I got a message this morning that I’ve gotten too many times over the years as a teacher. They all start the same way: “I am so sorry to tell you…” or “Did you hear about…” or “I thought you’d want to know…” Like so many, many other things that we teachers can never be prepared for in our college classes or professional development seminars or even just through years of experience, losing students is just part of loving students.

Her name is Lisa. She was the kid who did everything well, yet everyone still really liked her. She went to college on a full scholarship, started doing drugs, and then…