Jennifer Kollmer, 1971-2021

"No one will ever see the rock on which I stood."

No one will ever see the rock on which I stood. All my successes were hers; all my failures were mine.

Jennifer Kollmer, 50, passed away yesterday in San Francisco, leaving a husband of 47 and children of 10 and 13, nine years after her diagnosis with the hereditary cardiomyopathy (ARVC) which claimed her father at 31. In lieu of flowers or weird, inappropriate emails, Jen would appreciate a donation to Delancey Street (read about them here).

Here’s a poem I wrote for her a long time ago:

Cath Lab

The bust of Hippocrates.
The Cath Lab,
Terrifyingly sterile. “You
Can’t come this way! There are
Transplants here!” You, not
A transplant, propped up,
Reading a book, just a battery
In your chest. Not a solution.
We’ll be back. The kids,
Four and two. At 31
Your father went for a run.
At 30 they saw nothing in you.
At 41 you go for a run, and have
To sit down. That same day,
By pure puerile accident—
”Mommy’s heart broke.” I almost
Collapse myself. “You mean, Mommy’s
Father’s heart broke.” “Oh yes.”
A month to see the specialist, who
Opens the door and takes a deep breath.
She loves me, she loves me not! And
Two more coins, palmed another month;
Two serpents, recombined… ten
Floors down, Hippocrates
Is scrawled in mystic signs
By youths with perfect hearts.

Gray Mirror will return in May. Thanks to everyone for their patience and support.