After an almost monthlong battle with illness, Robinson Middle School eighth-grade student Erin Page passed away Tuesday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
Erin’s peers at Robinson and her teachers say hers is a loss that will be felt for a long time.
“She was one of those kids that was just bouncing in (to class). She was just a joy,” said Robinson teacher Helen Davis, who had Erin in algebra. “She was the most beautiful girl — you know, from the inside. You could tell that. We were talking about that this morning. She wasn’t someone who walked to class — she bounced. She always had a smile on her face, and she was everybody’s friend ... from the wealthiest kids we have to the poorest kids we have. She was everybody’s friend, and she was good to everybody. She shone, from the inside.”
At the school, students decorated Erin’s locker and wrote memorial poems about their classmate.
Counselors from the school and Frontier Health were also on hand Wednesday to help students and staff in any way possible.
Principal Jim Nash said it had been a difficult day for the Robinson community. Nash said for now, the school is just trying to support individuals and is working on some sort of memorial for Erin at a later time.
In the meantime, students and faculty remembered Erin in their own ways.
Teacher Lisa Bratton serves as faculty adviser for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, of which Erin was an attendee.
“I told the kids this morning that the thing I remember most about her (Erin) is that no matter what songs we sang, at the end she would say, ‘I love that song, Ms. Bratton,’” Bratton said. “And I’d say, ‘I like it too, Erin. I’m glad you enjoyed it.’ And she’d say, ‘I’m going to sing it the rest of the day.’ And she did. She kept a song in her heart.”
FCA meets each Wednesday morning at 7:15. Normally, Bratton said, approximately 100 students join in. This week, more than 200 showed up.
Bratton said the students in FCA have grown through Erin’s illness. She said the group prayed for Erin’s healing, and though that healing did not come in the form they had hoped, they believe now she is truly healed.
“It wasn’t tragic in the sense that it was a car accident. ... It was an emotional three-week ride,” Bratton said. “That makes it tougher in some ways. ... (But) I firmly believe that she (Erin) is completely healed. ... It (our prayer) was answered — not in the way that we would have selfishly had it, because we want her here with us.”
Though the details have not yet been worked out, Bratton said FCA is planning a memorial for Erin in April.