WHEN CONFRONTED WITH UNSPEAKABLE TRAGEDY

Last night’s tragedy is palpable today on the streets. Upper West Siders are walking around in a daze. I’ve heard from numerous people who say they are “paralyzed” by the news that two children were killed last night in their apartment at the La Rochelle on West 75th Street and their nanny was arrested for the crime. Dozens of people, some from the media but certainly not all, are hanging around the La Rochelle, staring at a growing memorial to the children, two-year-old Leo Krim and 6-year-old Lucia Krim.

Lucia was a student at PS 87 on 78th Street. Rebecca Levey, head of the PTA there, wrote a column about the tragedy on her blog Beccarama. We’ve reprinted a portion of it here with her permission:

“As a parent, what happened is beyond comprehension, and when I found out last night that this was a family in our school it made it that much more real.  This wasn’t a head line, this was something that happened in our community.  It’s hard for people to understand that in a huge city like New York small ties bind residents, and nowhere is that more true than at school.  As we gear up for the first big fundraiser of the year, a huge festival of Halloween fun for families that relies on over 200 volunteers to make happen, there is now an unmistakable sadness that will permeate this kid-centric event. And most likely we will be having discussions today as to whether or not to even hold the event.

When I told my daughters about the tragedy I wasn’t sure how they would process the news.  They are ten, the “seniors” of their elementary school.  They feel protective of the younger students, take huge delight in having kindergarten book buddies that they read to once a week, and take pride in having new responsibilities as 5th graders.  What happened yesterday goes against everything a child is taught – that their parents would only leave with them in safe hands, that your home is a place of security.

But, at ten they are old enough to start to understand that random and sometimes horrible things do happen.  That you have to be grateful for the good, and not take your loved ones for granted.  It’s not an easy lesson to learn for anyone, let alone kids.  As a parent I can’t begin to imagine how those parents will recover from the horrible loss of two of their children.  And, as a mom I struggle with how to explain the unexplainable, but also know that now that my daughters are on the verge of middle school their awareness of the random cruelty and violence in the world around them is only going to increase.”

To read the entire column, click here. More memorial photos below (click to enlarge).

Photos by Avi.

NEWS | 2 comments | permalink
    1. Christine says:

      correction: PS 87 on 78th Street