It has been over two years since they died, and people are still talking. I really did think that after the first few months of news articles and media reports, and then after that big national story after the police report was finished it would all be over. But people are still talking.
My brother's university has retold his story as part of the "violence on campus" review. They didn't notice or seem to care that he hadn't been able to attend university for ages because of his debilitating OCD.
Battered women's shelters retell my mother's story as an example of what happens when you marry an abusive husband. Oh yeah, he was abusive. He never stopped crushing her with love or punching her with poems or slapping her with gifts. I remember that time in the garage that he picked up that knife to really show her what he thought of her...he was carving a lion out of a block of wood for her birthday. That's the kind of man you do not want to marry.
And oh, my daddy. The demon, the deranged man, the mass murderer. He must have been a violent drunk, y'know. He must have hated his whole family, y'know. Really? The man who would fall asleep after half a glass of wine? The man who had no problem hugging his sons and telling them he loved them? The man who stayed up late telling us stories, and woke up early to make us pancakes? The man who wrote me poetry and bought me roses on Valentine's Day? The man who fainted when his first child was born? The man who almost cried when he first saw me on stage? Oh yes, talk about a deranged son-of-a-bitch.
It's a matter of decorum to have respect for the dead, and in the case of my family, nobody seems to have any. They have been slandered again and again and again, and I have to sit in agonized silence because I know that any steps I might take to set straight the false accusations and assumptions would only be sensationalized and throw me into further grief.
It has been two years. When will people finally stop talking? When will I finally be able to grieve in peace - like everybody else has the freedom to do?
All I want is for everyone to know about the wonderful people I have lost, and how much I love them. Will one girl's love be enough to counteract all of the fear and all of the hate?