I wrote earlier this month about the horrible loss that two of my friends suffered, a loss no parent should ever have to go through. The one bright spot of the tragedy of losing a son is that friends came together to lift up the family and keep them strong as they faced a future without one of their own.
However, the tragedy also brought out the dark element of society—despicable, cruel monsters who are eager to sink their claws into victims and make them feel worse than they already are. In order for them to feel better, they send victims cruel messages, accuse them of all kinds of horrible things.
Kris Mazy and her husband, Larry Fullmer, lost their 11-year-old son, Breckin, on March 11. I only knew that it was a horrible accident, and didn’t have specific details on what caused his life to be cut short. I awoke this morning to see that Kris had posted to her blog this morning about what happened.
I felt pain as she revealed the details of what happened. I’m not going to rehash her post—you can read it here: http://krisandlarry.com/2017/03/27/our-family-update-march-2017. However, there was one paragraph I read that turned my pain to anger.
“I have received HATE emails, blocked calls, messages through facebook, many telling me what a horrible mom I am, how could I push this little boy to kill himself… How could the mom of the year have such a dark side. I have turned my phone off, I stopped taking messages. I can’t leave the house…. sometimes living in a small town is a great advantage, other times, it is the worst thing in the world. I know that Breckin was happy and healthy… I know that he loved to play tarzan and I know that this was an accident… a horrible accident. A HORRIBLE UNINTENTIONAL ACCIDENT.”
Resiliency is an impressive human trait, as Kris and Larry have demonstrated in the last two weeks. So is arrogance. The fact that people would resort to sending hateful emails and messages via social media, not to mention calling the home of mourning parents with a blocked caller ID, is inconceivable. Taking one look at Kris’s Facebook page and the posts she has made since Breckin’s deaths, she has a lot more friends than enemies, more people who believe what happened was tragic and accidental.
I had a feeling that Kris was getting some heat for what happened after I read an editorial in The Daily Courier, the daily paper covering Chino Valley. Here’s an excerpt from that editorial:
“We’ve received a number of communications asking us to report on a recent incident in the Chino Valley area. We are aware of the incident and we’re checking in with law enforcement officials to monitor it. At this time, we’ve decided not to report on it.
“While officials have yet to reach a final determination, the incident may have been a child committing suicide. Prescott Newspapers, Inc., which includes the Chino Valley Review, does not report suicides in general. There are times when we need to reconsider that policy, say if the person is a prominent member of the community, or if their attempt to end their own life involved putting others at risk.”
I’m glad the newspaper took the high road and did not immediately jump into the mud by plastering unsubstantiated rumors on the front page. This day and age of instant news has people wanting incidents out in the open before all the facts are known. It’s sad—and infuriating—that people can be like this, assuming scandal where none exists.
People who like to make tragedies worse are like groundhogs. They enjoy burrowing underground and ruining the garden that is your life, hopping up briefly to strike before zipping back under the dirt to hide. Just like there are methods to eradicate genuine garden pests, there are similar methods to forcing proverbial groundhogs out of their holes—by countering hate and lies with love and truth.
Here’s the truth: Kris Mazy and Larry Fullmer are good parents. They don’t adopt the current trend of helicopter parents, keeping children from having any kind of fun. They expose their children to farming and self-sustainability, something many of us have forgotten in this age of technology and convenience. When Breckin had his accident, he was doing what many kids of yesteryear, even myself, did—enjoying the outdoors and being young.
When you don’t know all the facts, don’t assume you do. No one wants your acid. Karma will come back to bite you in the end, and then you’ll find out how much support you have.
My friends are still on a rough journey. It’s one that will never end. Instead of being a groundhog making potholes, be a human being and help a family try to pick up the pieces.