On Wednesday, October 19, residents of the quiet and peaceful town of Lewisboro awoke to shocking news: The Friedlander’s a Cross River family were found dead in their home. It was quickly determined that Sam Frielander had murdered his wife and two young children and then killed himself.
As the community began to absorb the shocking and disturbing news, school and town officials had already sprung into action.
Parents of the Katonah-Lewisboro School District were all ready privy to the news of the tragedy via a short but sensitive and informative e-mail that had been distributed the night before.
The caring, kindness and commitment of local residents quickly became evident. Friends and family reached out to each other to offer support.
As the community tries to make sense of the tragedy, already rumors have begun to circulate and hypothesis regarding motive abound. People are looking to make sense of a senseless crime that resulted in the loss of a family beloved by the community.
In an attempt to understand and rationalize it is natural for human beings to look for answers especially in regards to a situation as devastating as this one. As folks grasp for understanding they attach meaning and explanation where in reality none may exist. It is like putting a puzzle together with missing pieces; the true picture of what happened will never be fully known.
It is painful to watch and listen as the media quickly grabs hold of the conjecture, accusations, and finger pointing that has already begun in regards to this tragedy. People want answers. They want and need to know that there is meaning and explanation behind these devastating events. Explanation brings relief and exclusion. When such seemingly untoward events occur, an explanation offers the surrounding community and the world at large the opportunity to affirm that such a tragedy could never occur again, or more specifically happen in their homes.
Unfortunately rumor and conjecture can turn into sensationalism and even lies. It is not possible to make sense of the senseless. In a time of sadness and confusion we are best served accepting that none of us will ever truly know what happened.
Now is the time to pay tribute to the family. Already an extraordinary outpouring of support and solidarity has been demonstrated.
Even the children of the community have come together to grieve and honor those they have lost. An e-mail recently went viral suggesting that all students who wanted to honor Molly and Gregory were to wear pink and blue on a designated day. The tribute was heartwarming, a reminder of thoughtfulness and resilience.
As each day passes, we must move forward. We are best served by honoring those lost by celebrating the lives they lived instead of focusing on why or how we lost them.
We will have to make peace with the fact that the real truth is unknown and speculation will lead us on a road to nowhere.