You were on your way home from work…around 4:30 pm on a Tuesday afternoon. Perhaps you were tired, perhaps you were in a hurry. The light turned red and you decided to go anyway. Because you ran that red light my brother is dead. You killed him with your car. He was on his bike crossing the street with a green light.
Because you ran that red light my brother is dead. Because you ran that red light my brother won’t see his daughters graduate from college. Because you ran that red light my nieces won’t have their father walk them down the aisle when they get married. Because you ran that red light my brother won’t get to be a grandfather. He would have been a wonderful grandpa. He loved kids.
You made a horrible mistake. And I have been very mad at you because you made this mistake. I am not mad at you anymore. I am just sad. Sad for my parents. Sad for my nieces and my brother’s wife. Sad for everyone who loved him. And I am sad for you. I can’t even imagine what it must feel like to know that because you made a mistake you killed someone. It’s something you have to live with the rest of your life. And it’s a heavy burden to bear at the age of 25.
I have made many mistakes in my life. I have done stupid things and impulsive things and been distracted while driving. I have been lucky that there weren’t severe consequences like this. I never deliberately ran a red light but I am human and humans make mistakes. We are all flawed. And that’s why I forgive you for killing my brother.
You have a choice to make now. How to go forward with your life. You can choose to wallow in your mistake and let the guilt consume you. Or you can decide to be a force of good in the world. You can take this mistake and learn from it and maybe teach others your lesson. You can talk at Driver’s Ed classes. You can do volunteer work. You can give whatever talents you have towards whatever charity has meaning for you. You can live in such a way that you are a tribute to my brother and also to yourself. I think it’s the only way for you to find peace. I wish this for you.
I forgive you.