"There was just nothing left to pump," Dr. [Stephan G.] Lynn recalled in an interview. "There was so much damage to the major blood vessels leading from the heart" that his blood just leaked out....I remember hearing the news on the radio the next morning. I heard the news today, oh boy...
"The bullets were amazingly well-placed," he said. "All the major blood vessels leaving the heart were a mush, and there was no way to fix it."
I usually listen to a little news on the radio before getting out of bed. I guess I've done that for a long, long time, because I can remember turning on the radio in 1968 and hearing that Bobby Kennedy had been shot to death.
On the day I heard that John had died, I was a law student at NYU. I remember dragging myself in to the law review office and expecting everyone there to be crying and talking about it, but no one was saying anything at all. I never felt so alienated from my fellow law students as I did on that day. I was insecure enough to feel that I was being childish to be so caught up in the story of the death of a celebrity long past his prime. I didn't even take the train uptown to go stand in the crowd that I knew had gathered outside the Dakota. What did I do? I can't remember. I probably buried myself in work on a law review article.
Back in 1968, all my friends were crying and talking about Bobby's death. When Bobby's coffin was on public view in St. Patrick's Cathedral, we got in my car and drove in to New York City (from Wayne, New Jersey) and waited in the long line to file past. I remember the feeling of being around the other mourners and how extremely kind I thought it was when office workers brought us cups of water from inside their building. In the end, we teenagers started worrying that our parents would get upset, wondering where we were, and we left the line we'd waited in for hours.
How I regret not going uptown to be among the people who openly mourned John Lennon! How foolish I was to think I was foolish to care and to put my effort into blending in with the law review editors who, I imagined, were behaving in a way I needed to learn!
I was especially sensitive about fitting in, because I was six months pregnant with my first child, and I worried that this experience was tearing me away from the career I had spent the last two and a half years studying to begin. I was 29 years old, older than most of the other law students. I doubted any of them had studied fine arts, my undergraduate major. With my age, my art school background, and my pregnancy, I was imposter, constantly threatened with exposure. I couldn't walk out on these people and go be with the mourners. I only watched the mourners on television and felt doubly sad.
On St. Patrick's Day, my baby was born. I named him John.