Monday, July 4, 2011
A LETTER TO MY SISTER'S KILLER
It's been a few months since we began picking up the pieces and were saying goodbye to my sister, Kathy. This coming week, the man who killed my sister will be pleading guilty to a single felony count, avoiding other charges he would also most certainly and easily be convicted of. I'm sharing here the letter I'm sending to the prosecutor to pass along to him. I do this not to sensationalize a tragedy, but rather to give insight into what I hope to come out of my sister's death. Time heals wounds, but scars remain.
Kathy was my sister. Kathy was a daughter, a mother, a niece, an aunt, a cousin, and a friend. And, Kathy was a sister. Kathy was my sister. And, I loved and miss Kathy very much.
Imperfect as Kathy was, as we all are, Kathy's not the one who killed herself, and neither am I, and neither is anyone else ... except you. You verbally and physically abused Kathy repeatedly over a long period of time. You chose to drive that fateful morning while under the influence of alcohol and other drugs. You drove with extreme recklessness, lost control of your vehicle, and killed Kathy. You fled the scene without knowing if Kathy could be saved or not. You denied driving the vehicle, denied knowing Kathy, and denied those who loved Kathy the knowledge of her death until long after Kathy died.
It's time to stop the denial and accept ownership of everything you've done. It's time to stop throwing your life away. It's time to stop living a life of selfishness and destruction. It's time to start making something of your life. You have been blessed with an opportunity to do this.
I forgive you for everything. I don't have an ounce of that power of love and forgiveness inside of me except for what I've received. Recognizing my absolute brokenness, openly admitting it, and allowing myself to accept my need to stop living for myself has given me the strength to truly forgive you for everything. I want you to feel this as well.
God's grace is all you ever need. He died for you, so live for Him. Your life here won't ever be perfect. However, you will be changed beyond what anyone or anything can do here for you. You will desire to put Him first. You will strive to put others next. You will struggle to put yourself last. And, you will finally feel the love you've always been searching for.
I sincerely forgive you and love you and hope (for your sake and for others) for a changed life for you,