The weeks after the murder of her two children involved terrifying flashbacks and numerous visits to the police and psychiatrist.
But soon, Marina Krim also began noticing “some magical things” happening around her that connected her to her lost loved ones.
In an inspiring new essay, Krim opens up about the grief she felt in the days following the loss of her 6-year-old daughter, Lulu, and 20-month-old son, Leo.
The two children were stabbed to death in October 2012 inside their Upper West Side apartment, allegedly by their nanny, Yoselyn Ortega.
Krim discovered her children’s bodies after returning home from a swimming lesson with her daughter Nessie, then 3. Ortega is currently awaiting trial.
Shortly after her children's death, Krim began making small discoveries that helped her through the overwhelming despair.
“I noticed a piece of street art on a construction site — a stencil of a young boy holding a sign filled with colorful hearts. I instantly connected him to Leo,” she wrote in an essay on Option B, a website about coping with loss and adversity launched by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
She started noticing “other connections.” Walking along the beach, she heard the theme song from the "Peanuts" cartoon blasting from a nearby house. The song was a family favorite that played at her children's funeral.
“I felt that maybe the universe was trying to tell me something, that it was helping me to realize that there was a beautiful ‘new’ relationship waiting to be developed with Lulu and Leo,” Krim wrote.
She described how she began to look for ways to include remembrances of her children into her life. She came up with one idea on the first Mother’s Day after their death.
“On our last vacation together, Lulu and I had collected dozens of large sand dollars from the beach. I spent this Mother’s Day hanging up those sand dollars for display on an empty wall in our apartment,” Krim said.
“It was a simple way to express myself, feel present, and connect with Lulu and Leo on a really tough day.”
Krim and her husband, Kevin, a former senior vice president of CNBC Digital, have since had two more children, and launched the Lulu & Leo Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for children's education and enrichment programs.
In his own Option B essay, Kevin Krim called the foundation "an act of positive defiance."
"Marina and I shared the creative impulse to do something constructive in the face of the destructive effects of violence," he wrote. "We started the Lulu & Leo Fund in those early days to honor their creative, too-brief lives."
To read the Krims' full essays, visit OptionB.org.
The site is tied to Sandberg's new book, "Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy," which shares the steps Sandberg took to recover from the unexpected death of her husband two years ago.