For the third time in three weeks, Toronto area residents have turned on the news to the sickening, stomach wrenching news that yet again, a parent has come to the decision to end the life or lives of their own offspring. While the psychiatric community spins tales as to how these tragic events unfold, giving us reason after reason why it happens, I have yet to find any real explanation in my own heart apart from selfishness.

An estranged husband, apparently unable to accept that his relationship was over with his wife, decided this weekend to show her who was boss. In his cowardly rage he snuffed the breath of life out of his own son and daughter as well as that of his estranged wife whom friends and coworkers described as a wonderful mom and all around nice person.

The day before, a mother who will no doubt find some solace from ‘professionals’ for an apparent attack of postpartum blues, made a conscious decision to drown her own young ones in the family bathtub, a place that should have been a source of fun and laughter, not tragedy.

In Markham last month, a deranged father committed the same senseless act of murder against his own family. He was arrested after the police discovered the bodies of his children and wife in their upscale home. The family not only met their end violently, but in such a way that our hardened professional law enforcers used words such as ‘shocked’ and ‘barbaric’ to describe the scene inside the home.

While three incidents in such a large city hardly represents a prevailing trend, even one such event has a sobering effect on anyone and especially those of us with children. I don’t presume to be able to see inside the soul of any person, nor do I have any real answers for such monstrous acts. All I have is the same question running through my mind over and over again. How could anyone do such a thing like this to people whom they have professed to love?

We are told that such acts are committed by insane individuals, that they are ‘not themselves’ at the time that they commit these heinous crimes, but I cannot agree with that. We overuse the term insane. It has become an acceptable factor in the actions of people. Whether these crimes are perpetrated out of anger or self-pity, it seems that the decision to murder is a conscious one and one that every individual should be held fully responsible for. I say that with confidence because of the simple fact that most of us would consciously choose not to murder the people we love. Those decisions are not temporary sanity now, are they?

As to the people who are touched by the actions of a few despicable people, I can offer no words of reason or explanation. To the victims, I can only lament that perhaps all of us have not done all that we can to make this world a better place.

These events serve as a stark reminder that evil lives among us, and that there is not much that can be done to prevent it from affecting any of us. There is no way of seeing all of it coming, nor of preventing most of it. More laws would not have saved this family, only a more compassionate individual would have.

It is with a profound sadness that I believe I can hear the voices of those children asking, “Why don’t you love me, anymore?”