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The Challenger

Resting in peace, left in pieces

Students and graduates grieve and reflect on the past year of Hoover losses of community, family members

Jocelyn Rosas, Staff

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The Hoover community has experienced three deaths in the past year – graduate Nabeel Mirzai, Terry Harris, and Jose Marin-Rodriguez. With these deaths, students have and are experiencing grief.

Success worker Tiffany Strim defined grief as experiencing sadness on true loss of a loved one. She explains that it is not a symptom or diagnosis. It’s just a feeling of loss of a loved one, friendship or relationship.

“If grief is not treated or processed right, it can lead to things grief causes. It causes depression, drug addiction, alcoholism, and loss of interest,” Strim said.

Senior Lexie Turner had known Harris, who passed away in June, since middle school. They weren’t best friends, but they talked a lot and got closer. She uses Harris’ death as something to motivate herself in life and school because it made her realize how short life is.

“When I first heard about Terry’s death, I saw it on Twitter and I didn’t believe it. But then I checked the news website and I saw his house so then I knew it was real, then I just broke down,” Turner said. “Terry was this goofy kid that’s always talking smack, or when he’s not talking smack, he’s talking about football. He loves football. He was always the class clown, but he always tried making his mother proud.”

Mirzai passed away at a shooting near Drake University in September.

“He was an outgoing person,” Graduate Savon Hutchinson said. “He was everyone’s friend, but he stayed to himself.”

When Hutchinson heard about Mirzai’s death, he said he was mad and cried for three days.

“If Nabeel was here he wouldn’t want everyone down. I told myself that he’s just sitting up in the clouds laughing and smiling at us,” Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson believes Hoover students’ top priority should be to graduate and be successful, but be prepared because life can change quick.

Sophomore Irvin Hernandez understands the grieving process after losing his friend Jose Marin-Rodriguez in April.

“It may be hard at first, but there’s always a way to overcome an obstacle,” Hernandez said.

Strim said coping with grief is a natural process after losing someone. “Talk to a professional or someone in your building about it. Communicate with your parents. Coping with grief takes time but the best way is to talk to people, and working with it, and learn to accept it. Let your body feel what it is trying to feel,” Strim said.


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The student news site of Hoover High School
Resting in peace, left in pieces