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‘It wasn’t bullying because she wasn’t picked on. It was almost as crushing – she was ignored.’: Mother urges school kids to reach out to ‘lonely’ students, ‘include them in their circle’

“I spent many nights with her crying in her bed asking me questions I couldn’t answer: ‘Why don’t I have any friends? Why don’t I get invited anywhere? What is wrong with me?’ I had no answers as I laid beside her as she sobbed. As important as it is to teach our children to study, to get good grades, it is also important to teach them to be kind.”

‘She sat next to her dying father, her best friend, and grabbed his hand. She whispered in his ear it was ‘ok to go.’ She would be alright. He could stop being in pain.’

“With her hair in a ponytail and her face stained with tears, she pet his hair while he gasped for air. She put a cross in his hand when she knew he was never coming back. She kissed him on the cheek and uttered ‘goodbye.’ She sat with him for an hour after he stopped breathing, making sure he was not alone.”

‘Are you ok tonight?’ I was in the grocery store trying to pretend everything was OK, but it wasn’t. I was bawling my eyes out. ‘This isn’t a forever feeling.’ I’m so grateful to you.’

“I was afraid to leave my house without my husband. ‘I know this is hard for you,’ he would say. ‘Can you tell yourself that you’re safe?’ ‘No,’ I would respond. I reached out as a bit of a last-ditch effort, right there in the grocery store, tears running down my face. The response was incredible. Those women saved me.”

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