I was invited to provide a victim statement for the criminal case against the man who killed Kim. I was asked three questions. Here is my reply to the third. I, of course, wrote this under the stress of the moment. I am posting these thoughts but not inviting comment. I found each question more difficult to answer than the last.
Kim was the love of my life.
Before she got in the car to drive from one hospital she worked at to another she and I texted about what we were going to do for dinner. We had just passed our 23rd wedding anniversary and hadn’t yet gone out for dinner. We hadn’t gone out on the actual night because I’d had a root canal that morning and she wanted to wait so we’d enjoy it properly. We thought of going to Edwin’s that night but it was a beautiful night and we decided to cook burgers on the grill outside.
The last communication I got from Kim was a text that read “Burgers”.
Our daughter Maggie was about to start her third year at Haverford College where she is pre-med. After Kim’s death, Maggie was unable to concentrate adequately at school and I had to go pick her up and withdraw her from school. I have no idea when she’ll be able to go back and what she has lost.
That’s not completely true.
She’s lost her mother. They had an amazingly close relationship. There are things that Maggie would tell me and things that she would tell Kim. Kim understood Maggie better than anyone in the world. Maggie has lost that person – forever.
Kim’s relationship with her own mother was quite close. Kim and her mother talked on the phone at least once a day and often more. We had dinner with Kim’s parents fairly often and visited their house quite a bit.
Kim and my younger daughter died ten years ago. I can’t describe what it’s like to go through a huge loss but this time without Kim. Kim and I supported each other emotionally and we supported each other in practical ways.
Kim worked in the medical field. She navigated us through insurance forms and doctors’ visits. As my and her parents grew older, Kim was making great recommendations and helping them get everything in order. Kim was making plans for our own eventual move to a retirement home. In addition, the medical insurance we had was through Kim’s work. When Kim died, we were given less than a week to figure out what we’d do next as the insurance would expire on the last day of August.
Kim organized the neighborhood summer block party. She volunteered for various charities and events. She gave generously. She made sure we kept in touch with friends.
Kim and I saw the world together. After she died I cancelled our trip in September to Spain and my trip to DC. I cancelled our October trip to Italy, Atlanta, and London – she always wanted to go to Italy. I cancelled our November trips to Amsterdam, the Swiss Alps, San Francisco, and London.
I cancelled the trips because I can’t imagine going without Kim.
I also cancelled because I was going for work and I can’t think clearly enough to write books or teach classes. I’m not sure how I’m going to earn money at the level I have for years.
I am self-employed. I train companies and individuals in writing iPhone apps. I missed a significant deadline by not having my book in iPhone programming ready in time for the iPhone launch in September as planned. Now it probably won’t sell very many copies. My classes need updating and need to be taught – each one of the conferences where I was supposed to teach and had to cancel was able to replace me. Now who knows if that will be the end of my training business.
I’ve lost Kim’s guidance. She always knew when it was time for me to try something new. Together we did so much. Alone – I just can’t imagine.
We drove Maggie to school each semester together. I’d drive the first leg then she’d take over. We’d listen to books on tape or NPR shows.
The effects of the crime on me? So much is lost from my morning coffee to lying alone in bed at night. Well, not quite alone. The dog still sleeps at the foot of the bed.
The loss is everywhere. I watch the Indians games and think that the last time they got this far, she and I were down at the ball park watching them. She taught me not to eat a hot dog at the ball park til the fourth inning then taught me to go ahead and eat the reheated hot dogs anyway.
I’ve lost my love, my partner, my best friend, my advisor, my sous chef, my travel companion, the mother of my daughter, …. It’s a huge hole in my life.