Hae’s Mother Speaks
I’ve meant to comment on Episode 9 of Serial for a while now. If you’re not familiar with the podcast, it’s a story told over the course of many weeks. The first story — the murder of Hae Min Lee and conviction of Adnan Syed — wrapped up more than a week ago. You can still listen to all the episodes online if you missed it.
Hae’s family is mostly absent from the story. They are mentioned from time to time, but in this episode, we finally hear some of Hae’s mother’s words. They affected me profoundly.
At minute 34:35 of the episode, Sarah Koenig states that Hae’s mother speaks:
She tells the court about a Korean proverb that says when parents die, they’re buried in the ground. But when a child dies, you bury the child in your heart. Quote: “When I die, when I die my daughter will die with me. As long as I live, my daughter is buried in my heart. I don’t know where to hear her voice, I don’t know where to touch her hand.”
It made me think of all the children buried inside the hearts of all the women in this community, their existence sometimes only known to one or two people on earth. The people we carry with us, tucked into the atria and ventricles, that breathe with us until we take our last breath.
A tiny twist on the idea that we die twice: once when our body stops and once the last time our name is spoken by someone alive.