first person close to me to die).
That didn’t prepare me for what it would be like when I was teaching.
Fortunately, I never lost anyone I was close to in high school. A few years after graduation, a few of my classmates died, but I wasn’t close to them. My primary observations of teenagers grieving all came from my sister. She lost a friend to an unfortunate gun accident. She lost a friend to cancer. And, two weeks before their high school graduation, she lost one of her very best friends very suddenly to an unknown (at the time) health complication.
And that still didn’t prepare me for what it would be like when I was teaching.