Monday, October 16, 2017

Book Review: Columbine

A Mother's Reckoning by Sue Klebold -- This book was hard to read. Gut-wrenching. The author is the mother of one of the Columbine High School shooters. Her son killed several people and then killed himself. From that day forward, she has had terrible horror to live with. In the excruciating years after Columbine, she has lived in constant grief, sorrow, and fear. She studied the signs, symptoms and treatment of depression and other mental illnesses. She researched the connection between mental illness and violence as well as the roots and causes of violence itself. (It is only a tiny percentage of people with mental illness who perpetrate violence.) She works to learn as much as she can about suicide, its causes, and ways to help prevent it.

The book, I think, was her attempt to understand what her son did and to reveal the self-examination she has done in the ensuing years. She continues to feel intense remorse over what he did and continues to love and miss him as her beloved son. This is a gut-wrenching journey she was forced to walk.

I appreciate learning about her experiences and what she wants to share with the world (her current work in the area of suicide prevention). I have thought of her many times over the years, as I knew she would be grieving the loss of her son along with all the other families who were victims. But she had the added shock of being the mother of a perpetrator.

Her information about suicide prevention is important and is a topic we all need to learn more about and discuss more openly.

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