I’ve been dealing with some pretty heavy stuff lately. Those of you in Chicagoland may have heard about the two teenage boys who were shot to death by their mother last week, who then set their house on fire and shot herself. The younger of those two boys was a recent student of mine. He was a damn good kid. Always willing to help others, and funny as hell too. The world was a better place with him in it
The memorial service was yesterday. It was tough to confront going, and it was tough to sit through, but I sure am glad I went. It was a remarkably positive event. A true celebration of the boys lives. Several of their friends, many of whom I knew, stood up and spoke about how the boys had enriched their lives.
Their father was nothing short of an inspiration. For one thing, he was functioning. I mean, how in the hell do you survive that? How do you not just crumple in a ball and stay there forever? But there he was, clearly heartbroken, but functioning. He told great stories. He made jokes (it was clear that his son that I knew has gotten his sharp wit from him). He even managed to say nice things about the boys’ mother. It was incredible.
As for the backstory of what led to this tragedy? I don’t know it. I don’t think it’s any of my business, so I will not be trying to learn it. Reading between the lines of what the father said, it seems that mental illness was a huge factor.
At the end of the service, all I wanted to do was go home and hug my kids, so that’s what I did. Last night I took a very long scooter ride, to clear my mind.
Sometimes the world is a cruel and nonsensical place. We were lucky to have those boys in the world for the time that we did. Hopefully their life can remind us to be excellent to each other, and their death can remind us to be more vigilant of the mental health of our loved ones.
I plan to take another long ride tonight.
Thanks for letting me get that off of my chest.