It was a terrible week. A man shot to death his four grandchildren, wife and daughter then himself here at Margaret River, Australia. Then parents blew up their children and themselves, along with any targeted strangers in churches and a police station in Surabaya, Indonesia. That’s the first time I seem to have heard of terrorists involving their whole family, their children/parents with them, for paradise.
From what I have heard and experienced myself in the past I think I can understand a little of the motive of the Australian family murderer. (He had never really recovered from the suicide of his son and was faced with the news of the death of a second son to disease.) One comes to a place of such dark despair that death is the “only logical or natural” next step. But to alleviate the suffering that such a step would involve for others left behind, it is easier for them if they “come with you”. [I am speculating on the motives of the 61 year old grandfather who killed his family along with himself but do so on the basis of published interviews with his son-in-law and on recollections of times in my own life when (years ago) I felt myself to be at a similar brink.]
And hard on the heels of this horrific story comes the news of two, by some accounts three, families taking themselves collectively “to paradise” by murdering representatives of a society that their parents and older sons found personally intolerable.
The former found no meaning in this world. The latter, likewise, but filled that lack with a symbolic life in death.
And then a fictive family in the Middle East escalated killings of long evicted neighbours who themselves felt they had nothing left to lose.
It’s been a terrible week.