After Teacher & Wife Have 5th Miscarriage, Students' Letter Moves Him to Tears


February was a challenging month for teachers across the country as they learned of the terrible horror that unfolded at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. For a teacher at Washington Township High School, he was already dealing with a heartbreaking tragedy in his own life.

Matthew Groark’s and his wife Kristin had already lost four babies to miscarriage, but they were excited when they found out Kristin was pregnant again with a baby boy.

A post shared by Matthew Groark (@mgroark) on

When Kristin was four months pregnant, the couple went in for an ultrasound. They left with the heartbreaking news that another child had passed away in the womb.

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This fifth miscarriage left the couple feeling “completely blindsided and in shock,” Groark explained in a Facebook status on Feb 1.

“I wish I didn’t but I will always struggle to understand,” he wrote.

The news of miscarriage often leads to well-meaning but nevertheless painful comments. Yet, Groark was met with some of the greatest expressions of compassion and love from a surprising source — his students.

His class of high-school students were aware of the loss their teacher was experiencing and wanted to support him in the best way they knew how — by taking their own teacher’s advice. Groark taught his class how to “keep your head up even when life hits rock bottom.”

Even adults struggle with how to support loved ones after a miscarriage, but these high school students responded with an amazing act of thoughtfulness and generosity. Groark’s second-period class presented him with a card — and a surprise gift.

“We are so so sorry to hear about the devastating news about your child, we are all heartbroken,” read the card.

“We came together and pitched in for tickets for you and your wife, hope this takes your mind off things for a bit and enjoy the game.”

Included in the touching letter were tickets for the Philadelphia 76ers vs. Indiana Pacers game on March 13.

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Groark was moved to tears.

After he recovered from his shock and emotion, he turned to social media in search of assistance on how to get tickets for these incredible students.

He tweeted at the 76ers and various players: “All I need is a club box with about 24 seats to help show these kids how much this means to us! Would love to share this night with the kids that made it possible.”

On March 2, Groark was delighted to surprise his class with the news that, thanks to the Philadelphia 76ers, the students would all be given tickets to go to the game with Groark and his wife.

“I cried when you guys gifted me those tickets, and my wife cried when she saw the video of your gesture,” Groark told his students, according to Sports Talk Philly. “It is pretty cool that you are guys are responsible for uplifting this community and showing how caring Washington Township is and how great teenagers can be. I am so thankful to the 76ers for reaching out, and I am so excited that we will get to enjoy the game together.”

Watch Groark surprise his students in the clip below:

High school students have been a major topic of conversation in the media lately, but this particular class has steered that conversation in a refreshingly positive direction.

They could not shine more brightly with their compassion and love.

Enjoy the game, guys!

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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