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Observer Editorial: In the wake of tragedy

| Friday, January 31, 2020

We write this editorial with heavy hearts.

Last week, we lost a member of the Notre Dame family. We are grieving with our community at this difficult time, and in particular extend our condolences to the Jerry family, Annrose’s friends, the Breen-Phillips Hall community and the Folk Choir.

But know when tragedy strikes, the tri-campus community comes together, and this time will be no different.

On Monday, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart was standing room only as students came to pray with and support the family and friends of Annrose Jerry at a memorial Mass. The voices of the Folk Choir filled the space, and Fr. Pete McCormick offered a message of reflection, gratitude and hope in the homily. The gathering continued after Mass with fellowship and food provided by student government in the LaFortune Ballroom.

In moments like this, when answers are scarce and hope can be hard to find, we must turn to each other and lean on our support systems near and far. Processing these events will be different for everyone, but know you do not have to face this devastation alone. Check in on your friends. Ask for help if you need it, and offer help when you can. There is no set way to grieve.

Of course, on campuses like ours, pushing back a deadline or canceling a meeting can sometimes seem impossible. We ask for you to be patient with yourselves and with each other. Take the time you need to process, journal, watch TV or cry. Ask for grace and give it, too.

But remember, you are not alone. Your classmates, your professors, your hall staff — they feel this loss, too. Cry together, sit in silence together, but do not be afraid to share your pain.

And whatever you are going through, there are resources available to support you.

At Notre Dame, reach out to the University Counseling Center (574-631-7336), available 24 hours a day, and Campus Ministry (574-631-7800).

At Saint Mary’s you can reach out to the Health and Counseling Center (574-284-4805).

At Holy Cross, contact counseling services (574-239-8383).

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