A story of Forgiveness

Forgiving a policeman responsible for my brother’s death.

Some years ago, I undertook a journey of forgiveness in relation to the policemen who I held most responsible for the loss of my brother, Stephan, who died in police custody. In doing so I was influenced both by my Christian faith and also by my dad and brother, both of whom are no longer living.

The act of forgiveness was a powerful experience for me, and it brought me a sense of freedom and lightness.  I think the day I went through with that process was the moment I was set free from those events of the past. I now feel free from that policeman’s presence in my life.

While this process of forgiveness has been very positive for me, I do not talk about it much. Acts of forgiveness are easily misinterpreted. Forgiving the person who I believe to be most responsible for my brother’s death can be seen as betrayal, as an indication that I somehow did not love my brother. If we forgive in one instance then somehow it is implied we have forgiven across the board. This is not what my process was about. It was about one policeman and my brother.

I think that forgiving in this one instance in relation to my brother’s death, has freed me up so that I can get on with the other work that has to be done.

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