17 February 2021

Goodbye to a student

One sad day we received a message from the Head of School; one of our students had died. She seemed to have had a medical condition (not Covid) that none of us knew about. I had only just marked an assignment by her, and I struggled to get my head around this news. She was way too young! And she also was Chinese, which made things worse, as due to the distance and the pandemic her entire family had probably been on the other side of the world when this happened.

Some time later we received information about the cremation. I didn't know her well, but I decided to go; her family couldn't be there, and I wanted to make sure that the occasion didn't go unnoticed. If the people closest or her couldn't pay their respects, then the people a bit further away should. And I had my two negative tests just in time to be able to go there. If I would have tested positive, of course, I wouldn't have gone.

On the very day it was cold but sunny. Masked people arrived at the crematorium. All the people there knew our student through University. A short service followed, in which her personal tutor gave a speech. It was really painful sitting there, feeling the absence of her close relatives. I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like for them.

Writing this also feels very inadequate. But with so few people in a position to mark her passing I feel that I should. So hereby. Rest in peace Wenyan.

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