Book Report: A Mother’s Reckoning

Meadow Green Columbine Mountains Purple Wallpaper Mountain 1920x1080

From the book jacket:

“In A Mother’s Reckoning, Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy, she [Sue Klebold] chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible.”

If I had to sum up this book in one sentence, that would be it.

Columbine. No longer is it merely the state flower of Colorado. It is the name of the high school where unspeakable tragedy took place. You hear that word, and you know what’s coming next. Columbine has become the standard against which the latest mass shooting tragedy, especially if it happens in a school, is measured. To a few disenfranchised youth, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold are heroes.

Sue Klebold, mother of Dylan, has spent the years since April 20, 1999 trying to understand. A Mother’s Reckoning takes you on the journey with her as she has wrestled with the question, how did she, how could she, not have known what was going on with Dylan.

Incredibly sad, incredibly moving, I wanted to reach through the pages of the book and hold her hand as she told her story. The first chapter begins at 12:05 p.m. on April 20, 1999 with a phone message from her husband telling her to call him immediately, it’s an emergency. There were so many passages that made me cry. She describes the anguish she and her husband, and Dylan’s brother go through in the immediate aftermath and the months and years that follow.

Everybody should read this book. If you think that something like this could not, would not happen to your own family, you should read it. Her message to the world is that it is possible to not know your own children. It is possible to miss signs of mental illness (or brain illness, her term in the book).

I know this is not so much of a review, as a “go read this book” message. Sue Klebold is now a passionate advocate for mental health and suicide awareness and intervention. I had the pleasure of meeting her at a conference for long-term survivors of suicide loss this past September and her strength and resilience are palpable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s