I’ve not yet read the piece, but understand from news accounts that Klebold writes that she had no idea of the mental anguish her son was enduring-psychiatrists analyzing his journals later concluded that he was suicidal and depressed-and that she still, more than 10 years after the murders, cannot look at children without getting upset.
One of the essay’s most haunting sections describes Klebold’s memories of her son’s last day on earth, how she wondered why he was leaving early for school, and how he left with a single word: “Bye.”
I imagine that other parents of teenagers will relate to the tangle of thoughts Klebold relates on the morning that it turned out would unalterably change her life and the lives of so many people-not quite understanding the reason for her son’s behavior, but not wanting to push him on it so that he got off to a conflict-free start.
I wrote about the book earlier in the year, and the bestselling work is noteworthy for its argument that Klebold and Eric Harris, the other murderer, were not bullied victims. Far from it. Rather, Harris was a psyschopath, while Klebold was, as his mother writes, indeed suicidal and depressed.
Cullen also witheringly exposes the inadequacy of the responses by adults involved with the children and local authorities to the emergency, writing poignantly about several of the people who died unnecessarily.
Klebold’s courage in writing this essay is to be commended. Cullen’s book provides a remarkably detailed and unflinching look from many perspectives at the largest school shooting in American history.