What Should We Know?

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Story by Hannah Morey, Reporter

It is no surprise that information spreads quickly with a community as small as Aquinas. The Spring semester holds new messages for students through classes and life lessons. What most students did not expect was to receive an AQ CARES message on January 12, 2023, informing us about a dead body, a male, found near campus, in Wilcox Park. It feels dehumanizing to address someone as such. A body. As if he lacked experiences, thoughts, and ideas original to any human being. Yet, students moved back in, finished their first week of classes, and met up with friends. However, the question looms over us, regardless of our goings-on: Do students reserve the right to know more details about such events? A simple question. A harder answer.

While it is easy to claim students deserve to know the full details of such a tragedy, it is easier to forget that this person had friends, family, and loved ones who cared about him. There are people out there grappling with a tremendous loss, and poking and prodding anyone for information is both intrusive and immoral. While we are all holding our breaths to see if he was someone we knew, someone we met, and someone we can mourn, people are already grieving. I propose that we should grieve this loss regardless of who he was. Whether or not we knew him in life, we know him in death. There is a solidarity in that, one that we should not neglect.

Where does searching for knowledge get us? To know the “why” means to question the “why.” Curiosity prevails, especially in tragedy. It is all-consuming and paralyzing. Sorrow of the unknown stirs up tumultuous emotions within us, filling once-silent crevices in our minds. And though those emotions are uncomfortable, we should stop searching for answers and reflect. If we ignore how we feel in the present, the future loses meaning. Our yearning for knowledge will be for nothing. If we dismiss that learning about this was a shock, we begin to lose ourselves by pushing aside grief. Nobody expected that AQ CARES text, just as the dog walker didn’t expect to find a fellow human passed away, just as the man’s loved ones did not expect to hear about the crushing loss. Own your feelings, for they are all you have at this moment. My heart goes out to the man’s family and Aquinas College students. May our grief bring us together.