How do we go on?

The news is full of the monster who killed Leibby Kletsky. His confession, his perp walk, interviews with his ex wife in Memphis– it’s hard to miss it.

My heart is so heavy. I have had yet another talk with my boys about safety, what to do if they are lost. I have to trust that they have internalized these lessons. But I am afraid.

We went grocery shopping today. I kept them close and realized that I was being so overprotective of them. No matter how I feel, there is NOT a killer hiding in every supermarket aisle. But how do I let them out of my sight? How do I allow them freedom? How? How do we go on about our daily lives when a mother cries for her lost son? When a father mourns? When a community is devastated by such a tragic loss?

How do we allow our kids the chance to grow up and spread their wings? Every parent knows that there comes a time that a child wants more freedom – to walk home from school, to bike around the corner, to stay out later. That was all Leibby wanted. His parents went over the route with him and waited for him in the agreed upon spot. I have done that, when my kids first walked home from school alone, in Montreal. I even shadowed them a time or two without their knowledge. How do we let our children grow up when we are so full of fear?

I tucked my 9 year old in last night. I hugged and kissed him. And I cried. He asked me why I was sad. I told him because there is a mommy who will never tuck her little boy in again, and while I am tucking you in, she is burying him. He hugged me closer.

Dear Lord, please help all of us find the strength to give our children space to grow up, the ability to nurture them and let them go when it is time. Please comfort Leibby’s family and community and give them the strength to go on – I cannot even begin to imagine their pain. Most of all, Dear Lord, please let the example of the people, the way they all came together from all walks of life to search for Leibby, please let that unity continue and grow in Leibby’s merit. Amen.

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  1. fille says:

    Yes, our hearts are broken. It is so terrible. And so random. And so sad.
    The parents could not have done anything differently. I feel so much for them, and want to tell them not to eat themselves up in self-reproaches, there is really only one culprit there. And it is soooo rare. I suppose we have more risk of breaking our necks when slipping while getting out of the bathtub than something like this happening. It is soooo horrible.

  2. Mandy says:

    My heart is broken even across the world.
    What’s so sad is that even though his parents could have nothing differently, they will end up blaming themselves for years. Just because one sicko randomly committed such a terrible act, there is an empty space in that family.

  3. zehava says:

    The only way we can go on and give our children space is by understanding that its not us who protect them. We can’t protect them. Only god can. God wanted leiby back. He has his reasons why this had to happen in such a tragic way. One day we will understand.

    • Mark says:

      God wanted leiby back.

      Zehava, I always hated this explanation and still do. I don’t condemn you for believing it, and if it makes you feel better about such things, it’s good for you. But it just doesn’t do it for me.

      But I believe that man has been given free will and Levi Aron in a moment in time used his free will to decide to smother poor little Leiby to death. Right at that moment he had the free will to either smother him or to open the door to his apartment and send him out to the people searching the streets below. A choice was made out of free will at that moment that changed the lives of many people.

      In the end, like I’ve said before. When the time comes (ad meah v’esrim), many of us are going to have a bunch of questions to ask the Dayan Haemet.

  4. amen indeed. and check out a fine piece of writing by ina j. hughs, reprinted with permission, by danny siegel. it is the next to the last page of this set of work:

  5. bracha says:

    I highly recommend this blog for anyone struggling with the issue of protecting (without overprotecting) their kids:

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