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Grieving the Loss of a 2020 GRCHS Graduate

June 21, 2020

Dear GRCHS School Community,

We are shocked and saddened to learn that 2020 graduate, John Holmes, died last night in a single-car accident. We grieve with his mother, Cynthia, his brother, George, and countless other friends and family members.

Those of us who knew John, remember a kind and friendly student who was loved by his classmates, teachers, and coaches. He lived his life with passion and worked incredibly hard to achieve his goals. John excelled both in the classroom and on the athletic field where he played football and basketball. He planned to continue his football career next year at Brown University.

We all grieve differently, and individual reactions to the death of a peer can vary greatly from student to student. There is no “right way” to grieve, but it is a very important process. Our counselors, administrators, chaplain, and social worker are available this week to support students. Students or parents wishing to set up a time to talk should email their counselor. You can also find resources here to support grieving students.

We will continue to be in communication as we plan additional student supports, learn of potential opportunities for student gatherings, and as we learn more about the Holmes family’s plans for grieving John’s death and celebrating his life.

As we grieve this great loss, we hold onto the promises of Jesus in Matthew 5:4 when He says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” We call on the Great Comforter to surround the Holmes family and all those who love John with peace and hope that can only come from Him.

In Christ,

Brad Mockabee

Brad Mockabee
Principal, Grand Rapids Christian High School