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March 9, 2021

Mourning # 18

Mourning # 18


We could drink this whole bottle

of Mom’s best bourbon, but we’d

have to toast with every sip an’

I’m not sure we could think of

enough good things to say about

the old bat, and I have to pick up the kids from ballet.


After his divorce like twenty years ago

he lived alone and now he died

alone and old with the television on

when the neighbors called the cops

because of the smell. Evidently

he got sick and just surrendered to the pain and its relief.


The only person that she told was her brother

that her job caring for dying COVID patients

weighed on her so much that she’d almost 

rather die, neither took the remark seriously

but then she got pneumonia from the virus

and told her brother, just before she went into

the ICU that she never meant what she’d said

she was just tired and depressed and angry at the government.


Every story is a story.


---- Han Sim (Kim) Hildebrand grew up in

a fishing village on the island of Dura-Ri

in South Korea where she suffered from hunger

in her childhood. She was 4 feet 11 inches tall.

She married an American serviceman and moved

to Missouri. She had to learn English. She knew

no other Koreans in her new home. Her marriage

didn’t last. Her second marriage didn’t either.

Then she married Jim Hildebrand, who called her

“the mouse that could fight the lion.” They were

married for 32 years until her death from Covid.

They built a thriving vegetable business. 


Han Sim seemed to have beaten the coronavirus

after a two-month hospital stay. She was weaned off

the ventilator, she was in good spirits, smiling and

waving. The nurses said, “She’s like a Houdini, we

can’t believe how fast she’s come back.”


She was an inspiration and a model of strength

to her husband and children and everyone else

who knew her.