Did you see Sue Klebold on ABC’s 20/20 last Friday? I watched it twice.
I can’t imagine the heartbreak this woman has had to endure the last seventeen years.
It was riveting for me, listening to evidence about Dylan Klebold’s state of mind that, I must admit, I’ve never read or heard before. Frankly, seventeen years ago, I was distracted by trying to figure out why Tim wasn’t speaking and was having unexplained rages. I didn’t have any idea about childhood mental illness back then. I never would have associated it with Klebold.
But now, seeing Dylan’s diary, seeing the timeline of his behavior changes, hearing what he said to his mother on the video tape he created with Eric Harris in the days before their spree, I get it. I get Dylan, anyway. This young man wasn’t homicidal. He was suicidally depressed, for a long time. He was loyal to a friend, even though the friend was arguably a sociopath. Columbine may have been Klebold’s way of ensuring the end of his own life while helping the only friend who had been loyal to him – Harris. Dylan told his mother, via the video, that he was going to a better place.
“…maybe going NBK…with Eric is a way to break free. I hide this…Love you”
Those aren’t the words of a young man who wanted to kill. Those are the words of a young man who wanted to die.
Sue Klebold is a parent like us. And she’s trying to prevent someone else from losing their child the way she lost hers and the parents of the Columbine victims lost theirs. Today, her book, A Mother’s Reckoning, will be released. All the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to mental health causes to help recognize, diagnose, and treat teens and young adults with depression and other mental illnesses.
I’m in awe of the strength she has to publicly open this important national dialogue. We all need to be as courageous as Sue Klebold has been and continues to be. We need to push our media and our politicians to keep the discussion in the forefront until there are services and solutions.
We need to thank Sue Klebold for turning her shame and sorrow into action.