I know it’s not some kind of trend, just a recent rash of horrific incidents, but I can’t wrap my mind around it, not that I spend every waking moment trying to.

I used to be a hardcore wrestling fan as a kid. I kind of grew out of it in the ’80s, then sort of got interested again in the ’90s. I watch it off-and-on now. I was a fan of Chris Benoit and was blown away by his suicide and murder of his family. It’s crazy, just crazy. So is the incident with Christopher Vaughn, who’s accused of gunning down his wife and kids. And Bobby Cutts Jr., who’s accused of murdering his pregnant wife and unborn child. And contrary to the Chicago Sun-Times’ splashy front page story on “Why Husbands Kill” (paraphrasing) last week, it’s not just fathers. Susan Smith and Andrea Yates are just two examples of mothers who killed their own.

Still, just last week, a West Side boy died of an apparent drug overdose on methadone. Methadone? Drug overdose? A 2-year-old toddler? By parents who, according to the media, were previously under the radar of DCFS? It’s mad, sick, sad, troubling … all of the above and more.

Why am I bringing all this up? Why am I writing about-of all things-this? I felt compelled to write this somewhere, somehow. Others can preach or call for vengeance. I don’t want to do either (calling for justice? That’s another thing).

With all this madness-and don’t get me wrong, I’m not screaming that the world is ending, I’m just venting-but with all of this going on, you know what I was doing just last week? Giving my daughter a bath and a shampoo. She loves getting baths, and she screams at the top of her little lungs in joy, just like a lot of kids do. It was sweet and fun, and tiring for the old/young man. And maybe it was therapeutic in some way.

I guess I felt the need to talk about this because there are no answers, no solutions, no real rhyme or reason. But something must be said-and done. Something constructive, reflective or again therapeutic. I feel … sorry, I suppose. Sorry for the families of the victims-and even the families of the killers, accused and otherwise (they surely are hurting as well).

Yes, it makes me angry as it does all of you. Yes, after becoming a parent, my views have changed on a lot of things. And yes, even before I became a parent I believed, and still do, in severe punishment for those who harm, kill, and/or abuse children. Not out of vengeance. Some of that talk and thinking I find a little disturbing.

Not vengeance, but for justice-plain and simple.

Maybe we can’t easily stop this madness or make any sense of it, but we can all try to survive it and live and treasure life for ourselves and others.

And for our children.

CONTACT: tdean@wjinc.com