None of us is immune. Each of us can lie awake in the night wondering:
“Could this happen to me?”
“Will my child die needlessly?”
“Is my child a killer?”
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. My deepest wish is for comfort and nurturing for the Holmes family. My concern is for a world in which there are now more people injured and dead due to random violence and another family is ripped open by that violence having erupted from within its circle.
The immensity of the tragedy is played out on a small scale with each and every one of us every day. Some small transgression by our son or daughter may cause us to wonder. Is he normal? Is she depressed? Was that an appropriate response?
We can blame the violence on television. We can fault the virtual reality of countless video games that allow children to kill people without consequence. We can, once again, get on the bandwagon about the control of guns or the censoring of material on the internet.
What we can’t do is be assured that who we are, who we love and how we love is sufficient to protect our children from the world and the world from our children.
How could he have done that? Why would he do that? What was he missing? Where could an intervention have begun?
We ask these questions daily or weekly in our own families. We watch with concern when our child hits, bites, or isolates. We do our best to foretell and forestall problems in the lives of those we love.
And it doesn’t always work.
Sometimes we did the wrong things. Sometimes we did nothing.
Not all of us have paid such a huge price.
And so I am hoping that when every member of James Holmes’ family reaches the end of denial and shock; that they are able to soothe themselves with some assurance that we cannot know what is in the heart of those we love. We cannot hear all of the deepest secrets. We cannot foresee and block all of the paths that will lead our children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters in the direction of mayhem.
I am hoping that their friends support them in loving their child even though they cannot love the action that he has taken.
And I’m hoping that I can keep my heart open and unafraid.