HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – It’s been 20 years since two high school boys killed 13 classmates and themselves at Columbine High School.
The event had far-reaching effects on the entire country and on countless lives. But before they were killers, they were simply somebody’s sons.
The world knows him as a monster. Sue Klebold knows him as “Dyl.”
“Some lady just told me at a funeral I went to the other day that [Dylan] was the boy who kept picking up her son — who had cerebral palsy — when he fell down. So, he did good things. He had a good heart, but something went wrong,” she said.
Something had gone very wrong. Sue would later find out that Dylan was suicidal as early as two years before Columbine.
“I was analyzing my own son’s involvement, and I realized that his own suicidality played a part in his taking part of an event such as this,” she said.
She knows Dylan’s case is rare and most people who are suicidal aren’t violent, but his tortured thoughts are all too common.
“Probably your chances of that happening are one in millions, but what we don’t realize is those around us might be suffering,” Sue Klebold said.
Suffering is something Sue has done plenty of in the last 20 years, but it’s no longer in silence. She wrote a book, “A Mother’s Reckoning,” and has toured the country stressing the importance of making mental health a priority.
She wants people to not focus so much on the “why” when it comes to massacres but more on the “how.”
“What is deteriorating, what is not working for that person so that they lose their access to their own tools of self-governance, morality, control,” Sue Klebold asked.
She said her biggest regret is “not shutting up and listening” to her son. She said when people tell you they’re hurting, a simple “tell me more” can make all the difference.
“Those are the people we really need to pay attention to because there is time to help them before they get to a sort of stage four condition,” Sue Klebold said.