Murder and Forgiveness - A Heavy Dilemma

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posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 10:32 PM
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Hi Gang,

I have been mulling over some concepts and trying to figure out how (or if) to reconcile them. Please forgive me for the length of this thread - I am trying to put together several thoughts I have and it will take me a little while to make it all come together.

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Part 1 - Background History:
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Some of you may have seen, through my posts, that when I was in Jr High, my Grandma was brutally murdered by her next door neighbor. She had occasionally paid him to do “handyman” tasks, like cleaning the leaves out of the storm gutters on her roof, so she knew him, and when he came over and asked to use the phone one day, because his was down, she let him in without hesitation.

Grandma asked after his family, and this threw him into a rage, and he strangled her and then slit her throat. There are several additional gory details I won’t go into, suffice it to say he didn’t just leave her alone after that, but brutalized her body and desecrated her in multiple ways. My youngest Aunt was temporarily home, and out of the house on an errand, or perhaps she came home the next day, I can’t recall - anyway, she found my Grandma, her Mother, dead on the floor of her childhood room.

As you can imagine, my family was in shock and also in fear for some time. The police warned my parents to keep the doors locked and be vigilant, as the murderer had, after killing Grandma, stolen her purse and car, and they believed he had letters from us in her purse, bearing our address. He crossed state lines, but they eventually caught up to him and captured him. He was brought back, tried, found guilty, and set to be executed.

Several years of appeals, such as (this one - court document) followed.

Ultimately, Grandma’s murderer was executed. My family was extremely relieved, and it brought us peace, to finally know, for sure, that he could NEVER EVER cause anybody such fear, pain and suffering again.

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Part 2 - Forgiveness - WHAT???
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I hadn’t really thought about the death penalty, prior to this, but from the moment we found out Grandma was killed, I wanted nothing more than for her murderer to be caught and removed from my frame of existence. I had a constant loop playing in my head of her last moments, as I imagined them, which had been graphically described in the news, in court, and frankly, between the grown up family members. I could think of nothing but my loving, adventurous, wonderful Grandma in abject fear for her life, followed by the incredible pain she must have felt, and the ultimate erasure of her life, by this cruel and violent man. I instantly identified myself as Pro-Death Penalty from this point forward.

However, my Dad, completely dumbfounded me, not all that long after, by stating to friends that he had “forgiven” his Mother’s murderer. WHAT???? I did not interrupt the grown-ups talking, to ask how this could be. I figured, he’s an adult, I am a kid, and what place do I have to question him when he, as Grandma’s son, knew her far better and was much closer to her than I could ever be, as her grand-daughter, not matter how much I loved her. I have always felt that was private and I shouldn’t ask, but I have always questioned HOW could he possibly forgive Grandma’s murderer and WHY would that be desirable?

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Part 3 - Redemption - Quantifying Forgive-ability
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I recently heard an interview with a journalist who has written a book called Life-After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption which was about several murderers who paid their debt to society and actually made parole and have been released. Amazingly, I found myself feeling somewhat sympathetic to their situations. The rules are incredibly stringent for them to achieve parole. They are often turned down on technicality after technicality.

As it turns out, of these examples of people who are considered for parole after murder, not one of them had come anywhere close to the brutality of my Grandma’s murder. These were people who, for example, had tried to rob a convenience store and been confronted, and ended up shooting the store owner. Somehow such situations seemed “less” unforgivable to me than the situation when my Grandma was murdered.

But wait a minute!!!!!!! How would that murder possibly be any more acceptable to the store owner’s family than my Grandma’s murder was to my family???? What am I thinking???? Is there now a scale for weighing how wrong a murder is?????? This would imply that some murders are somehow more forgivable than others - NO WAY - I can’t reconcile that with my world view at all. How can it be that any such nuances could even be worthy of consideration, when the end result either way was death for an innocent person?

And yet, it seems I can feel some empathy and maybe I do have some concept of the possibility for “second chances”, since I found myself listening to the interview and feeling some empathy for the parolees.

I must be making some mental map to what can and can’t be forgiven and also giving some consideration to the desire on the behalf of a wrongdoer to make amends, presuming of course that the person feels remorse for what they have done. I am certainly no closer to forgiving my Grandma’s murderer than I was a year ago or ten or twenty years ago. I am just more and more confused.

