Writing about tragedy is never easy, especially when tragedy hits so close to home.
Some of us on The Omega were close to Beth, others didn’t know her at all. Regardless, our editorial staff felt many emotions for many different reasons, and we’ve tried our best to reflect this in our writing.
Some of us felt grief, others felt empathy, and others felt confused. There are no guidelines for how to deal with tragedy. As many other communities in this school have, we came together and relied on each other for support.
When dealing with unfamiliar emotions, we’ve found it best to remind ourselves that it’s ok to not know exactly what we’re feeling. When swimming in uncharted waters, sometimes reminding ourselves merely that this is water is enough.
As an editorial staff, we decided our coverage of Beth shouldn’t be buried in facts and numbers, but rather a celebration of the wonderful life she lived. We talked to those who were close to her in order to get a vivid, colorful portrait of the person Beth was and the impact she made on the community. When looking back at this issue, we wanted people to be able to celebrate all she has done and the things she loved.
Student deaths in our community have always been tragedies, but for some unfair reason they are recurring. Each one, although unique from one another, is equally devastating. This year, the Omega has a new staff.
At the top of each page, we shared one thing that Beth loved. This way, we were able to tie together this issue for Beth as our 18 things for #18. These things that she loved were shared with us by her close friends. We dedicated two pages to Beth, which is something we’ve never done before. It was our whole staffs decision, and one we decided was the right way to commemorate her life.
Beth was an integral part of the community. The foundation of our school was shaken when she was lost. If we covered it by doing anything less than we did, we feel like we wouldn’t have been covering it the way we should be.
We hope that in some way, our memorial to Beth Dunlap will offer solace to those who need it most.