Much to my surprise, this book was written by Sue Klebold, the mother of Dylan Klebold who was one of the two kids that caused the Columbine High School massacre. I believe Sue did an excellent job conveying her grief while being respectful to the others involved. I hope those that were injured, or lost a loved one feel the same. Sue's story really touched me as well because I have personally spoken with a mother whose son caused a college murder - suicide here in Indiana.
If you're one to sit back and judge a family like the Klebold's, I highly suggest reading Sue's book. Dylan wasn't a kid who grew up in an abusive home, lacked food or shelter, or love. In fact, he grew up with the complete opposite. His parents were also very anti-gun. What bothered me the most reading her story is that she had NO idea what Dylan was feeling or planning until six months after the incident when the police finally walked her through what Dylan and his friend had done. They also released Dylan's journals and videos he had made with his friend. She had no idea he was depressed and struggling with bullying at school. He had friends and participated in sports, and just three days prior to the massacre, he had gone to prom. His irritability and lack of communication was chalked up to him being a teenage boy. In fact, reading some of her stories, I related to him as a teenager. Teenagers are moody and are experiencing a million different hormones. I, too, would have just thought he was being a typical teenager. After hearing the details of Dylan's plan prior to the actual massacre, Sue and her husband, Tom found out that at least once, Dylan had weapons in their house.
My point to this blog is that I relate it to the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why in that you never know what people are going through -- even when they are your kids. I have been a huge advocate of the series 13 Reasons Why. I don't think it glamorizes suicide at all. I think it is an honest depiction of what bullying can lead to. I think it can show anyone (including me who graduated high school 19 years ago what an asshole I probably was in school) what bullying can do to someone. Even the smallest words or actions can affect someone deeply. What Sue's book did change my mind about is this.
In 13 Reasons Why, Hannah is shown buying the razor blades she will use to slit her wrists and then Hannah is shown slitting her wrists and dying in a tub full of water. Because I am not eductated on this topic, Sue's book provided me with knowledge and information on what i did not realize could be very dangerous to some watching. She states that:
"We know, without a doubt, that exposure to suicide or suicidal behavior can influence other vulnerable people to make an attempt. Over fifty studies worldwide have powerfully connected news coverage of suicides to an increased incidence of similar, or copycat suicides."
It makes sense, right? How many copycats have there been with serial killers? This blew me away. It really made me think that if showing Hannah's suicide would prompt others to copy what she had done, then showing it was a mistake. Hannah's suicide was not by any means original. In fact, it was very unoriginal. Perhaps showing Hannah's suicide is just what that vulnerable person watching needed to see to move forward with their thought of suicide.
I hope Sue's book brings awareness to these incidents that our Country continues to endure and to suicide.
On April 20, 1999, 15 people lost their lives. 12 students and one teacher by murder, and two boys by suicide.