It’s hard to imagine the horrifying moment when Sue Klebold found out that her son Dylan Klebold, along with his friend Eric Harris, had killed 13 people and then himself at Columbine High School in 1999. She had the added burden of knowing that her son caused other parents to experience the unimaginable pain of losing a child.
Under harsh blame and scrutiny, Klebold laid low until 2016, when she released the book A Mother’s Reckoning: Living In the Aftermath of Tragedy, which solidified her role as a “brain health” and suicide prevention advocate.
Now, in a TED Talk released Thursday, Klebold revisits the tragedy to share her experience and to help parents recognize the signs of mental illness.
“It has taken me years to try to accept my son’s legacy,” she says toward the beginning of the talk, which she gave at the TEDMED Conference in La Quinta, California on November 30, 2016. “The cruel behavior that defined the end of his life showed me that he was a completely different person from the one I knew. Afterward, people asked ‘How could you not know? What kid of a mother were you?’ I still ask myself those same questions.”
Her talk is a must-watch for any parent (or other person) who never wants to end up on the receiving end of the question, “How could you not know?”