We never want our children to suffer, but how do you come to terms with it when your child is the one who causes the suffering. Even more, how do you cope with never having seen it coming.
Sue Klebold writes about these issues in A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy.
In case you don’t recognize the name, Sue is the mother of Dylan Klebold. Dylan and his friend, Eric Harris, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 24 others before killing themselves on April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. Columbine was the first mass school shooting and remains the worst on record.
As a side note, Dave Cullen’s book, Columbine, is a worthwhile read on the tragedy.
I struggled with Sue Klebold’s book, not because I blame Sue or her former husband for what Dylan did, but because it seems Sue claims to want to blame no one, but seems to blame everyone. I especially was irritated with Sue’s diatribe about media and how reporters chose to cover Columbine. I certainly am not claiming everything was done right where press were concerned, but someone who feels victimized by the “blame the parents” mentality should not be so quick to adopt the “blame the media” one. Who is to blame for the Columbine shootings? Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. No one else.
That being written, it is important to note that both boys obviously had mental illnesses. It seems Eric had a personality disorder. Dylan, it now seems clear, suffered from depression, and Sue recognizes that his greatest intention that day was suicide.
Sue writes candidly about her grief, what she thinks about her son’s crimes and what she now knows she missed. I certainly don’t agree with everything Sue wrote in the book, but I feel compassion toward her for having written it and I am forever grateful that it’s not my story to tell.