What goes on in the mind of a man that kills himself along with his two children?
When faced to a question without an answer, we disregard further thought and explain it with two words, “mental illness”.
I wasn’t catching all the reporter’s words because Ian had come from our church’s summer camp and he was talking to me about something his camp leader had asked him to bring tomorrow. So, I kept on asking my husband, “What did she say?”.
Carlos replied, “I’m not paying too much attention to the report.”
I knew he was trying not to get his head wrapped around the news clip, with thoughts about the two boys who perished with their dad. As a father he just can’t understand an atrocity like this.
Mental illness is blamed more too often for everything from mass shootings to callous murders. I’m not saying it isn’t the issue at hand, but there are preventive measures we can take to avoid these tragedies.
Carlos lost his job last year, a job he thought he would retire from and that brought an enormous emotional baggage he had to deal with. It has been hard on him and on our family, but we’re working at it. This man had also lost his job and was facing a tough reality in front of him. He took the easy way out.
Just looking at my seven-year-old, I felt heavy hearted just thinking about how innocent he is and how blindly he trusts us. Those two boys trusted their father the very same way.
I only can think about, what they asked him, if they were hungry or thirsty, or if they were asking him where their mommy was. Answers to these questions will remain unanswered to us.
When events like this happen, people have a hard time believing in anything. These events compromise humanity’s faith because there is the underlying question of, “Why did God let this happen?” “Where was God?” However, you can’t forget that as humans one of the endowments we possess is free will.
We make choices.
Today this man chose death over life.
Surpassing all the things that are categorized under mental health, we need to be vigilant of those who surround us.
This life has so many ups and downs, but one of the most beautiful things we can do for ourselves is develop creativity. Create new things when those we have get broken. Shifting paradigms and rewriting our lives with brand new scripts to tell a new story. This is the message we need to deliver to those we love and those we meet. A message of hope, so they can believe that things will get better.
It’s a difficult road to travel because sometimes people don’t want to listen to a message of hope or any kind of message. Nonetheless, we need to keep on trying and find the courage to confront someone we think may harm themselves or those they love.
So, next time we come across a situation we may easily categorize under “mental health” issues, let’s take a moment to readdress the situation with the mentality of what can I do to help this person and offer him, or her preventive self-care not only for their own safekeeping, but also for their family.
See you around the corner, and thanks for stopping by. And remember be kind to yourself and to others. Kindness my dear friends can go a very long way.