How Deep a Trespass? How Long Forgiveness?

I have not been writing much.

I have been reading the Words of the Poets in search of answers.

There are none.

Tragedy. It comes in all forms. We all experience Tragedy at some point.

We all do.

What happened last week….

There is no way to make sense. There are no Words.


“You who are without sin cast the first stone,” said the mother her mouth fighting the words out.

Silence fell over the parish.

Her grandsons coffin was to the left of her; her 7-year-old grandson dead.

“My son loved him. He was a good father,”  grief tearing her apart.

Not a one of us moved. Silence fell hard.

The boy in the coffin was shot and killed

The boy in the coffin was shot and killed by his father; this womans son.

The parish was silent.

The lords prayer turning in my heart

“Forgive us our trespasses…”

The church was full.

A father killed his son and then

he killed himself.

Two daughters left to move forward thorough this.

The women who have raised them with love and conviction left to find some way through.

We  gathered in prayer, to support the family;  to hold one another and help our children move

moment by moment.

A week ago, murder suicide.

One week; an eternity.

A father killed his son.

The truth is, by all accounts, he was a good father. He loved his son, he loved his daughters.

The man I barely knew was a good man. The boy as happy a child as I have seen.

A good man did kill his son.

“Let he who is without sin….”

and then…

the mother of the child came forward.

“ He was a good man and he loved his children. He loved his son.”

I will never forget the sound of her cry. I will never erase that.

We sat in silence. The rosary had been said before the memorial,  the beads still in my hand. I could feel her words, prayer run like insulin. I could hear a call for forgiveness and I gave up trying to understand.

We will not know why.

This  will never make sense.

My son beside me; the Hail Mary on his lips as the decades wore on;

his beads and mine and my husband; our community together, our voices in synch and our hearts broken.

“Hail Mary, full of grace…”

Our hearts

broken for  the women we love who are left behind; The mothers and the daughters.

The grandmothers.

I can not begin to make sense of what happened a week ago. I can not begin to make sense of what happened tonight.

A father killed his son and then he took his own life.

His mother called out “you who are without sin….”

The mother of the slain boy stepped up to the podium,

” He was a good father and he loved his children.”


Easter is said to be  a miracle. I am on the fence about the resurrection.

The crucifixion of a Great Teacher;

Yes. I get that. The resurrection? A miracle?

I don’t think so and it does not impact my Faith.

I have to say that I witnessed a miracle tonight;


“Forgive us our trespasses…

As we forgive those who trespass against us….”

How deep a trespass? How long Forgiveness?

One Child Murdered.

A father dead by his own hand.

“You who are without sin…”

“He was a good father…”

How deep a trespass?

How long forgiveness?

We will never make sense of this.



My Heart goes out to the Women who have raised the girls.


You are indeed Amazing Grace Friends.

We are here…

And we are not going away.


Maybe now… maybe now, I will write.

~ by Step On a Crack on April 10, 2012.

19 Responses to “How Deep a Trespass? How Long Forgiveness?”

  1. Heartbreaking. Understanding why won’t change anything. Two people are dead.


    • You are right. It is hard to accept that there will be no answer, no understanding.

      This is NEVER far from my heart and mind. My heart breaks for the family. Having lived through a tragic death with my family, I know the road ahead is rocky at best. I also KNOW, with 7 years hind sight, that there will be peace again for them. Lives are forever altered. That remains; but peace? peace returns…. someday.

      XO Jen


  2. I still can’t swallow. No explanations. I can’t ask Harper. He wouldn’t understand, but he would not judge. Faith is different than intellect. That is all I know, and that is why they are separate most of the time. One does not outweigh the other; they are both necessary, but as you said, your faith will not be drowned by what the mind cannot reconcile. I won’t try but i know you are pleading for answers. I’m HP praying and keeping my head out of the anger and unfairness. I love you, friend. MEL


    • Mel.

      Yep. Our heads are still spinning. I can only hold solace in the fact that my family survived (survives?) a tragic death with all its own complications (ahemmm…) and we have found peace 7 years later. Or rather, we are finding it week to week now.

      There is no sense in this and that is how old HP rolls sometimes.

      Thank you Sweet Friend…

      Love, Jen


  3. wow that is powerful!


    • We are still trying to wrap our heads around this. We survived a tragic public death 7 years ago: let me rephrase that:

      we are still surviving a tragic death. I have given up trying to make sense of this. My heart is with the family. I know they will find their way: we have found our, are finding ours through our death.
      I just wish it made any kind of sense…

      My brain my brain wants answers

      My Heart wants only Peace for the family

      Peace, Jen


  4. Who can ever understand tragedy and loss? What beautiful words and sentiment you’ve written for them, for all. Your tender heart, a heart full of love. I know you will be giving them much comfort. may you know peace, dear friend.


    • Dear Debby,

      you are right. This will not make sense. All we can do is hold the family in our hearts and more forward moment by moment.

      Daddy always said, “things happen. We may not know why for weeks or decades. But we will one day know why.” I am not so sure on this one…

      XO Jen Thank you for being here…


  5. Jen – My heart breaks for all of you. My prayers are full of comfort for you as you give so much comfort to others.
    I believe in the miracle of the resurrection (you already know that) and I believe in the absolute necessity of forgiveness. I think it destroys us if we don’t. (just my opioion)
    I like this C.S. Lewis quote (that’s a surprise, I know):
    “To excuse what can really produce good excuses is not Christian charity; it is only fairness. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you… how can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say in our prayers each night, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We are offered forgiveness on no other terms. To refuse it means to refuse God’s mercy for ourselves. There is no hint of exceptions and God means what He says.”


    • Dear Debbie,

      You being here and HERE have been help beyond measure. thank you.

      CS Lewis. He is right and that message came through loud and clear at the Rosary. It was well, something I will NEVER be able to explain. The priest did an amazing job of balancing the questions we all hold with the truth of moving forward.

      Forgiveness is at the core. We are working our way there….

      Love, Jen


  6. Computer troubles tonight… I was going to add, that I don’t think our forgiveness is contingent on forgiving as Lewis does. I think it’s contingeient on appropriation, but I do believe our mental and spiritual and often even our physical health depends on it.


  7. when surrounded by so much pain constantly, trying to make sense of it just brings despair and feeling of helplessness. I realised you NEVER know the true reasons behind why people make the choices they do. What I do when I can’t do it anymore I go to Him and ask Him to deal with it because I can’t. I let it go and have faith that He will do the rest. I ask Him for the peace and strength that only comes from him. Faith helps when nothings else can. I hope this helps somehow. Praying for you my friend.


    • Maiya,

      You are right. You are Wise and you are wonderful. With some time behind me now, I can see that this is the only way. there will be no understanding. there can only be forgiveness. Period.

      XO Jen


  8. wow.


  9. The world, without the warmth and light of Grace, can be a cold and darkened place.


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