I can't remember who said it this weekend but someone described mental illness like kidney failure. It is not something that anyone can predict a person to have or is brought on by ones own self (which many people think...and that to me is more crazy than the people they think are "crazy"). It's not like these people have smoked cigarettes and this is a result of a bad choice. Yet how people with mental illness are treated by society is a controllable factor. It has such a negative stigma today that I completely understand why so many families push it under the rug, don't want to see it, don't want the outside world to see that their family isn't "perfect." Until people are directly affected by mental illness be it themselves or by a close loved one it seems they don't understand, thinking that mental illness is just a sign of weakness.
So I just wanted to maybe show a different perspective. Every time I hear 26 victims, it kind of gives me chills. We don't consider it 27? What did the mother do besides what most mothers would? One of the mothers of a Columbine shooter was interviewed this weekend and when asked "what would you say to your son if you could speak with him now?" she replied that "she would ask for forgiveness that she was his own mother and did not know what troubling and painful thoughts he was having and going through." That took my breath away.
What would this society be like if everyone gave more love and compassion for others, even when they are "different" from you?
This is my really long 2 cents, and you don't have to agree with me, it just really bothered me that so many have referred to the victim count as 26 and not 27. This was the only woman who seemed to be showing him love.
A few quotes that sum up what I'm trying to say...