Why the Krim Family's Tragedy Has Become Every Parent's Tragedy

Krim familyThere is something about the faces of 6-year-old Lucia Krim and her 2-year-old brother Leo that I am finding hard to shake. In the past two weeks, since the horrific story broke -- two young children allegedly murdered by their nanny on the Upper West Side of Manhattan -- I have found it hard to think about much else. Something about this crime crawled under my skin and is now sitting there, reminding me that every second with my children is precious.

This is not the first case that has done this to me. Certain cases -- like the Laci Peterson case back in 2003 -- just get to me in ways that others don't. Working at The Stir, I see a million awful things every day. Mothers who kill their kids in awful ways, fathers who beat and molest and maim their families. Terrible, horrific things happen every day. I know this.

But few cases bother me like the Krim one. It's not that I knew mother Marina Krim. But it's also not like I knew Laci Peterson. But in their smiles, I see something I do know. I see me. I see my friends.

I know the tragedy didn't happen to me. But it feels like it could have. And maybe that is where the fear comes in. Back in 2003, I was just like Laci Peterson. I was a 24-year-old engaged woman who believed my husband-to-be adored me. She was a bit older and pregnant, but she believed the same thing. Then her husband (Scott Peterson) murdered her and her unborn child.

If it could happen to a beautiful woman from a great family who had all the comforts of a good life, it could happen to anyone.

I don't know the Krims. I didn't know Laci Peterson. Most of you don't know Casey Anthony or Drew Peterson or any of these other cases that get under our collective skins. But there is something about them. Either the children look like ours (my kids really look like the Krims) or they remind you of something that could happen to you. And that's scary. No. Wait. It's downright terrifying. Because if it can happen to them -- the perfect, most happy family -- it can happen to us.

People complain a lot about "missing white girl syndrome," the rule by which all missing pretty college co-eds who are white gets loads of air time while missing minorities or poor people are barely a blip.

I understand why they complain. We aren't reporting the news. We are being rubberneckers, gawking at the ruins of someone else's life, thinking to ourselves: "I am so glad that's not me."

But it's more than that, too. It isn't that any one life is worth more than another. But it's true that certain cases get to people as a whole more than others. The Krim case, for instance, has been discussed to a nearly despicable degree on every tabloid site, baby listserv, and social media platform for the past few weeks. It's gruesome and shocking and most of us relate.

But it's also a way of appreciating what we have. The crueler truth is less that people feel sorry and more than they feel horrified and grateful that it wasn't them. There is something compellingly horrific about a relationship -- with a nanny or a husband or a daughter or a mother -- that seems to be one thing on the surface and is, in fact, something else entirely.

It makes us question our own lives. Maybe that is one thing we can learn from the Krim tragedy. Rather than gawk and obsess, maybe we can look at our own lives and try to examine what, if anything, we could do to have things be different for us. We could also donate to the foundation in their name and do things for children and help their brave parents.

Senseless tragedy is often the hardest to understand. When it happens to someone else -- someone who made a dumb decision or was a bad parent or lived in a bad neighborhood -- it's "easier" to dismiss. That's not right or good. It just is. Some cases get under our skin and stay there.

This awful, terrible, horrific Krim murder appears to be one of them. I will never forget it or what these poor parents are going through. It's beyond tragic.

Does this case obsess you, too?

 

Image via Wonderlane/Flickr

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Janna Sumner

I know the devastation of the sudden death of a loved one but I cannot begin to imagine how the Krims feel now. I can’t seem to find a place to put this because it is so random and the pain caused by it so immense and far reaching. I know that people are killed every day and the news is constant with images of death and destruction but this particular tragedy affects me in a way that is different because it came out of such ordinariness. It happened so suddenly on a day when everything seemed so…ordinary-a mom taking her child to swim class and home again to start dinner and talk about dance class and the other ordinary happenings of a typical day for the Krim family. It is so frightening because it shows us how life can change in the blink of an eye and how tragedy can come crashing down on us in the middle of such an ordinary day.

