I was talking with the school psychologist at my last stop of the day yesterday; she looked at me and said (out of nowhere) "Hey, did you work with that little boy that died yesterday?" This, of course, made my heart skip several beats. I told her that I was aware of the incident, but didn't know anything about who the child was. Apparently the grandson of one of the secretaries in the building went to the same babysitter as the deceased child (the child died at the babysitter), and she had 'gossiped' some information to the school psychologist earlier in the day. She told me what she had heard, and I could only think of one kid on my caseload who fit the entire description. My heart skipped a few more beats. After two phone calls, I had confirmation. It was the child I had suspected, and I should have seen him the day before at preschool if I had not had the MFM appointment in the morning. Instead, on my way back to the office at the end of the school day, I drove past his babysitter's completely unaware that within the next 10 minutes he would be found lifeless there. :-(
I have not worked with him long, but that doesn't really matter - you quickly connect with most of the little ones you work so hard to help. Someone pointed out how profoundly he was delayed, both cognitively and physically (and the all-too-familiar 'maybe it's better this way....'), but that doesn't matter, either. All that matters right now is that he was someone's (only) child, and I can only imagine how much her heart is breaking. Over the next few days, if you all said an extra prayer for his mom, I am sure that she could use them all.