Matric girls mourn their lost friend

2008-10-27 00:00

“My INVINCIBLE friend; you are now in the arms of your maker. Thanks for being so full of life. Till we meet again on the other side of the bridge, love Calhan,” is one of the many messages written on the blackboard in a matric classroom for Girls’ High School (GHS) pupil Nomonde Amanda Hadebe (18) — one of four killed in a bakkie accident on the N3 on Saturday.

School councillor Anne Dorrian said Hadebe’s friends and peers were “absolutely devastated” by the news of her tragic death.

The pupils, who begin their final exams this week, had to receive individual and group counselling yesterday. What was meant to be a day of celebration and a happy send-off, turned into a day of mourning, leaving the pupils shocked and the teachers concerned about their exams.

Dorrian said the staff have experienced dealing with this kind of grief and shock before. “Sadly, we have experienced similar tragedies at the school over the years.”

She said losing a friend, classmate or peer can be unsettling for anyone, but for Matric pupils on the verge of finals, “feeling stressed about exams, uncertain about their futures and nervous about going out into the world”, it can be even more traumatic.

GHS has offered counselling training to a few pupils and Dorrian said they were offering each other support yesterday morning before formal counselling began.

The class then went into group counselling with Dorrian, who encouraged them to write messages to Hadebe on a blackboard that had photos of her pasted on it. They also played some of her favourite music and placed white and purple flowers on the desk she used to sit at.

“Parents have been a marvellous support and we continue to encourage them to help the girls deal with the shock and trauma by being very supportive at home and also encouraging them to talk about their feelings or write them down,” says Dorrian.

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