The busy young lives of Leo and Lucia Krim, as documented by their mother, Marina, on her dotingly detailed blog, seemed lifted from someone’s imagined idyllic New York childhood. Here was a photograph of Leo, 2, standing in his sneakers on a park bench on the High Line. Here was one of Lucia, 6, conked out on the couch, her eyes composedly closed and her small hands pressed against her lips.
But after the events of Thursday afternoon when Ms. Krim returned to her apartment on the Upper West Side and found her children dead in a bathtub, their nanny unconscious on the bathroom floor and holding a bloody knife, the online diary, in which she had been chronicling her family’s life, turned into something different, something darker.
What had once been a quiet celebration of ordinary moments and a parent’s glimpsed details had now become a kind of public memorial, a document containing proof of an almost unimaginable loss.
“Leo speaks in the most adorable way possible,” Ms. Krim wrote on Thursday at 2:33 p.m., only hours before she came back to her building on West 75th Street and made her staggering discovery. “Firstly, he speaks super clearly, so you can understand every word he is saying. And he does things like, “(I) want a fresh bagel” and “Dito (what he calls himself) wants cold milk.”
To read these words and to see the images with them is to feel oneself intruding on another family’s most intimate personal moments — weekend field trips, bedroom playtime, snack hour at a hot-dog stand — and, of course, to experience the awkward mix of shame and fascination that such intrusion brings. The blog, littlemisslucia.livejournal.com, was taken down on Thursday night, in part, one imagines, for privacy reasons, but perhaps as well because it was quickly overwhelmed by hundreds of messages from strangers expressing their condolences and grief to Ms. Krim; her husband, Kevin; and their third child, Nessie.
“Thoughts and Prayers to your family and to the two sweet angels in heaven…” someone wrote.
“It’s with deep sadness that I discover this horrific news,” wrote someone else. “May you receive all the support from your family and friends to cope with this uncopable loss.”
Ms. Krim’s blog is not the first to have uncomfortably emerged into the public eye after — or rather, because of — a public tragedy. Earlier this year, a blog by Karilyn Bales, the wife of Sgt. Robert Bales, accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers while serving with the Army, was discovered in the midst of her husband’s case. In the blog, simply titled, “The Bales Family,” Ms. Bales described the private joys and disappointments of her family life: the call she got from her husband while she was giving birth to their first daughter; Sgt. Bales’ professional frustration at not getting promoted to sergeant first class.
Elisa Camahort Page, the co-founder of Blogher, a network for women bloggers, said that Ms. Krim would most likely find it difficult to return to her blog at first, but that the journal may eventually comfort her by offering what she called “a Document of Before.”
“Everything is going to be measured as either before or after,” Ms. Camahort Page said. “I can’t imagine when it won’t be incredibly painful to look at, but hopefully it will possible to reach a place of being thankful that there’s a record with pictures and stories and memories.”
The pictures and stories on Ms. Krim’s blog now near bear the weight of a new and terrible meaning.
Above a photo of Lucia punching numbers into the keyboard of a pay phone on the street, Ms. Krim wrote: “…every phone booth on Broadway…She stopped to make a call. Fun times!!”
Above another of her children and her husband at a farm upstate: “”We went out to Ghent a few weeks ago, to pick some eggs…Mmmmmmmmmmm!”
She even wrote about her nanny, Yoselyn Ortega, 50, who remained in the hospital on Friday with an apparently self-inflicted slash wound to her throat, as an investigation slowly moved forward.
“We spent the past 9 days in the Dominican Republic,” Ms. Krim wrote. “We spent half the time at our nanny, Josie’s sisters home in Santiago. We met Josie’s amazing familia!!! And the Dominican Republic is a wonderful country!! More pics to come!!”
Then there was this about her son:
“One of the best parts of my day is after I drop both girls off at school and have 3 precious hours with little Lito all to myself. Ok, I’m near getting cheesy I adore this boy so much!!”