AFP news – A horrendous bomb blast in a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia in 2002 killed over 200 people. The supposed mastermind behind the bomb attack, who could face the death penalty, asked, during his trial, forgiveness of victims’ families and of the Indonesian government. He said he played a small part in the plan and execution of the bomb. The forgiveness request calls into question the political use of forgiveness for gain. Full report here
MSNBC.com – Melissa Oxley was asleep next to her husband when he was shot and killed. Melissa was the first suspect in the killing, but was subsequently released. The boyfriend of Mr. Oxley’s ex-wife has been convicted of the crime and is currently serving a prison term.
Mr. Oxley’s daughter, Alyssa, now being raised by Melissa, spoke with the murderer following his conviction. She told him that she forgives him for killing her father. This theme of forgiveness was initiated by Melissa in 2008, as she began teaching Alyssa, then 5-years-old, the importance of forgiveness so they do not have deep anger as a part of their lives.
Melissa calls Alyssa, age 5 at the time of the murder, a “strong little girl.” After the ex-wife’s boyfriend was convicted of the crime, Alyssa asked to speak to him. “I told him that I decided to forgive him and that I wanted him to have hope,” Alyssa said.
Melissa said that from the first, she told Alyssa that they would approach her father’s murderer with compassion, no matter who it turned out to be. “I always told her, pretty much from day one, whenever we found out who did this we’d have to be able to forgive them at some point in order to go on.”
The widowed stepmother emphasized the importance of forgiveness as a way forward in her grief, and said she wants Alyssa to be able to grow up without anger being a part of their lives.
National Post (Canada). Lina Dhingra, the daughter of a man who stabbed his wife to death while he was in a psychotic state, has forgiven him. As she visited him in prison and looked at him through the bullet proof glass, she could see his mental illness. “I said to him, ‘I love you, Poppa. I forgive you.’ There was no question,” she recalled. His son is still estranged from the father. Full story here.
MSNBC (Pittsburgh, PA). At the sentencing of a 24-year-old man, convicted of driving while intoxicated, Nicole Cleland, who lost her 7-year-old daughter and unborn child in the head-on crash, expressed forgiveness for him. ” . . .To heal and be the best mother and wife I could be, I had to forgive you.” Full story here.
Cowichan News Leader newspaper (British Columbia, Canada). Two mothers, Mary Jim and Bev Stone, each lost a daughter to one killer. A man was recently taken into custody in connection with the murders. Jim said this, “….being hateful, isn’t going to get me anywhere.” Stone had this to say, “[My daughter] always had a smile on her face and I’m sure she’d want me to, over time, somewhere down the road, forgive this man for what he’s (allegedly) done to her. Full story here.