I did not know James Kim. But if I play six degrees of separation, I have a number of connections to the man, as do many many other people in the Bay Area and around the world who did not know him personally.
My connection was Stella. My favorite Toy Fox Terrier lives on Haight Street in the middle of the block between Pierce and Scott, right next door to doe, a boutique owned by the Kims. I used to walk Stella every morning and I watched daily as the previous store in that location closed, and the renovations of the storefront took place for doe. I’ve seen Kati, James, and their older daughter at the store, smiled and said ‘Hi’ occasionally and that was it.
That’s my only connection. And not really a connection at all.
But as we all watched the news on television or read reports on the internet, we all somehow couldn’t help but pull the strings of recognition tighter. Hoping that they all would be found safe and sound, that they all would live. I breathed a sigh of relief when Kati and the girls were found and still I carried hope for James.
We all have missed connections in life. And those missed connections take us down other paths that will lead here or there. We might be found. Or we might be lost. What we are is exactly where we need to be at that moment in time. In hindsight it is possible to spend way too much time with the ‘if I or he or she only’s’. What we have to do is wrap our minds about what is.
I know I’ve written about my thoughts on death, that they don’t make me sad, that for those who are sick and suffering in this life, death may just be a joy. But for James Kim I can’t help but feel the loss of a bright light from the planet and the event of his passing has made me sad.
It was James’ day.