The Unanswerable Question

There was once a family. Thomas Frazza, his wife Betty, his 19 year old daughter, and two boys John, 20, and Kevin, almost 14. Known for their laughter, their friendliness, and the closeness. They were well known in two communities, both the community in which they lived and the community in which they had their summer home.

Thomas was known as being friendly with a gift of gab and for his involvement with his family. He owned his own business, but it was failing. He attempted to sell the communications business, but couldn’t find a buyer. He loved his summer home, but the time came that a decision had to be made- a choice between the family home and the summer home.

Kevin was also well known and well liked by peers and teachers alike. Just about to start 9 th grade, he was known for being a bit of a “clown” and how he could make people laugh. He was also skilled with a hockey stick. Kevin was a diabetic, but never let that drag him down- he was known to joke about it even though he had to give himself shots. He wanted to be a sportscaster when he grew up.

John was also known as a bit of a jokster. A college student, he was majoring in accounting. He also had a job at the theatre. Some say he was there so much because he enjoyed it, some say he stayed there so much to avoid fighting with his father. Allegedly, his father had recently told him that he was either going to have to get a second job or quit college. John had an online journal in which he invented humerous stories based on the people and the events at the theatre. In the last story he wrote, he said to stay tuned for part two. Someone big was going to die. His Sunday night at work, he said he was going to go home and finish the story.

On Sunday, the wife and the daughter had gone to the summer home for an open house. On Sunday afternoon, a friend had been at the home, he has stated that he went to the bathroom and heard John and Thomas exchange angry words, but he couldn’t tell what they were arguing about. He has stated that when he came out of the bathroom, everything was friendly again. 

Police say that Sunday night the boys were in bed. And they say that Thomas Frazza  walked into each bedroom and shot both boys at close range. Thomas Frazza was found dead in the basement, dead from a self inflicted gunshot wound. Two handguns were found with his body.

As kids grow, they tend to pull away from their family for a while. Peers become more important to them, they have their own activities, and as their independence grows, their need for their their parents lessens. Certainly a young man in college, with a job and a girlfriend was not going to have much of his time left for family activities.

As a parent, that can be difficult. Parents often look at their grown up children, and see the little kid they loved and raised, and it is hard to let that go- to allow that relationship to change. Instead of being the center, parents become the periphial part of the kid’s life. And to be honest, there is often one child- maybe too much like the parent, or too different from the parent. While still loved, there are more difficulties.

Kevin, just entering that age where the kid is working toward adulthood. Involved in sports, his friends, the teen activities. Did the father also sense him slipping away? Or did he only see his own “fears and failures” in Kevin. With the loss of his business, would he be able to provide college for him?

Thomas, a businessman who was losing his business and the summer home he loved. It is odd, how much we allow our jobs to become our identities. We say we work for our families, yet that very job and any success or failure is what we often feel gives us our measure as a person. And with his kids developing their own independence, yet another piece of identity that some see as changing- others see as losing.  

Two people left to wonder that age old question. Why,  why them? There will be other questions. Did they miss something, was there anything they could have done differently? Would things have been different if they had understood more, did more, did less? Were they to blame? Not likely, survivors often feel guilt……even undeserved guilt. Maybe there were things they could have done differently. But there were things that Thomas could have done differently also.

Bright flames extinguished, a father and husband, two sons and brothers gone. A wife and mother, a sister and daughter left to carry on the family, carry their memories and  grieve for them.



  1. November 1, 2010 at 4:20 am

    our family activities are mostly related to leisure and running of family business ”

  2. December 1, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    family activities are very nice to have, it also strengthens the bond among family members -;”

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