Hephzibah, G.A. (WJBF) – The students, faculty, and staff at a local school are in mourning after the death of a teacher there.

Susan lay, a second-grade teacher at the Georgia school for innovation and the Classics (GSIC), died this week of complications from covid-19.

It’s a conversation being held in communities across the country, explaining to children the severity of COVID and helping them cope with the deaths of loved ones, friends, and even teachers.

“She was loyal and caring and forgiving and she was always willing to help out anytime I needed her,” Amy Golden.

Just a few words Golden used to describe her friend Susan Lay.

“She was a wonderful mother to both of her girls and a wonderful wife to her husband Glenn,” she added.

A mother, wife, friend, and teacher’s life now cut short from Covid-19.

“I feel like all of our lives have just been altered and I feel like everybody, the whole world is going through this and it’s, I feel like it’s something none of us should even have to deal with,” said Golden.

A friendship for 15 years now torn apart by this deadly illness. Golden says one of the hardest parts of her friend’s death was explaining it to her own children.

“It was awful, she almost didn’t believe even believe it, because the last time we had even seen Susan she was healthy, ” she said.

Susan Lay was a second-grade teacher at the Georgia School of Innovation and Classics. She’d been teaching there since 2015. The school superintendent said in a statement today “She was dearly loved by the students, parents, and faculty of the school. Mrs. Lay’s illness prevented her from starting what would have been her seventh year of teaching at GSIC.”

Now parents are faced with telling their children, their teacher has died from Covid. A tough conversation that’s being held in homes across the country.

“It’s definitely tough becuase it can be very confusing for kids to understand what’s going on in the world”

Wesley Walter is a second-year student at the Medical College of Georgia. He recently wrote a children’s book called “The virus that Came to Town“. It breaks down what Covid is and how you can prevent it for children.

“The book definitely opens the door to have a conversation, ” said Walter.

Walter was working with children at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and became an expert in talking children through surgeries and other health issues. He’s found ways to help children cope with harsh health realities.

“It’s very hard to cope with that so I think that what we’ve seen and what they’ve told us in the medical school and what we’ve learned these past couple months and this past year is counseling services have been really important for kids and families and therapy has been incredibly important just to have someone to talk to,” he said.

Friends of Susan Lay have put together a GOFUNDME page for the family.