Just Us

So where are we now that the criminal case and the civil case have concluded?

On the one hand, the man who killed Kim spent no time in jail and paid us nothing.

On the other hand, would that have made a difference?

I don’t know.

The prosecutor certainly mishandled the case, but a criminal case isn’t between the victim and the accused so there really wasn’t anything we could do.

I never met the driver. I didn’t see the point.

He was on the phone when his semi drove into Kim’s car.

I’ve been advised to let it go.

Say we get the case opened. Say he goes to jail. Would it make a difference?

I don’t know.

I was upset the first time the trial went forward to see he was charged with a misdemeanor not a felony.

So I suppose the answer is “no”.

We did get a settlement from his insurance company.

Kim’s cousin represented us and got the maximum that his minimal insurance allowed. He got all there was to get.

It certainly wasn’t enough.

Not enough. But as my friend Steve said, would any amount have been enough? Say it was something absurd like ten million dollars. Would that have been enough.


But this felt like too little.

It felt like too little because of all that Kim was to me, to Maggie, to her parents and siblings, to my parents and siblings, to co-workers, to friends …

She did so much for so many.

This wasn’t enough.

But it’s all there is. I’m grateful to the many that helped me get this much, to get through these cases.

I don’t know what I expected from the legal system in either of these cases.

This wasn’t enough.

I went to dinner and an outdoor concert last night with Kim’s brother and his wife. At one point the band played a Bill Wither’s cover and my eyes teared up and I thought of Kim.

I don’t know what was special about that song, about that moment, but I felt her with me.

Not in a creepy “I believe in ghosts” or religious way. I just felt her there beside me swaying to the song, kicking the back of my knees to get me to loosen up.

I don’t want to become one of those bitter old men who complain about the justice system.

Should the man who killed Kim have gone to jail?


Would it change my life in any way?


So there – let’s not speak of it again.

It would have been nice if the civil suit resulted in more money.

But it didn’t.

I’ll say one more thing about it, then we won’t speak of it again.

There was the moment when I went to the lawyers office and the young lady at the front desk handed me an envelope with the settlement check inside.

It was a moment where it was done.

Here’s the check – we’re done.

It was a very final moment.

I took the check to the bank and deposited it.

That was it.

In the eyes of the legal system, Kim’s life had been accounted for.

The civil and criminal cases were done.

I hope not to speak of it again.

It’s not enough.

But, it’s all there is.




Published in: on August 5, 2018 at 12:39 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Speak about it as often as you need to. We’re listening.

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