A Horrible Tragedy and Our Grief For the Family

No. No. No.

Stop reading!

It can’t have happened.

Eyes partially shut, trying to skim the story without really digesting it.

Compartmentalize. Don’t think about it.

But then, you look at your kids–in my case–Fia hugging Emmett. Your heart crushes to its core.

Super Why is on television. It’s daddy’s birthday and we’re letting him sleep in. It is, by all accounts, a normal morning. Except it’s not. Something awful—unthinkable–has happened.

Two kids are stabbed to death in their Upper West Side apartment bathtub. A 2-year old and 6-year old. The mom is out with her 3-year old. She comes home to a dark home. Something is amiss. She opens the bathroom door and sees something no one, absolutely no one, should ever witness. Her two children. Dead. Her nanny is also there with a stab wound to her neck. She is alive and suspected of committing this atrocity. The mother goes into a psychotic state. The father gets off an airplane in New York. The police meet him and deliver the awful news. They take him to the hospital where he joins his wife. Their life is forever changed. For the worst.

Terrible things happen all the time. A plane crashes and it’s front-page news. This too, is front-page news. But as awful as all tragedies seem, this one hits a different chord. It is so personal. We are moms and dads. It is we who make the decision to have someone help us with our kids. We entrust these people with the most precious thing in our life. And 99.99 percent of the time they are a gift. A story like this so rarely happens. But when it does, it is a nightmare beyond comprehension.

There are no words to comfort, no justification to make us feel better for this family. And no God who can say this was meant to be.

I have a nanny. She loves my kids like they were her own. I know her whole family. We did a background check on her before we hired her. It was flawless. When I told her about this story, she started to weep. “How do you ever know someone, truly?” she said to me through tears. “You know me, you trust me with your kids, but how do you know you really know me?” I understood exactly what she meant. Sometimes as hard as you try to do the best for your children, your efforts fall short–and tragic.

I don’t want to put myself in the shoes of this mom or dad. It’s too painful. But I can only imagine if the allegations prove true, and the nanny did this, not only will this mother be haunted by the loss of her children, but also by what she maybe had missed. The clues, the signs. And sometimes there simply aren’t any. Sometimes people just aren’t who they seem. My heart just aches for her, the dad, the surviving child–how will they go on?

When Fia was a newborn, I, like many moms, was paranoid to leave her with anyone. A friend of mine said, “At some point, you just have to trust.” She was right. But stories like this leave you reeling. Questioning.

I can’t live my life in fear. But today’s nightmare is a stark reminder that it is only by the Grace of God, Go I. And all of us, for that matter.


Darkness picture courtesy of Shutterstock

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  1. by Jay

    On October 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    there was another similar heart rendering news yesterday – about a lil girl kidnapped and killed near Philly.

  2. by lizzylee83

    On October 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    This news story got to me more than most. I saw it last night right before bed and the horror of what I read had my stomach in knots. Makes me hug my kids even tighter than normal before letting them out of my sight. My prayers are going out to this family, I can’t even imagine the grief they are feeling. Everyone just remember to be extra thankful of the loved ones you have in your life, they are more precious than anything else.

  3. by Jane Write

    On October 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    First of all, I applaud you for trying to tackle a VERY difficult subject. I am a mother of 1 and a aunt of 3… But the parts that made me a bit uncomfortable about your post stem from not the horrific act (of which you speak), but when you try to insert the aspect of God into the situation.

  4. by heidi crowley

    On October 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    My husband and I read this story this morning, and I wish I could say I were a better person . But I am not, if I wasone of the responding personnel I would have tried waking that witch up and gave her the knife again and told her she couldn’t even kill her self properly. I would dig into the most darkest parts of me and talk that wicked woman into killing herself right in front of me. I have NO sympathy for those that hurt our children, murderers and pedophiles alike. As far as I understood it, it’s a secure building and the neighbor heard someone screaming ” what did you do? you slit her throat” why said neighbor did not go check this out is beyond me, but it seems this lady had split personalities. But not split enough to only nkill heslef she had to take 2 innocent lives with her and forever ruin a family.

  5. by Jennifer

    On October 26, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    I believe that the author is simply trying to respond to any “reasoning” someone may have for why this happened, that is why she brought God into it. I have heard many people ask why God allows something to happen and I think that the authorwas just givng a pre-emptive response. The article s obviously not about God, but about the horrific thing that this family has to go through. Why take one piece of it and make a huge deal about it?

  6. by C

    On October 27, 2012 at 10:04 am

    People say I’m paranoid because I’m not very trusting. My husband calls me a cynic. Says I should let go.
    I know things like this tragedy don’t happen daily, but they do happen. Forgive me if I continue to stay “paranoid” and “untrusting.”
    I don’t know why God “lets” some things happen. But maybe re-telling the story will stop it from happening to anyone else.
    Maybe someone will do one more check or one more interview. Knowlegde is power…use it for good.

  7. by Stephanie.Sprengee

    On October 27, 2012 at 10:20 am

    That was so beautifully written. What a difficult subject to try to capture…there have been too many child related tragedies lately.

  8. by bev

    On October 27, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    If you believe in a loving God, that is where you turn during such a horrific tragedy. We are not His puppets; He has given us free will and when it is misused, the circle of suffering is wide and deep. When my aunt and uncle lost their 4 little ones in a tragic accident, it was the prayers of people all over the world that allowed them to move on. My heart and my prayers join Jill’s and so many others who weep with the Krim family.

  9. by Jill Cordes

    On October 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Thank you all for your comments and compassion for the Krim family. I think no matter what “God” you believe in, we can all appreciate what Bev said: “it was the prayers of people all over the world that allowed them to move on.” I also heard a quote before that gave me comfort when my cousin recently died in a freak accident. It was to the effect of: “this tragedy wasn’t God’s doing or God’s will. In fact, God was the first to weep.” I am sending all the strength, comfort and healing I can to the Krim family.

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