I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THAT...

(continued)
edit on 27-10201210-1212 by gwynnhwyfar because: (no reason given)
edit on 27-10201210-1212 by gwynnhwyfar because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 10:38 PM
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reply to post by gwynnhwyfar
 


(continued from above)
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Part 4 - Additional Evidence
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You probably clicked on the link I embedded earlier in this thread, about the appeal process and gave it 2 seconds before deciding it was a ton of legal mumbo jumbo and not worth reading. However, the following information is worth considering (on both sides of my struggle to manage this)...


“With respect to the evidence of Whitley's troubled family history that his trial counsel allegedly failed to develop or present adequately, a review of the record indicates that Whitley's sister, Patricia Soberg, was willing to testify on Whitley's behalf as to the abuse and neglect that he suffered as a child. This testimony would have indicated, among other things, that Whitley's father had abandoned the family while Whitley was an infant, that Whitley's mother drank heavily, that she beat her children with a belt, sometimes knotted with a buckle, that she left Whitley in the care of his sister from the time he was a small child, that Whitley left school at age 15, that Whitley's family was mired in poverty, that Whitley had injured his head in a train accident while a child, and that Whitley's older brother frequently beat Whitley and exercised an undue criminal influence on him during his adolescence.”


...this is clearly an individual with a sad and awful past, but let’s not forget that he was also a very twisted and sick person...



“Mrs. Soberg's testimony also would have included information about Whitley's prior abuse of elderly women, as well as information as to Whitley's alleged rape of his own mother.”


(continued)



posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 10:41 PM
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Please forgive me for jumping into the middle of your OP, but I was wondering what you think "forgiveness" is. It is possible to "forgive" someone and still demand that they be punished. It is possible to forgive someone and not repose any trust in them again.

I hope you'll discuss what you believe "forgiveness" to be.



posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 10:44 PM
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reply to post by gwynnhwyfar
 


(continued from above)
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Part 5 - Forgiveness - Is it truly desirable to forgive? Why, what good does that do? How does it change anything? What exactly does it entail? How does it feel/occur when it happens?
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Well. So. Having gone through this thought-process, I can now imagine a world in which I can feel empathy for a person who has ended another person’s life. I still see a huge difference in the intent and maliciousness of the ending of a person’s life in the various different situations I have given above, and others I have not even delved into, such as murders planned in advance, murder with rape, murder with torture, etc.

There is a famous saying, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.”
Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

Is it truly beneficial to forgive? Is it really divine? If so, why?

What mental gyrations does one go through, exactly, to forgive a brutal, violent murder of your beloved family member? I know I really should be asking my Dad this question, but I love him very much, and I have left him his privacy on this question for all these years - I don’t feel like it is right for me to intrude and bring it all back up for him again. After all, I was just one of her granddaughters, my Dad was her only son. Why should I bring it all back up and push for an answer on this?

So I will ask you guys instead. Is it truly healthy to “forgive”? I have been happy all this time rejecting forgiveness and I see very little reason why I should attempt it now. Not to mention, I can’t even figure out how to begin to “forgive” this act. It makes me sick remembering and thinking about it and putting these thoughts together and trying to organize them in a way that makes some kind of sense, in order to write this thread has been difficult.

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Part 6 - Final Thoughts
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I identify myself as a pagan sole-practitioner, but I appreciate wisdom from all areas of spirituality. In all these (more than 30) years, now, I have not reached satisfactory answers for myself on this question and I feel like it is a spiritual question.

I don’t know if there is any right answers, but I would like to know your thoughts.

Thanks,
Gwynnhwyfar



posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 10:49 PM
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reply to post by gwynnhwyfar
 


I have nothing to offer, but understand the feelings, as it is Oct.
My relatives
law2.umkc.edu...

On the evening of October 18, 1975, local police found the six members of the Henry Kellie family murdered in their home in Sutherland, Neb., a town of about 850 people. Police released the description of a suspect, Erwin Charles Simants, to the reporters who had hastened to the scene of the crime. Simants was arrested and arraigned in Lincoln County Court the following morning, ending a tense night for this small rural community.



