Dear kindergarten teacher: My son will be absent on the first day of school.

This emotional letter appeared on TODAY parenting and has touched us all so very deeply.

** Tissues may be required**

Jennifer Swartvagher mum of 8 and writer from Beyond The Crib, shares:

“I am sorry to report that my son will be absent on the first day of school this year.

You may not realize it, but his name is glaringly absent from your current roster.

I walked by your classroom door just the other day and took note that his name wasn’t carefully written inside a bright red apple taped around your window.

He will never sit at a desk or hang his backpack on a hook.

On that first day of school, which is coming upon me so quickly, I won’t be walking him to the bus stop and crying tears as he drives away.

You see, my son will be absent on the first day of school.

Don’t be mistaken. There will be tears. I will sob as I sit at my computer and see pictures of my friend’s little ones holding signs that say “First Day of Kindergarten.”

I would never begrudge them their joy, and I will like their photos on Facebook and Instagram, but inside, a piece of my heart will feel like it is being ripped out and pulled out through my ears, or my nose, or in the most painful way you could ever imagine.

When I go in to volunteer in my daughter’s classroom, I will peer in your room and my breath will catch in my throat. For a moment I may imagine him sitting in a circle listening to a story or sharing secrets with a friend. It won’t take long for me to remember that will never be a reality.

My son will be absent on the first day of school, but you will feel him there, I promise.

He is the breeze that tickles your nose as you stand on the playground. He is the dragonfly that flutters around trying to get a child’s attention. He is the dandelion puff that gets blown here and there as a dozen little feet run by.

My son will be absent on the first day of school. In fact, he will not be present at all this year.

Unfortunately, I am sure he is not the only one who is missing, so please be gentle when you see a parent peer into your room imagining all that could have been.

Just in case you want to pencil him in lightly at the bottom of your list, his name was Bennett.”

Share your comments below

Getty image

  • Bennett will always be remembered by parents who loved him.


  • Tissues required. We don’t know the circumstances that caused the loss of Bennett.


  • How emotional is that. You never know what others are going through.


  • This is so sad


  • Very sad :'(


  • This is very sad, Gave me goosebumps.


  • This sent shivers over my entire body. Very powerful.


  • A very powerful message right here. :’(


  • The milestones are the hardest at times. You wonder what they would had been doing, looked like. How they would be coping with the different stages in their lives, they are never forgotten by those that loved them.


  • Aw bless, that’s very touching. It’s good to be aware of others peoples pain. I had 3 miscarriages myself, but never lost a child I gave birth to. It must be so hard to loose your child.


  • This is so heartbreaking. I lost a baby (mm). He or she would of be turning 3 this year. And its so upsetting not knowing what he/she would be like and missing out on their milestones.


  • Oh God this is just so sad :(


  • It is truly hard to see these moments go by unremarked when you’ve lost a child.


  • Very emotional ….


  • Very touching. I’m assuming this mother had a miscarriage?


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by you browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating