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  • December 5On Wednesday December 5, an anti-abortion protest was held before first period on the main street entrance sidewalk

Grieving a stranger: Your loss is valid

After+Beth+Dunlap+%2811%29+passed+away%2C+students+honored+her+by+putting+flowers+and+candles+at+the+crash+site.++However%2C+the+Dunlap+family+requested+that+the+memorial+be+moved+from+the+crash+site%2C+explaining+that+it+%22is+not+where+Beth+became+the+person+we+all+loved.%22
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Grieving a stranger: Your loss is valid

After Beth Dunlap (11) passed away, students honored her by putting flowers and candles at the crash site.  However, the Dunlap family requested that the memorial be moved from the crash site, explaining that it

After Beth Dunlap (11) passed away, students honored her by putting flowers and candles at the crash site. However, the Dunlap family requested that the memorial be moved from the crash site, explaining that it "is not where Beth became the person we all loved."

Moises Dominguez

After Beth Dunlap (11) passed away, students honored her by putting flowers and candles at the crash site. However, the Dunlap family requested that the memorial be moved from the crash site, explaining that it "is not where Beth became the person we all loved."

Moises Dominguez

Moises Dominguez

After Beth Dunlap (11) passed away, students honored her by putting flowers and candles at the crash site. However, the Dunlap family requested that the memorial be moved from the crash site, explaining that it "is not where Beth became the person we all loved."

Audrey Dwyer, In-Depth Editor

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The Friday that Beth Dunlap died, I placed flowers at the makeshift memorial on Main Street. In addition to doing the 18 Acts of Kindness for 18, I wanted to do something to honor Beth. I didn’t expect anyone else to be there because I went while school was in session. But when I arrived, there was a crowd of mourners on the sidewalk. I knew all of these people, and I knew that they were friends with Beth.

My relationship with Beth was superficial. Our closest connection is that we’re locker neighbors. I’d see Beth once or twice a day. Sometimes I’d say hi to her, but usually, I didn’t. To me, Beth was practically a stranger.

So, I felt really awkward at the memorial. I left as soon as I got the chance. I felt like I didn’t have a right to be there, surrounded by people that loved Beth. This is a pretty common mentality. A lot of times, we feel like we don’t have the right to mourn a stranger. We think that, unless death means a painful, personal loss, it shouldn’t affect us. But this isn’t true.

The thing about Beth’s passing that has impacted me so much, was seeing how it’s impacted the community. I didn’t know Beth, but I do know that she had a lot of friends. I would see them swarm around her locker– laughing and talking. I also know that she had a sister and two parents that loved her. I know that she was a part of a tightly-knit team.

I could never fathom the pain that they are feeling, but seeing my peers and even my teachers suffering in the wake of her death is painful– it’s a different kind of pain, but it hurts nonetheless. Don’t get me wrong, my loss could never compare to those of Beth’s friends and family– that doesn’t invalidate my feelings, but it’s something that I should be conscious of.

When I went to the memorial on Main Street to drop off flowers, there was a photographer there, taking pictures of the mourners. Some people in the crowd voiced how this made them feel uncomfortable– after all, they have the right to mourn in peace. I didn’t do anything. Instead, one of the grievers had to politely ask the photographer to stop. Perhaps, as someone that was less affected by her death, I should have stepped up and supported my peers.

In the coming weeks, it’s important for everyone in the community to mourn and process Beth’s death, however, we must also support each other. Beth left behind a lot of people that loved her– some will be able to process their grief and recover faster. It is the duty of those that have recovered to continue to support those that are still grieving. Everyone has the right to mourn, whether you were best friends with Beth, or you didn’t know her at all, but those that were less affected by her death should provide support to the loved ones that Beth left behind.

About the Writer
Audrey Dwyer, In-Depth Editor

Junior Audrey Dwyer is a new addition to The Omega staff.  This year, she is taking on the role of In-Depth editor. When Audrey isn’t writing for the...

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