He now gets out on weekends and walks the streets.
edit on 26-10-2012 by Rudy2shoes because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 10:55 PM
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Originally posted by charles1952
Please forgive me for jumping into the middle of your OP, but I was wondering what you think "forgiveness" is. It is possible to "forgive" someone and still demand that they be punished. It is possible to forgive someone and not repose any trust in them again.

I hope you'll discuss what you believe "forgiveness" to be.

Darned good question!!! I don't know. In trying to put it in my own ordinary everyday life, I am thinking of when my kids would do something naughty and I would punish them. They would be mad and yell and sometimes say hurtful things, but I knew that they were just momentarily feeling small and would soon be back to their normal selves. I couldn't stay mad at them, and I would forgive them instantly.

Same thing with my dogs - they know they need to go outside to go potty, but if it is cold and rainy, sometimes they don't want to head out in the inclement weather and will end up having an accident inside. I understand the situation, and I don't stay mad or upset with them, I "forgive" them. It is behind me and I don't go back to that emotion and relive it.

With this situation regarding my Grandma, I never knew her neighbor in the first place. I certainly didn't have any warm place in my heart for him. So what does "forgiveness" even entail?

I tried to get into these questions, as to what does "forgiveness" mean, how does one go about it, and why would we want to "forgive" or is "forgiveness" even desirable in such situations, in my OP.
edit on 27-10201210-1212 by gwynnhwyfar because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 11:19 PM
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Originally posted by Rudy2shoes
reply to post by gwynnhwyfar
 


I have nothing to offer, but understand the feelings, as it is Oct.
My relatives
law2.umkc.edu...

On the evening of October 18, 1975, local police found the six members of the Henry Kellie family murdered in their home in Sutherland, Neb., a town of about 850 people. Police released the description of a suspect, Erwin Charles Simants, to the reporters who had hastened to the scene of the crime. Simants was arrested and arraigned in Lincoln County Court the following morning, ending a tense night for this small rural community.

He now gets out on weekends and walks the streets.
edit on 26-10-2012 by Rudy2shoes because: (no reason given)

Oh my gosh, I am so sorry - so following the arrest, for killing SIX MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY, their murderer is now able to go out on weekends... I assume there is no death penalty where you live? And, the question I am trying to pose to the ATS community is, how are we supposed to feel about this? I for one, can't reconcile it at all. And it certainly adds to the discussion and begs the question I raised. What on earth would be in it for you, if you "forgave" your family's murderer??? I can't understand why people think there is some benefit in that mental pretzel twist, and can't even understand it as stated my by own Dad, but I am waiting for this thread to give me some personal opinions from others, at least.

I have so much trouble understanding why victims rights are such a low priority. I have tried multiple times to look for volunteer opportunities to help out, at least to be available to talk to families who are going through similar situations, but it seems formal training is required and you can't "just" volunteer on the basis of having been in the same situation.



posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 11:20 PM
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reply to post by gwynnhwyfar
 

Dear gwynnhwyfar,

This is just babble, but I'm tired. I hope you can make some use of it. Forgiveness, of course, involves your relationship to the offender. There's nothing he can do, he's dead, so all of the effort has to be within you. You can't ask him to repent, for example.

Instead of answering the global question "What is forgiveness?" you may want to ask, "What feelings and thoughts do I want to have about this man?" You may even want to ask "What feelings and thoughts do my spiritual beliefs require of me?"

You might want to recall the fairly famous photo of the Pope praying with the man who shot him. They were in his cell, the Pope didn't make any effort to get him out, but he told the shooter (Aga Khan?) that he was forgiven.

To make it more complicated, Christians believe and (try to) obey the command to love your enemy. When you've finished figuring out "forgiveness," you can tackle "love."


With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 11:56 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 

Thank you for your reply, I appreciate it.

This is what I am looking for, different perspectives on the concept of forgiveness and why it would be desirable in the case of extremes. I apologize for my difference of opinion that follows, and hope not to offend. It is the discussion that I am looking for, so I am not at all discounting what you are saying, as it relates to you and your world view and family, I am just trying to understand how it could make sense for me.

