The question I am asked often is how my son was murdered. I used to think this was out of morbid curiosity and I resented it. Then, I believed people were curious and wanted to relate to me on an emotional level and I still resented it. Finally, I threw motive seeking out the window, and decided on this: it doesn't really matter why they are asking and I don't resent it in the least.
What is important about this isn't why I got to this place, but when. It came on the heels of years of battling an anger within me which permeated everything I touched. Initially, I was angry at my daughter for having a better life than I did, I was angry at my friends for not understanding all I had lived through, I was angry I hadn't received justice (which I still wrestle with from time to time to be completely honest), and I was angry for everything I was robbed of. Needless to say, I was angry.
Now, the symptoms of this anger weren’t easily distinguishable. It came out in subtle behavior so it took time to ferret out the roots. Once I recognized how much harm I was causing others in my life, I began to look that anger square in the eye and we had a showdown. What was interesting was I was suddenly very afraid to be angry. For someone who had spent so many years letting anger and its bitter cousins leak out sideways at everyone, the irony was not lost on me that raging at the source of my anger was hard. Very hard.
This took time. It came in waves. I had to physically release it from my system at times as well. Yes, I hit pillows, punched a wall once (which I do not recommend), shouted primal screams, chewed on washcloths, ran, walked, walked some more, ripped things up, and gave up caring what I looked like in an effort for the rage to escape my body. It did.
When this happened, my thoughts turned back to the idea of forgiveness. Having a spiritual nature, I had set aside any lofty goals I had about forgiving anyone for their role in my son's murder. It seemed too heavy to wrestle with in the beginning; I surrendered to the emotional process instead. I had previously read many philosophical and religious principles on the idea of forgiveness, and the one which I previously related with the most closely was Emmet Fox's idea that forgiveness was nothing more than a decision which time would take care of.
The freedom of that decision was all it took for me to surrender to the process of healing. I had no idea what it meant. Truthfully, I didn't know if I believed it. What I found by the end was something all together different - the decision simply afforded me the first step.
I have said previously that if there is anything to forgive, that piece of soul business is between Jessie and his murderers. I say this as he is his own being and what he decides in regards to what happened to him is between him and them. For me, my job was ultimately to grieve the loss of my son. Once the anger was cleared, the grief came, and I continued to mentally, emotionally, and spiritually embrace the experience of losing a child. I did not hide from any of it.
Having now gone through this experience, I now see my life and my role in it as quite different. Previously, I had been walking around on this planet unconscious and angry at everything. With Jessie's inspiration, I learned to have compassion for myself for hating the most elementary of things. I dug deep into the polarities of emotion and brought them into the center of my soul; the place where they are transformed into the undivided light of ineffable love. I came to realize my function as a human being was for my soul to search out emotional experience and bring it into the fold of loving myself.
When I encounter a pocket of deep emotion around his death, and other challenging matters, I occasionally get derailed. I will have thoughts of revenge and judgment and other things. I will start to judge the thoughts! However, after several years of study and hundreds of hours of practice, I know this is the way to a level of consciousness which is so healing, every time I come through it, I just laugh and remember I didn't really get sidetracked, I was just going in deeper. There seems to be many levels of nuance and context to emotion.
For me, there is nothing on this planet that requires forgiveness. I would have to judge the experience as wrong first. I now truly believe processing all my emotions for every experience which comes my way and reflecting back the undivided light of love from my soul's center is the highest human path.
Losing my son sent me on a journey to finding the art of life; he brought me into the fold of my own divinity which we both cherish immensely.
Image: Google Images.