Still seeking answers to explain a tragedy

I have no special knowledge of Marysville kids, nor Jaylen Fryberg, specifically. I’m just a saddened neighbor, trying to make some sense of it, like everyone else. That said, I would like to offer some speculation.

Lying awake one recent night at 2 a.m., reflecting again on the events at Marysville Pilchuck and on the comments in the media, it struck me that it is very possible that the nature of the events is quite different from that which we are mostly hearing. Jaylen shot his friends, his best friends, and only them. He could have continued firing, if mayhem was in his heart. No one restrained him. I have not read that he was shouting, or agitated. Rather, it appears he behaved like someone who had completed his task, and was done. Perhaps he did not “lure” his friends to the table, nor “target” them, but rather he invited them so that he might take them, the ones for whom he cared most, on an inscrutable, inexplicable journey that he felt compelled to make. Three boys, three girls. “Like brothers,” his grandfather said on TV. What better place to get them all together so that he might accomplish this?

Perhaps we will never know why Jaylen Fryberg felt that life on this side of the veil was no longer tenable. Perhaps he felt he was doing his friends a kindness, and saving them from whatever demons he perceived in this world. For all we know, (and it appears we know Jaylen was anything but an evil young man), perhaps this was a confused act of love. There are those we feel we can’t live without — perhaps there were also those he felt he could not die without.

I won’t speculate as to why some of today’s youth seem to consider death a not unreasonable solution to problems they face. But I do wish to propose that the evil we are currently grappling with, and Jaylen was grappling with, comes from without, not from within. I think that he, his friends, and ourselves are very likely all victims here.

Perhaps evidence will uncover a different story, and I have missed the mark entirely. Nonetheless, I hope that the final explanation is something like this, something that we can all find in our hearts to forgive, so that we might get on with the healing.

Lastly, I apologize if this discussion has offended anyone. I do not suggest that Jaylen Fryberg is not responsible for his actions. It’s complicated — especially today.

Dr. Bruce Main is a Marysville resident. His guest commentary was submitted Oct. 29.

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