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Grieving the Loss of CNR Discussion Generates Range of Emotions

April 11, 2019

The closing of The College of New Rochelle has brought with it a range of emotions from the CNR Community, from anger to sadness, and everything in between. CNR professor Dr. Kenneth Doka, an international expert on grief, lead a discussion on April 9 in a packed Romita Auditorium on how best to deal with those emotions and the steps you should take to alleviate any sadness.          

“Grief doesn't always have to be about death, grief comes with any kind of loss,” Doka said. “How we deal with that grief happens differently in each person, because each of us are losing a different institution. The first step to dealing with this grief is to feel those emotions! Allow yourself to feel things and don't bottle up those emotions.”

Several members of the audience had the opportunity to speak about those emotions. “I find myself not caring anymore,View video graphic or that these classes don't matter,” said a current student.  While an alum shared a statement of consternation, “Don’t get me wrong I’m pissed off, but I also know that this energy has to be turned into something productive like keeping the legacy of this college alive.” Many echoed the same sentiment, while others expressed concern over the campus itself, a place many have come to know and love.

“We need to adjust to this new life that's ahead of us,” stated Doka. “There's a lot of change happening, and it's important we continue to keep the bond we have with this place alive and strong. Our lives are changed by this loss, but what are we taking from this change? What do you want to take from your old life into your new life? We need to leave behind the anger and move forward.”

Something that remains incredibly important to Dr. Doka is the strong spiritual connection that can always be felt on campus. “While I believe in the Christian paradigm of life and resurrection, I sometimes have this fantasy of winning the lottery and reviving this place back to its original glory,” a statement that was met with a hearty laughter throughout the crowd.

Tensions were mounting towards the end, just as an adjunct professor stood up to provide everyone with a bit of respite, “The energy seems to be shifting, but let's reflect on why we’re all here together as family. Change is not easy, it creates discomfort. But it also extends our level of growth and maturity.”

To conclude, Doka reminded everyone that it's alright to live in this grief and sadness, while still feeling intensely grateful for the incredible friendships that were made, the lives that were shaped, and the moments that occurred here at CNR. “We need to mourn our loss but also celebrate our legacy, and I hope I provided all of you with some of that tonight.”