I am going to respond by pushing back, in order to demonstrate my own thought process on these issues. I do appreciate your point of view and thank you for participating in this thread. I hope you won't feel offended, and may reply back with a counter opinion that may help me understand your perspective better.

Here goes...

Most people can understand the value of forgiveness in daily life, as in my example earlier when I replied to somebody and gave the example of forgiving my kids for something.

My challenge is in understanding how/why the concept of forgiveness would be of value when you come up against extremes, such as my example of the brutal murder of a family member.


Forgiveness, of course, involves your relationship to the offender. There's nothing he can do, he's dead, so all of the effort has to be within you. You can't ask him to repent, for example.

I had no relationship with the offender. I was a pre-teen, the guy lived next door to my Grandma, and Dad was in the Air Force, so we visited around Thanksgiving/Christmas and when possible, in the summer. I don't remember if I ever met this particular neighbor prior to the murder.

What effort should I or any of my family be expected to expend on him? Is there a responsibility that was forced on me and my family, through his violent act, that now, we are remiss if we don't fulfill?


Instead of answering the global question "What is forgiveness?" you may want to ask, "What feelings and thoughts do I want to have about this man?" You may even want to ask "What feelings and thoughts do my spiritual beliefs require of me?"

Again, thank you - it is this point of view that gives voice to "forgiveness" as a concept, that I am trying to draw out, and hopefully others that I feel more closely aligned with.

The answer is - my spiritual beliefs do not require any particular feelings or thoughts about this. I have no moral or religious belief that tells me I "should forgive". I do feel some sympathy towards the idea of "second chances" for some offenders - but I feel very conflicted on this and I think it is hypocritical of me to imagine there are varying levels of "forgive-ability" for murders.


You might want to recall the fairly famous photo of the Pope praying with the man who shot him. They were in his cell, the Pope didn't make any effort to get him out, but he told the shooter (Aga Khan?) that he was forgiven.

Sorry, that one just goes right over my head. This example actually personifies my inability to understand the entire concept. What did that mean, for the Pope to pray with the man who shot him? What did it mean that he told him he was forgiven? This seems to have some valuable meaning for others that is eluding me.


To make it more complicated, Christians believe and (try to) obey the command to love your enemy. When you've finished figuring out "forgiveness," you can tackle "love."

Why? To what end? I know what "love" is. I love my family. I think something would have to snap a synapse in my brain to cause me to feel "love" for the murderer of my Grandma. The thought makes me feel literally sick to my stomach, to this day.

Thanks,
Gwynnhwyfar
edit on 27-10201210-1212 by gwynnhwyfar because: (no reason given)
edit on 27-10201210-1212 by gwynnhwyfar because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2012 @ 12:16 AM
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reply to post by gwynnhwyfar
 

Dear gwynnhwyfar,

It's too late in the evening for me to go through the spiritual issues with you, perhaps tomorrow? Nor do I want to tell you what I think you should feel or believe, we're not there yet. But a couple of quick points.

When I said this involved your relationship to the killer, I meant something a little vaguer. This person is someone who affected you, he has some reality in your mind, you know his name, he still exists as a concept for you. It's that relationship that is involved here.


The thought makes me feel literally sick to my stomach, to this day.
Again, leaving aside the spiritual for a moment, "forgiveness" allows you to move on. You are the only one suffering right now, and you want a way out of that. This was such a huge offense that it may very well take a lot of time to deal with. I know a woman who was beaten by her unfaithful husband. He then divorced her after running off with another man. She hasn't finished forgiving him after years.

By forgiving someone, you put aside the hatred, the desire for revenge, the burning in your own heart which was placed there by a horrible act.

I know this is nowhere near an answer, I just wanted you to know that I care about you and am thinking about you.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Oct, 27 2012 @ 01:03 AM
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Charles1952 is pretty smart and nice person. I don't agree with Charles all the time, but certainly isn't a bad person! Most of it is semantics I think.

Personally, I think forgiving in certain ways is an egotistical thing. Like ... look how awesome I am, I forgive this horribad person! Yeah, woo! In some ways I also think it's a political thing. Is why I wouldn't use the pope as an example of 'good' forgiveness.

