Forgive them


Forgiveness (Photo credit: Celestine Chua)

Ten more days to go until the end of the Janus Project.  I was very moved by this story today.  I can’t pretend to know how Maureen Greaves must have felt or how she has coped and survived but there must have been many searching questions.  A brave woman with an extraordinary sense of compassion which serves as a humbling example to us all.



The question that plumbs the well-spring of understanding.
Why him?
Why there?
Why at that time?
Why, one year ago on that dark December night, was it he who had to die?
Why them?
Why did they do it?
Why did they beat him?
Why such brutality?
Why at the nexus of three lines of life does mortality have to end?
Why do we suffer the loss?
Why the sorrow?
Why the heart-break?
Why the trial of grief?
Why the doubts, the ‘if-onlys’?
Why the open wound that does not heal?
Why the destructive anger?
Why the hate?
Why the urge for vengeance, retribution?
Why, when there’s nothing left, should we go on?
Why the voice of despair?
Why the ….. whys?

I forgive them.


21st December 2013 – headline from the Guardian

Notes:  “One year after a Christmas murder, a widow’s simple plea: ‘Forgive them’.”On Christmas Eve, Maureen Greaves will set her table and get her presents ready as usual before going out to a special service late in the evening. The congregation of her church are gathering for midnight mass a little earlier than usual this year. The service will take place outdoors, at the spot on a pavement near her Sheffield home, next to the green railings of the local park where her husband Alan was murdered on the same day last year.  There will be a minute’s silence at around 11.20pm, the time he was attacked, and Greaves, 63, in an extraordinary act of forgiveness, has asked people to use that time to pray, not only for Alan and her own family, but for the two men who killed him.  A year can be no time at all where grief and loss is concerned, but as the first anniversary of the attack approaches, Maureen Greaves is keen for people to focus on what she says she has already achieved – forgiving the killers.


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