December 23, 2021
Dear Parents/Guardians and Students:
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the sudden death of a student who was enrolled at Spruce Grove Composite High School. Harley Marienhoff was killed in a car accident south of Spruce Grove Wednesday afternoon. She will be dearly missed by her teachers, classmates, and the community. Harley was a bubbly, beautiful, funny young woman. She was an amazing friend and great listener who was always 100% authentic. Her love of animals and music followed dedication to study and she was greatly looking forward to attending a sociology program at university next fall.
Condolences on behalf of Spruce Grove Comp and Graminia School have been sent to the family. They have been assured that our thoughts and prayers are with them now and in the coming days and weeks.
PSD`s Trauma Response Team members will be available to Spruce Grove Composite High School and Graminia School where she previously attended to assist students’ and staff members’ emotional health and well-being.
We are aware that students process loss in different ways, and we would encourage you to talk and listen to your children to assist them in understanding this loss. Many factors influence our reaction to death: who passed away, how or why it happened, the support system available, age, personality, and especially previous loss experience. The timing of this so close to Christmas may add to some emotionality. Your child may or may not become distraught as a result of learning about this tragedy. For your information, we are providing the following suggestions for helping children grieve.
Parents/Guardians, you can provide valuable assistance to your children during this time. Here are some ideas to consider when talking about this sensitive topic:
- Be attentive to your child when he/she has questions and wants to talk.
- Listen to your child’s feelings and accept them, even if they are different from yours.
- Give honest, simple, brief answers.
- Make sure that your child understands your answers and the meaning that you intend.
- Create opportunities for your children to talk about what happened and how they are feeling.
- Encourage positive self-care activities specific to your child’s preferences. Examples could be physical activity, journaling, artwork, or positive and supportive time with people they care about.
- Be especially loving and supporting; more than anyone else, your child needs you at this time.
- Above all, listen to your children and let them know that their feelings are normal and acceptable.
If you have any concerns regarding your child, please do not hesitate to contact the school following the break.
Treena Neumann, Principal