It is possible that the Lanza tragedy might not have happened had Dylan's mother Sue shared her insight about juvenile homicide/murder years earlier.
However, it took her 16 years to embrace the Columbine massacre and transcend the platitudes about why children kill other children - and themselves.
Regarding the latter, society needs insight about why college students such as at Columbia University are choosing suicide as the solution to their confusion and pain. Way back when the worst way we outliers self-destructed usually was by letting our grades slip or getting very drunk and being suspended or expelled.
Sue's book, which has an Introduction by Andrew Solomon, is "A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy." Here those in juvenile justice, mental health, education and parenting can order it from Amazon.
From the get-go, that is Solomon's analysis of the catastrophe, "A Mother's Reckoning" rules out many of the traditional explanations why juveniles make such dumb decisions.
About a year before that day of murder/suicide, Dylan and Eric had been involved in a theft. Obviously, the red flag was there for parents to do what it took to distance Dylan from Eric.
Well, the Klebolds tried that. They assumed it was working. And since then, Dylan seemed to be on the straight and narrow. Joyfully, it appeared, he had attended the prom and visited his first-choice college - the University of Arizona. Into his new life he wouldn't be carrying any police record of juvenile mischief. That was taken care of.
For Sue, the more critical red flags should include a subtle change in personality. About a week before Columbine, Dylan wasn't himself. His father Tom intended to press him until the truth was put out there.
The good news is that other parents have learned from this tragedy. One mother pressed her slightly withdrawn teenage daughter about what was going on. Eventually the "it" came tumbling out. The child had been raped when sneaking away from the house. She was planning suicide.
It seems that the suicidal mind is living in two of its own realities. One is the plan to end it all. The other is to live life in a normal fashion. Dylan participated fully in the rites of passage such as the prom and preparing for college.
Yes, what goes on in the interior life of a potential suicide is complex. Those who are determined to prevent that irreversible decision have to invest the time, energy and caring into connecting the dots on so many levels.
Suicide, of course, was a possibility for Sue and Tom. Tom alluded to it. As Sue was packing up her things when law enforcement secured her house, the SWAT team monitored her for any indication she might kill herself.
Among what has kept Sue alive is her love for Dylan. She will not allow those loud voices out there to push her to hate her son. Her memory bank is full of those moments of deep satisfaction from parenting.
Saving our children from hurting other children and themselves might boil down to not letting them off the hook. We have to keep pressing them until they let us in. That might also get a handle on bullying.
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