The holidays can be a stressful time of the year – you have finances, gift-buying, traveling, and family relationships to worry about. There’s a lot going on, and it can be difficult to get through. But you don’t expect people to fly off the handle and go on a killing spree.
Unfortunately, that seemed to be the case for the Caneiro Family, in New Jersey. Paul and Keith Caneiro were close brothers. They kept a close relationship, worked together, and even lived close by to each other. Being only 11 miles apart they could rely on each other for anything. But just two days before Thanksgiving, Paul murdered Keith and his entire family, then set the whole house on fire to cover it up. If that weren’t bad enough, he then went and set his own house on fire with his family in it to try to show that someone else had targeted and was out to get the Caneiro family.
This tragic event will leave survivors and bystanders struggling with PTSD, and you might ask yourself why someone would do something like this. But when we step back and look at the bigger picture, it reveals a struggle that’s much deeper than what we can see. The Caneiro brothers worked together, which leads us to believe that the reason behind this horrendous crime could have been related to financial stress and blame towards Keith. It was also right before the holidays, adding even more stress to the situation. Paul was unable to express or control his emotions and struggles, and ultimately, it got the best of him.
While a massacre like this is rare, struggling with day to day life isn’t, and there can be consequences when we don’t face what’s in front of us. As the holidays get closer, know that you’re not the only one having problems. It’s a difficult time of the year, but you’re not alone in it. While most people don’t actually desire to kill their loved ones, they can still get frustrated or irritated, and acting on those feelings can always make matters worse. So before you say something you’re going to regret, take a deep breath, recognize what you’re struggling with, and try to openly communicate it.
If you do lash out and snap at a loved one, don’t try to make up excuses or pretend it didn’t happen. When Paul tried to cover up what he had done, he made things so much worse by catching fire to everything around him, hurting even more people in the process, and earning him life in prison. Don’t let this happen to you. If you do or say something you didn’t mean, apologize and make sure you don’t do it again.
While it may seem like there is no end in sight for stressful situations, how you deal with them can make a huge difference. Don’t let the stress get the best of you during this holiday season. Acknowledge what you think and feel, and practice open communication. It’ll make all the difference.