Last night I received a phone call from my brother asking me if I was watching WWE Monday Night RAW. I was not. He tole me to turn it on. I did. Vince McMahon was in the middle of the ring in an empty arena. His bloodshot eyes told me something was very wrong. He told us Chris Benoit, his wife Nancy–known as the wrestling manager Woman, and their 7 year old son Daniel were found dead in their home earlier Monday.
Chris Benoit was the pinnacle of excellence. He set his sights on goals and achieved them…against the odds. He became the WWE World Champion even though he was never a true heavyweight. He, unselfishly, did what he could to make sure the newer guys on the roster were able to look good. He was a teacher, a ring general.
There were stories last night about how Chris would make sure his sons were wearing ties and shaking the hands of all the wrestlers back stage. How he would instill in then a respect not only for the business, but for the people. He loved his children, and his wife.
That is what make all this so hard.
This is why I have an upset stomach while I write this.
Investigations are pointing to the sad fact that this was a double-murder suicide. Chris did not make his scheduled appearances this weekend, and apparently sent a strange text message to friends. These friends told higher ups in the WWE who called the local police asking them to make a welfare check on the Benoit home. When the authorities go there they discovered the three bodies in different parts of the house. It is thought the time line is that Chris killed his wife and son over the weekend and himself on Monday.
I was fearing this would have been what happened. Hoping it was carbon monoxide poisoning, but fearing the worst.
I don’t know how to react. Sadness and mourning for the loss of a hero. Anger and frustration that someone who loved his family so much could have performed such a despicable act. What does one do when a hero falls?
I guess the only thing we can do is fight for more mental illness screening and help. And pray for Benoit’s other 2 children and his family, and for the family of Nancy who loved her so much.
What does one do when a hero falls?