Death in Cambodia

In a season of sad news building on sad news, got some more today: a former Sentinel reporter, Adam Harju, died earlier this week in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Adam either jumped or fell from the fifth floor of an apartment building. Horrifyingly, his body lay in the street for five hours, according to reports in Cambodia.

Adam worked for us for not quite a month about six months ago. We hired him after he returned to the U.S. from a previous stint in Cambodia.

He made one blog post after returning to Cambodia, about a month ago.

We hired him mainly because I remembered him as the editor of the daily paper in Kauai, Hawaii. I had considered taking the job there a few years ago but decided to turn it down — and Adam landed the position. So, when he called here in response to a blind ad looking for a reporter, his name struck a chord.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work out at the Sentinel for Adam, who covered Santa Cruz in October. We wished him well and parted, I felt, on good terms. I got a call a couple of months ago from the Kauai paper about him, then nothing, until the news came today.

Adam’s death comes a couple of weeks after the death of another friend in equally disturbing circumstances, along with a good friend of one of my daughters in a car accident, followed by the passing of  a lady whose courageous battle with cancer we had witnessed for more than a year.

And it’s been a year since I sat alongside my mother as she passed away.

And yet, despite the unceasing brokenness of this world, and the pain and loss, death is not the end.

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