Grief on Greek Row

Nadia Dreid

Wednesday afternoon, as I entered Olympic Boulevard, it was awash with waves of quiet students. They walked up and down the sidewalks alongside the manicured lawns, their cars lined up like ants along Chandler Road to gain access inside. 

A girl slowed by traffic on her way out had tear tracks down her face. Her eyes met mine for a brief moment, and then she leaned against the steering wheel of her car, moving her arm across her eyes as her shoulders started to shake.

The rest of Georgia Southern students only had numbers and news stories at this point, but no names. However, on Olympic Boulevard, it was clear to me that the inhabitants of those houses already knew who they had lost.

On the porch of one house, a girl in a blue shirt began to sob, her cries echoing all the way across the street. She was quickly embraced by her sisters and brought inside.

Further down the row, a group of men poured out of the Kappa Delta house, dozen after dozen, more than 50 in all. I stepped off the sidewalk to let them pass. Brothers come to give their condolences, they moved quietly without stopping down to the next house on their list.

Another house was packed with visitors, their cars filling up every spare inch of the circular driveway and space out front. On the porch, three men stood huddled in the farthest corner, away from the crowd. They grasped each other’s hands and bowed their heads.

The rest of the houses stood silent, brothers and sisters in grief.

And outside of Olympic Boulevard, I felt the weight of twenty thousand more hearts sitting heavy as they mourned the loss of five fellow Eagles.