BUFFALO, N.Y. — There is no formula for processing grief.
"There's something that happens to you. You're never the same. It's devastating," said
But support from the right place can certainly make it easier. Exactly the thought of Jennifer Seitz, a Title One reading teacher at Elmwood Village Charter School.
"Absolutely. Yeah, yeah, we're here with (the fire department)," Seitz said.
On March 1, a fire broke out at DC Theatricks.
"When our kids came in from recess, they smelled of smoke. So it was definitely something they were talking about that day," Seitz said.
Then they found out 37-year-old Jason Arno, a Buffalo firefighter from Engine 2, had died trying to put it out.
"They're actually our fire department that comes if we ever need anything so they do come here when we need them," Seitz said.
Now Engine 2 is getting the right words from Elmwood Village Charter School.
"Prayers for you and your family. Love Jax," read Jax Torres, an eighth grader at Elmwood Village Charter School.
"We come together as a whole. As one," read Christopher Boyd, an eighth grader at Elmwood Village Charter School. "I never met him but I bet he was a good person. Rest in peace to his soul."
"I can tell he was a joy to be around with his big, bright smile. I thank him for everything he has done for us and everyone else. I don't know what our school would have done without him and his team. I wish that building would've never fallen," read Lexia Ramos, a seventh grader at Elmwood Village Charter School.
More than 200 students wrote those messages and gave them to Seitz, so they could be dropped off at Engine 2.
"It really has meant a lot. The cards and the cookies. It really hits home from a family point of view when you go through something like this," said Lt. Michael Menge, with Engine 2 of the Buffalo Fire Department. "I've been around for a few of these now and it never gets easier."
There's no formula for processing grief.
"If their little sentiments of sorrow and thankfulness, if anything like that can just help lift someone up in a moment of sadness, then we did our job," Seitz said.
But if you find the right family, it might just be all you need.