Comforting some one who has lost a close friend or relative is tough enough. But how do you explain this to a child that may have no understanding of what it means to lose someone?
The playground at Central Elementary in Fairbury sat empty on Monday, that's because students are still on spring break. But when they return to class on Tuesday, Principal Jeremy Christensen will have to break the news to Krista Medina's classmates... she won't be coming back to school.
“And giving them an opportunity right away to ask questions," said Christiansen, "and remember Krista in a really positive way for the really sweet, loving girl that she was.”
Christiansen says the best thing to do for a young child in a situation like this is to tell them what's happened, then just listen.
“We don't need to share a lot of details, and then really do listen to your kids. Let them ask questions because sometimes their questions are going to surprise you. They might not be the questions you think they are going to ask.”
He says, Tuesday, teachers will also let kids talk, write, and even draw pictures of what they remember about Krista. Then staff will keep a close eye on kids during the next few weeks.
"We also know with very young children, they can be very unpredictable. We will be watchful of signs of maybe it sinking in, or maybe them beginning to understand after a period of time that krista's no longer with us."
One thing Christiansen says he wants to make very clear to students, is that the emotions they will see on the faces of adults are OK. And that they, too, are missing Krista.
Fairbury police are still investigating last night's accident, but say speed and alcohol are not likely to be factors. As of now the 69-year-old driver isn't facing any charges or tickets.
Funeral arrangements for Krista are set for 11:00 AM Friday morning at Saint Michaels Catholic Church.