A Mother’s Reckoning

By Sue Klebold

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After hearing Sue Klebold being interviewed on Radio 4 I knew that this was a book which would leap-frog the statuesque pile of others currently seeking residing rights next to my side of the bed and deserve to be read more than soon-ish…and dear readers it has been and I’m very glad I did.

Not glad in a happy ecstatic way, rather in a learning understanding way.

You see, Sue Klebold is the mother of one of the boys whom killed and then killed himself at Columbine High School in 1999. So it’s tragic, horribly tragic, but also important to read, for it tells of a son loved and mourned; a family coming to terms with its loss and the hideous loss of others by their child’s hand; the responsibility and guilt they carry; but perhaps most importantly – it’s not scared to broach the subject of depression and how someone you thought was in a good state, was suffering…silently…and you the parent had absolutely no idea of the extent of their suffering and how desperate they were to escape and shut out the pain.

Klebold doesn’t shy away from the facts or attempt to paint her son Dylan as an angel, instead she wants us all to learn from this horrific incident. She wants to broaden awareness and help others spot the issues and anxieties our fellow humans may feel and experience, and give support or find support for those in need.

Klebold also forced me to re-evaluate.

I’ll admit it, I’m pretty quick to blame the parents in all cases of a child/teenager behaving less than virtuously, however post reading this, I’m quickly realising that even with a home life full of love, encouragement, boundaries and normality, things can go dreadfully wrong.

Additionally, Klebold has taught me a valuable lesson. Next time the youngest member of Team Family provides me with above average levels of unkindness, instead of shutting it down with an equally unfriendly retort, I’ll be calm, state that I find his words not the best and give him a large, long hug.