It’s been heart-wrenching to follow the ups and downs of the James and Kati Kim family, who disappeared shortly after Thanksgiving and were missing for over a week before being found in the Oregon wilderness. While the sad story got a happy lift earlier this week with the discovery of Kati and the two children alive, James’s story came to an unhappy conclusion today when rescue workers found him, defeated by the woods he had gotten lost in.
It’s easy for me to empathize with James and his family, because he was “a lot like me” in some superficial but emotionally connective ways. He worked in the tech industry. In San Francisco. In a building across the street from where I used to work. With a lot of people who I know directly or indirectly. It was easy to envision myself driving along that mountain road and somehow letting one thing lead to another until the situation was dire. And that’s just too sad for words.
I was really hoping for a miracle.
It makes me appreciate the fragility of life, renews my respect for the wilderness, and encourages me to stop taking my own life for granted. And I want those near to me to keep living. Please.
More than that, James helps remind me how important everybody’s life is. Here’s a man I did not know, but whose story compelled me to hope beyond hope that he’d be found alive. All because the news stories and circumstances of his life made it easy for me to relate to him. Really easy. So I add my own condolences to the waves of concern for the Kim family, and hope in vain that nobody else dies before their time, at least for a while.