Honestly, I think understandance and acceptance is the best you can do. I have understood and accepted the why and what certain people have done throughout life. I wouldn't always call it forgiveness. Forgiveness means I'd quite happily sit and have a drink with that person without needing to bring up what they've done.

Acceptance means I know between me and that person we will never 100% see eye to eye, but I don't think about them and get upset any more. Sometimes it just means accepting an event though, like I will never know anything about the person that did it to me and am not in a position to forgive.

I do know some people try to forgive all things by assuming that all people sin, coming to terms with that, and not holding grudges against those sinners ... I honestly believe though that even when that does happen, it's just another form of acceptance of events.

Is just my take on it. I think the two words can be used back and forth for some people.

Edit: Sorry for not referring to your actual event in your life. Personally I find that upsetting to think about, and all I can do is understand how upset or angry you must be at times with this person
edit on 27-10-2012 by Pinke because: Edit



posted on Oct, 27 2012 @ 01:36 AM
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Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by gwynnhwyfar
 

Dear gwynnhwyfar,

It's too late in the evening for me to go through the spiritual issues with you, perhaps tomorrow? Nor do I want to tell you what I think you should feel or believe, we're not there yet. But a couple of quick points.

When I said this involved your relationship to the killer, I meant something a little vaguer. This person is someone who affected you, he has some reality in your mind, you know his name, he still exists as a concept for you. It's that relationship that is involved here.


The thought makes me feel literally sick to my stomach, to this day.
Again, leaving aside the spiritual for a moment, "forgiveness" allows you to move on. You are the only one suffering right now, and you want a way out of that. This was such a huge offense that it may very well take a lot of time to deal with. I know a woman who was beaten by her unfaithful husband. He then divorced her after running off with another man. She hasn't finished forgiving him after years.

By forgiving someone, you put aside the hatred, the desire for revenge, the burning in your own heart which was placed there by a horrible act.

I know this is nowhere near an answer, I just wanted you to know that I care about you and am thinking about you.

With respect,
Charles1952


Hello Charles,

Yes please, much appreciated, I would like to continue this discussion very much - tomorrow would be good. Or anytime you have time to get back to it. I think you are on to what I am interested in learning about. I generally check in on the weekends and evenings.


This person is someone who affected you, he has some reality in your mind, you know his name, he still exists as a concept for you. It's that relationship that is involved here.

Yes.


This was such a huge offense that it may very well take a lot of time to deal with.

Yes. Thank you.


By forgiving someone, you put aside the hatred, the desire for revenge, the burning in your own heart which was placed there by a horrible act.

Yes and you nailed it. I have spent probably an hour or more, now, just trying to reply to this one sentence. How perfectly you phrased it.

Yes, there is a burning in my heart placed there by this horrible act. I can't think of any other concern in my life that can be described in this way. I am trying to understand the concept of "forgiveness" as you are describing it, but I just can't relate to the idea, perhaps because I don't generally hold on to any grudges or hatred, or jealousy or other such things, so I don't relate to the idea of trying to expunge these concepts.

I would very much like to keep talking about this concept of forgiveness with you. I really want to understand what my Dad is trying to tell me he feels.

I didn't actually think anybody else was going to understand this thread or really be able to help, but I underestimated the range of ATS members.

May I ask, what prompted you to reply to this thread?

Regards,
Gwynnhwyfar



posted on Oct, 27 2012 @ 01:55 AM
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reply to post by Pinke
 

Hiya Pinke,

Thank you! I agree with your comments and appreciate your contributing to my thread!


It is the question of those extreme examples and how we each consider and deal with them that I am particularly interested in. After reading his last response, I think Charles is dialed in to the same wave-length in which I posed my questions, and has something to teach me, so I look forward to discussing this topic further in the coming days....

Thanks,
Gwynnhwyfar



posted on Oct, 27 2012 @ 04:11 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 

Hi Charles,

Please elaborate/clarify this point, when you can:


It is possible to "forgive" someone and still demand that they be punished.

