When the Columbine massacre occurred in April of 1999, I recall judging the parents. After all, there had to have been some extremely obvious signs for their sons to be able to do something like this. Or, they were so disengaged in their lives they were just plain oblivious. If nothing else was accomplished (and there definitely is more), this book has changed my outlook. I’ll never, ever again “assume” anything close to this kind of thinking or judge.
I was most interested in hearing from the parents of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris and always wondered why they maintained their silence. Sue Klebold bravely tells her story and explains why, making no excuses and proving that she used her time wisely in gaining valuable insights over the last 17 years. In retrospect, I’m glad she waited this long to tell her story as it will undoubtably help other parents of teenagers to recognize troubling signs in their children in time to avoid potential disastrous outcomes.
It never occurred to me to think of Dylan Klebold as a victim of suicide, let alone a victim of anything. I never really understood why he chose the path he took but made a lot of assumptions based on the media coverage. Sue Klebold provides incredible insight about her son and the events in his life that led to that awful last day. She also lets us inside of her own life, holding nothing back, sharing the perspective of a parent’s trauma when their child commits murder on this scale. The destruction of that child’s family as a consequence of their actions wasn’t something I’d thought much about but should have. Shame on me because they’ve two tragedies to contend with: the guilt and sorrow for the innocent lives taken and for the loss of a child they loved.
I’m really, really glad Sue Klebold wrote this story and I got the privilege of listening to the book, hearing her tell it in her own voice. She’s not a professional narrator, which made the experience even more powerful as I heard her genuine pain, suffering and sadness. This book is a must read for allparents, no matter the age of the child. No one saw any obvious signs in Dylan’s behavior to even imagine him ending his life, let alone the way he chose to do so. You don’t know what you don’t know and Sue provides a primer for parents to have a fighting chance to save a child that outwardly doesn’t seem to need help.
This was an outstanding story.