By Mark David Blum, Esq.
Of late, there has been a rash of family annihilations. Parents, especially fathers, are killing their families and then themselves. I recall one tale where a father threw his two children out of a window before jumping himself. All three died. The horror of that incident gripped me instantly and has not left me since. I cannot even imagine what could have been going through this man’s mind to prompt him to throw his two pajama-clad sons 15 stories to their deaths.
I am no fan of children. Often are the times I fantasize about a Homer Simpson death grip around my own kid’s throat. I often dream of how much money I could get from the White Slave market if I sold my kid. Many are the debates I have with myself about how old I would be when I got out of prison if I were to kill her today. But these are just fantasies; sorta.
The reality is that I have slept on the floor so my kid could have a bed. I have gone hungry so she could eat. I have lost and suffered so she would not feel pain or miss out on a chance at happiness. These things I do willingly; gladly. A single tear from her eye can rip out my heart. The smallest of her smiles will melt away the pain of a thousand injuries.
So here I ponder what drives a parent to slaughter his children. Did he feel if his marriage was ending, his children would be happier dead than in a broken home? Is it the financial pressures of losing all value of a 401K or losing a job?
Many have been the times I wished someone had thrown me out of a window rather than let me live the life I did. Perhaps had I been splattered on a sidewalk before my tenth year of life, I could have been spared the years of pain, the deep vast emptiness that comes from a parentless youth, and the life long search for peace and a sense of “home”. Had someone just given my tender young body a quick chuck out a high rise window, there never would have been all the people I have hurt and the damage I caused over the years.
Depending on your perspective, my continuing presence on earth may or may not have been a good thing. Because I was not tossed out a window and instead just dumped on the roadside, I get to spend a lifetime dragging with me a wagonload of personal baggage.
My bet still is that the pain felt by two boys during their short flight and impact far exceeded the 35 years of my personal misery. The act of betrayal by the one they trust the most, the fear, struggling for safety, watching everything happening, seeing your brother hit first moments before you do … I wonder if they cried, or yelled, or just froze in fear, or had a moment of clarity and realized their fate and enjoyed the few moments of free flight. I have not been able to stop wondering what went through their young minds in those last seconds. What did the world look like? Were they at peace? Are they now?
The shock of hearing these stories and instant mix of sadness and rage it brought in me has not let go. It was as if I were immediately transported into the minds of the boys falling. I could feel the wind rushing and nearly sense looking up and seeing the eyes of the bastard who just did that to me. I sense the total emptiness and abandonment that each child must have felt as they fell. Dads are supposed to be strong and the one you look to for comfort and protection when everything else is falling apart. My heart aches as I imagine the tears shed as the ground raced upward; tears not of fear or of death … but the tears that come from betrayal and loss.
Maybe these murdering parents do their kids a favor. Maybe children are indeed saved them from a lifetime of misery. Given who their parents turned out to be; instead of killing their children, had the parents transferred to them guilt and psychological impotence, one wonders how miserable, lonely, and scarred would have been their own lives. A lifetime is a very long time when every moment hurts and is a battle against one demon or another.
I wish the children had survived their father’s betrayal. Hopefully too, like me, they would have used the rage to prove to themselves and the world that nothing can beat you. You can only beat yourself. “They” only win when you quit and don’t get up again.
The paradigm that you just keep getting up and moving on is the only thing that has kept me from flying out a window. The betrayal of parents lasts a lifetime; as do the lessons you learn from the pain of that betrayal. But, those two boys could have found the strength to do something fantastic with their lives.
If you believe in such places, then use your prayers to put that father in the most miserable place imaginable. If there is such a thing as “hell”, then for this father, it would look like a giant day care center filled with screaming babies and he is alone to attend to them for all eternity.
And as for the boys, may the angels watch over them.