Thank you,
Gwynnhwyfar
edit on 27-10201210-1212 by gwynnhwyfar because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2012 @ 10:06 PM
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If it were my Grandmother or Mother, I wouldn't forgive the unforgivable acts of that man. My love for family is too deep too precious. He took away a very special person in your life, an innocent woman who didn't deserve such a fate. There are many people who have suffered abuse on various levels and still do not go on to brutally attack an innocent person. On one hand I can understand that it can drive some over the edge of rationality and sanity, but still...I couldn't forgive them.



posted on Oct, 27 2012 @ 10:10 PM
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reply to post by gwynnhwyfar
 

Dear gwynnhwyfar,

Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you. Forgive me.

I'd like you to note my avatar and signature. "I'm just a guy," and "I'm not the sharpest bulb in the drawer." I'm also not a psychologist or a priest.. I'm really just a pretty average person. I've only had to deal with forgiveness in the lives of very few people. Also, my brain works funny (when it works) and, perhaps most importantly, I'm not you or in your situation.

If you get anything at all from our conversation, I'll be surprised and very pleased.

For me, on this earth, only human beings are eternal. Buildings and monuments crumble, empires and civilizations are overthrown, earthquakes and volcanoes change the world itself, and eventually everything will turn to dust in the universal heat death (so physicists tell us).

I came to this thread because you are more important than any political party, economic system, or passing fashion. I'm very sad when I know someone's heart is being "attacked" by whatever one chooses to call it.

As for punishment and forgiveness? Especially in the case of someone who has broken a natural law or a even a law of society. It is our duty to stand up and say "This must not be tolerated, it must not be accepted." Whether you want to think of it as restoring justice, balancing Karma, or "doing what's right," a response is demanded.

A trivial example, I was late with my library books and returned them to find a friend of mine behind the counter. After greetings, I said "I suppose I owe you a couple of bucks for the books?" She agreed, I paid my fine, then we talked about a party, a movie she had seen, and we arranged to meet again for further talks. She wasn't mad at me, I was forgiven, but I still had to pay the fine. (Of course, I didn't forgive myself for a while for forgetting to return the books.)

You see, punishment is imposed by the gods, or society, or the system, something that has the right and duty to do it. Even parents punish their children when needed. (And, sadly, sometimes when it's not needed, but that's a different problem.)

Forgiveness, on the other hand, is accomplished by the victim or victims, as you are in this case. Your situation is a little different because there is no one to ask for your forgiveness or express remorse for their action. In one sense, he is still there every time you remember, and hate, and desire revenge, and feel your body tense into a bundle which seems like it will explode. But in another sense, it's just you, alone in the world.

It's just you because the images occur in your memory, then the feelings arise automatically in your body and heart caused by those memories, it's your thoughts and reactions to those thoughts that cause your pain and suffering. The killer may be suffering in the hands of a just God, but you are suffering right here and right now.

You can't get rid of the memories. You will still have the feelings those memories bring up. Over time, those fellings can be "toned down" a bit, but they'll pop up when you remember. The only place you can break the chain, the place were forgiveness occurs, is where you decide what to do with those feelings.

You can sit back and watch those feelings, saying "Yeah, I'm feeling furious," but then what do you do? Commonly, we let those feelings take us over, we nurse them, encourage them, pace, hit walls with our fists, (yeah, I've done that) in short, give the feelings free rein over us.

You've got at least a couple of options that I know about, then. You can note they exist, maybe record the fact in your journal, then get on with what you need to do even though the rage is still there. Or you can feel the rage, remember what your body is about to do, then do something to counteract it. That might mean breathing, or meditation, or thoughtful music, or whatever. But don't pretend that the feelings aren't real.

While those things help, they're not forgiveness. Forgiveness requires a conscious decision on your part, maybe every day, to declare to yourself "I don't want my heart to be filled with hate towards this guy. I'm not going to let him kill me, too." I don't know what path your mind will take to get you there. A lot depends on your spiritual background. When you think of him, perhaps there is some way to say "case closed."

I know I'm not hitting on all the points you want to talk about, after all "I'm just a guy." But I am trying, I have thought and prayed about you, and I'm not leaving yet.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Oct, 27 2012 @ 10:31 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


You are very sweet and thoughtful Charles. It is nice that you have compassion and are trying to help.

