Thursday, April 12, 2012

RIP Ms. Kay

On Tuesday I found out that an English teacher from my high school had been beaten to death by her son Henry, and it has affected me more than I would have thought possible.  I cannot stop thinking about it.  I am lucky enough that I don't know many people who have died, but I specifically don't know many people who have died violently. The newspaper reports have been extremely graphic about what happened to her and the defense seems to be that Henry had a manic episode brought on as an unfortunate side effect from epilepsy medication.  I don't know if any of what has been reported is true and I am trying to remain objective, but I am disturbed regardless.  The fact that she had been murdered was scary enough, but on top of that she was murdered by her son, someone I know, albeit not well.

After I found out, I called my dad.  I just wanted to talk to a parent, partially to get an objective perspective on the event and partially to make sure they were okay.  When I started explaining what had happened I started crying.  I was freaked and I still am!  These were people I know!  People I could relate to!  I only had Ms. Kay as a teacher for a few days in junior year before the administration changed my schedule.  I remember her as being petite, enthusiastic, and somewhat intimidating.  Though I never had the full teacher experience with her, we all knew who she was.  She helped some of my really good friends put together a literary magazine, which I contributed illustrations to.  And she always walked down the halls looking somewhat out of place (she dressed a bit provocatively for her age).  She was a well liked teacher.  My friends and I met her son Henry one night at a restaurant on New Years Eve. We bonded over the fact that we were LaGuardia students and his mom was a LaGuardia faculty member.  We celebrated this fact with sake bombs and a series of photographs of us looking awkward and drunk.  And my first thought after the initial "HOLY SHIT!" was "Oh my god, I'm in a photo with a murderer."  It's a weird thought to have but it was there, and I think it solidifies the reason why I am so freaked out about what happened.  Henry was a nice young guy.  He was just like me.  What happened to Ms. Kay is horrible, and while I was originally freaked out by the fact that she had been murdered, the thing that is haunting me most now is Henry and how he must be dealing with everything.

I can't help but consistently put myself in his shoes.  If what they say happened really happened, then he must be so confused.  The defense has claimed that he has no memory of the incident and only realized what he had done after the fact.  If I were him I would be terrified and suicidal.  I keep getting flashes of 'Law & Order' style interrogations and arraignments and it makes me so sad.  There are photos of him online in court trying so hard not to cry and they kind of break my heart.  I can imagine it would be one thing to kill someone but a completely different thing to kill your own mother. And on top of that I keep thinking of how strange it must have been for Ms. Kay in her last moments, knowing that her son was hurting her and responsible for her death.  When she gave birth to him she probably never suspected that that person was going to be responsible for her demise.  And it makes me think of how scary it is that death can really be so unexpected and horrible.  The overall feeling I have is just immense sadness and my thoughts go out to everyone immediately affected by this tragedy, his family, the LaGuardia community etc.

I hope that things end up for the best, though I don't know how they possibly could in a situation such as this. 

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