Thursday, January 31, 2008
Former blogger and forever friend Izzy Lyman once warned me about installing a sitemeter because you become "obsessive" about visitors.
Over the last few days I could not help but notice many of them coming from the Chicago area via a Goggle search for "Jenny Kim," sometimes adding "Amherst College" oftentimes THAT term...the one that makes the word death redundant.
I had noted Amherst College was flying their vibrant, well-lit American flag at the top of Johnson Chapel overlooking downtown Amherst in a position of mourning to remember and honor Jenny Kim, a 22-year senior with a prosperous life awaiting suddenly, stunningly, by her own dominant hand, gone.
Growing up in Amherst I can remember when Umass Southwest High-rise dorms were once rolling open fields. And it wasn't long after they first scraped the sky before a troubled youth used the top floor of one or the other as a platform for certain death.
After a half-dozen fatalities Umass, finally, instituted security measures and the regrettable ritual stopped--or at least took on a different form.
I feel bad for Jenny; I feel bad for her friends and family; and I feel bad for invoking her name over this medium where anyone can instantly arrive from anywhere in the world after typing her name.
Hopefully flying the American flag at half-staff high over Amherst College brought them some comfort; if indeed, anything can bring comfort to those she left behind.
On THAT awful day, as dusk descended over a forever-changed New York City, three tired firefighters desperately looking for fallen comrades break to hoist a borrowed American flag over the debris. The photo captured and inspired our national resolve and I, for one, took some comfort there.
So for those of you who arrive here now looking for information about Jenny Kim, I'm sorry; I did not know her in her life, and I'm saddened that I only became aware of her in death.