It must be extremely difficult to get such a tragedy out of one's head. I suppose you could try to remember all the good and happy moments shared with your Grandmother. Sometimes, when the bad thoughts come creeping in, try to divert your thoughts to something else. Try to think of your Grandmother in a better place and that one day you will be together again. She is ok now and I am sure she wouldn't want you to be tortured with bad memories and sadness. You don't have to forgive that guy if you don't feel it is justified.



posted on Oct, 27 2012 @ 10:38 PM
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Originally posted by Rudy2shoes
reply to post by gwynnhwyfar
 


I have nothing to offer, but understand the feelings, as it is Oct.
My relatives
law2.umkc.edu...

On the evening of October 18, 1975, local police found the six members of the Henry Kellie family murdered in their home in Sutherland, Neb., a town of about 850 people. Police released the description of a suspect, Erwin Charles Simants, to the reporters who had hastened to the scene of the crime. Simants was arrested and arraigned in Lincoln County Court the following morning, ending a tense night for this small rural community.



He now gets out on weekends and walks the streets.
edit on 26-10-2012 by Rudy2shoes because: (no reason given)


I can't understand how someone can kill six members of a family and is now able to get out on weekends. Horrible! I am so sorry that you lost six members of your family all at the same time. I can't imagine what a nightmare that must be for you.



posted on Oct, 28 2012 @ 12:13 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 

Hi Charles,

Good evening, and thank you for your replies!


I came to this thread because you are more important than any political party, economic system, or passing fashion. I'm very sad when I know someone's heart is being "attacked" by whatever one chooses to call it.

Thank you, much appreciated!



As for punishment and forgiveness? Especially in the case of someone who has broken a natural law or a even a law of society. It is our duty to stand up and say "This must not be tolerated, it must not be accepted." Whether you want to think of it as restoring justice, balancing Karma, or "doing what's right," a response is demanded.

A trivial example, I was late with my library books and returned them to find a friend of mine behind the counter. After greetings, I said "I suppose I owe you a couple of bucks for the books?" She agreed, I paid my fine, then we talked about a party, a movie she had seen, and we arranged to meet again for further talks. She wasn't mad at me, I was forgiven, but I still had to pay the fine. (Of course, I didn't forgive myself for a while for forgetting to return the books.)

You see, punishment is imposed by the gods, or society, or the system, something that has the right and duty to
do it. Even parents punish their children when needed. (And, sadly, sometimes when it's not needed, but that's a different problem.)

I think we slipped off topic, here, but no worries, I will let you off the hook. I think I am still trying to understand the concept of forgiveness as it relates to extreme examples, such as my Grandma's murder, and the situation of the other poster on this thread who had multiple family members murdered. It becomes more complicated in these situations than a late library book scenario, yeah?

Thanks,
Gwynnhwyfar



posted on Oct, 28 2012 @ 12:32 AM
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Originally posted by Night Star
If it were my Grandmother or Mother, I wouldn't forgive the unforgivable acts of that man. My love for family is too deep too precious. He took away a very special person in your life, an innocent woman who didn't deserve such a fate. There are many people who have suffered abuse on various levels and still do not go on to brutally attack an innocent person. On one hand I can understand that it can drive some over the edge of rationality and sanity, but still...I couldn't forgive them.

Thank you, Night Star - I agree. I have not yet found any way to reconcile the acts of violence of my Grandma's murderer with any concept of forgiveness on my part. But the fact that my Dad says he has "forgiven" the murderer is what keeps throwing me off.

My Dad is a retired Air Force officer. He taught Philosophy at the Air Force Academy for years. He is not someone who normally makes statements that are "religious" in nature, although I think he considers himself to be Christian, and I know my Mom does. I am guessing that my Dad's forgiveness stems from what he thinks my Grandma would have wanted, and she was quite religious. I think that maybe he thinks (or knows) that Grandma would have insisted on "forgiveness" and that is why he says he has forgiven.

No need to delve deeper into family motives for their reactions to grief (who can know for sure, anyway), but I am still at a loss as to the mechanics of "forgiveness" itself, when it comes to applying it to persons who one does not have a relationship with. I can easily explain my mental process in forgiving my kids for when they have done wrong stuff. I have trouble entertaining the idea of a mental process of how to forgive this situation (or if it is actually really desirable in the first place).

Thanks,
Gwynnhwyfar





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