nonmember avatar Anna

I, too cannot get the krim family out of my mind. They were a beautiful family who loved each other so much and you could tell they were a happy family that wanted the best for their children. Their children were their lives. The pain that marina and Kevin are going through right now seems too much to bear. I can't imagine the pain they must be in . Their lives are shattered beyond belief. I hope and pray they get some peace and happiness in their lives and I hope the nanny burns in hell for what she did to this beautiful family

nonmember avatar Anna

I, too cannot get the krim family out of my mind. They were a beautiful family who loved each other so much and you could tell they were a happy family that wanted the best for their children. Their children were their lives. The pain that marina and Kevin are going through right now seems too much to bear. I can't imagine the pain they must be in . Their lives are shattered beyond belief. I hope and pray they get some peace and happiness in their lives and I hope the nanny burns in hell for what she did to this beautiful family

nonmember avatar Karen

Me too! Everything you said, so eloquently. I feel terrible for the Krim family, I am so heartbroken with and for them. Definitely has made me examine the people around me and my child a little closer. Praying that they will come through this horrendous tragedy.

nonmember avatar mamab

I truly hope that they somehow can find some kind of peace. It's such a sad, sad story. I look at the pictures and they are a genuinely happy family. One person tragically changed their entire future in such a horrific way. This story has kept me up at night and made me hug my children tighter. I've shed tears for the Krims and some how I feel connected to them as many people do. I do hope for them and their surviving daughter they can some how have some happiness in their lives.

nonmember avatar Sara

I too am affected deeply by this tragedy. Cannot put my figure on it, but I have shed tears looking at their pictures and dont want my mind to wander of how the Krims are feeling, because it is just horrible for them. It is just horrible how one day your whole world can come crashing down on you. The Krims looked liked great parents. They appreciated their kids, gave them great times and enjoyed life. I hope they are able to see joy in life one day. Even though I am not connected I have learned to hug my children tighter, listen to them more and appreciate every aspect of them more. I do pray for them everyday.

nonmember avatar Anna

I also wanted to say if the nanny had psychological problems why didn't she just kill herself? Why did she have to murder two innocent children in such a horrific way. And that she stabbed the little boy while sleeping. And poor lulu trying to defend herself. The krim family were so good to her and was giving her an hour more each day so she could make more money. She worked in a beautiful atmosphere. Who wouldn't want a job like that, she was lucky she had a job. The krim family were well off, highly educated and worked hard to build the beautiful life they had.and they deserved everything they had I am a grandmother of three precious girls and a boy similar in age to the krim children . I couldn't handle what happened to the krims. And I find it hard for tge drs helping the nanny live by doing surgery and putting her in a medically induced coma. Now that the nanny lives. She will have a trial and tge krims will have to go to court and relive this horror again and again. Life is so unfair and there just no way to explain the murder of these killings as just being pure evil. May god bless and protect the krim family and their two angels in heaven.

nonmember avatar Maria

There is nothing in this world to justify the killing of innocent children and destroying the lives of the krim family. This nanny was a psychopath and she is trying to justify herd envious, horrendous actions by saying she was underpaid, overworked and upset because mrs krim didn't say goodbye to her the night. before the murders. If your not happy with you job leave. Because the krims were such loving, kind people they couldn't see the evil in this woman and couldn't imagine her doing such a thing. They gave her a chance. They should have just fired her and let her go. But they didn't see it coming. It's not their fault. May god and their friends , family and people like us who share their pain help them through this terrible tragedy by praying for them

nonmember avatar Jennifer

I also cannot shake this - as a mother of 2 young children ages 3 yrs and 11 months - I was horrified by what the Krim's experience. I could not imagine being the mother clutching her only remaining child praying for the nightmare to end. I could also not imagine being the father stepping off a plane into the arms of the police leading him to his house. The family is forever destroyed. Years of therapy could not even begin to reset such as loss. My prayers are with them especially when I look into the eyes of my own children. I think this does tell you that you can never neglect signs of people in your families life who are unstable. Never. I know that I will always be looking at people twice.

Margarita Trevino

God help this parents.We as parents never want to hear or try to understand..we only want to know... Why Lord Why did you let this happen?

Have to have been in their place to understand that awful feeling.
I as one have lost a child.It's been some years now since I sat in Methodist Hospital for 7 days seeing my daughter on life support.
Yes I can relate to them.Although my baby was 26..she was still my baby.
Still to this day..I ask why?I've never gotten over this loss.. never have..never will till my dying day.
We blame God for what happen to our children ..no that's not so..We need faith
The only answer I can give to this parents is God had his reasons..I'm so sorry..

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