What this horrific accident brought to my mind was the concept of needless suffering. Viktor Frankle, a Jewish Psychiatrist and death camp survivor wrote extensively about needless suffering and whether or not there was some purpose in it. I'll keep things short here and just say that Dr. Frankle believed, based upon his experiences in the Holocaust, that there was purpose in suffering and the way people found it was by facing it head on and working through it. He certainly found it in his life.
It's seems too much to ask of our children that they feel this type of pain and victimization (yes, victimization) but what I saw tonight refreshed my hope and belief in humans and their capacity to overcome and move forward regardless of age or experience or amount of suffering.
What I saw tonight was Fr. Bob (Pastor of St, Nortbert's) and his staff Maggie, Mona and Fr. Francis (among countless others) face this suffering head on with an overflowing crowd of teens and their parents. I believe people will find purpose in all this pain and they will move forward. The meaning will be individualistic based upon each persons relationship with Kyle, Ryan or Billy but people will find it. There will be pain but there also will be development, growth and strength. Northbrook should be very proud of the support and togetherness that I witnessed tonight and in the coming days and weeks I believe you will see it too.
PBS - The Cruelty of Children. 11 Enlightening minutes.
Link to details of the accident as reported by the County Sheriff
Talking About Death, Can You Do It?