After recent news of the loss of both Christopher and John Ruckman, students, faculty, and staff at Rockford Christian Schools are grieving. The school says they are heavily relying on each other for support during this time.
"Our main focus and goal is to meet the needs of the students. To help them understand as Christians that even in these tragedies, there is hope. How we respond is key at this point," Rockford Christian School Superintendent, Randy Taylor said.
Taylor says that the school began offering grief counseling this past weekend, and that continued this morning with a school wide assembly talking about grief and how to deal with it. Kelly says the school is offering a large variety of grief services such as, therapy dogs, counseling, and pastors to speak with throughout the school day.
"I was just overwhelmed with the 20 counselors that were here this morning, the pastors, the number of parents that showed up," Kelly said.
The students at Rockford Christian have placed sticky notes throughout the hallways, with positive and encouraging messages on them to ensure others that they are not alone in this process.
"Just so when kids walk around the building, they can see something that is positive and encouraging," Kelly said.
Both Christopher and John were passion about music and the arts. Their love for music showed through to their peers and even to their band teacher TJ Mack.
"I could just see right away the passion that they had for music and the joy that it brought to them, and the joy that it was able to bring to others who heard them." Mack said.
Mack says both boys played instruments such as the piano and guitar. He says being a teacher to such passionate kids is a joy he will never forget.
"Before every single class and after every single class, Chris was at the piano playing Bohemian Rhapsody and sang along as he did," Mack said.
Mack says both him, and the students who were touched by both Christopher and John know their love more music will live on, and they hope others will be inspired by the passion and talent they both possessed.
"I know that these boys believed in Jesus as their savior, and are making incredible music together in heaven right now," Mack said.
Administrators at Rockford Christian School say that grief counseling will be available to those who are in need throughout the week, as well as a longer term option for anyone who is seeking support.