Help my friend Kim’s family

Kimberly Scozzafava Salmon

Kim and me at New Milford High School’s Class of 1989 20th Reunion, 2009.

Jim Morrison wrote that “Death makes angels of us all and gives us wings where we had shoulders smooth as raven’s claws.” What he meant was that when someone dies, that person suddenly becomes a saint. Maybe it’s the old superstition that it’s not wise to speak ill of the dead, or maybe it’s just that those who loved that person didn’t care about his or her faults. I, for one, expect whoever’s left when I’m dead to get up and tell the truth. If you say “I loved life” and was “the sweetest person who ever lived” I will haunt you.

That said, one of my high school classmates, Kimberly (Scozzafava) Salmon, passed away yesterday. I didn’t know her as well as many others did, but I can honestly say she WAS one of those people who should be remembered as someone who loved her life—even though she faced more incomprehensible, massive struggles than most people I know—and truly was one of the sweetest people who ever lived.

Every time I saw a Facebook post in which she was facing a new challenge, she was positive and cheerful. And yeah—you can say all you want about how we “curate” ourselves online, but that just wasn’t the case with her. That kind of fake curating you can see in a person’s eyes if you look hard enough. Her eyes were never sad or angry in those photos. Her eyes, no matter what, even in hospital pictures, were full of mischievous spirit, a rare joy. She impressed me, and it was always a reminder that I have absolutely nothing to bitch about. Anytime I needed a good wake-up call because I was whining about something lame—particularly a minor health issue—I went over to her page and was given my lesson on grace, dignity, and gratitude.

My only regret is that I didn’t really get to know her better, but I did know her well enough to understand that she really was grateful for her life. She loved her children, she was thrilled to be a grandmother, and she loved people. She loved being with people. Genuinely. And after one minute in her presence, you were no longer a stranger—you were loved.

She is now at peace in heaven, but her sons have indicated there is no money for a funeral—let alone laying her to rest in a pink casket, which was one of her last wishes. If that’s what she wanted, then that’s what she should have. If any of my readers, on this Easter weekend, feels called to help, here is the GoFundMe page: https://gofund.me/6f43d9a6

Thanks, Kim. I’ll raise a glass with you again when I get to the other side.

 

Kimberly Scozzafava Salmon

About kristipetersenschoonover

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies; her traditionally published books include a short story collection, THE SHADOWS BEHIND. She was the recipient of three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She serves as co-host of the DARK DISCUSSIONS podcast, as founding editor of the dark literary journal 34 ORCHARD, and is a member of both the New England Horror Writers and the Horror Writers Association. Follow her adventures at kristipetersenschoonover.com.

Posted on April 16, 2022, in News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I think a pink casket is a very nice project for the family. Your admiration of Kim is shining through. Off to visit the GoFundMe site…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: