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Posts Tagged ‘tears’

Ecclesiastes 3:4 ‘…  a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

For the last three years I have been involved in a Restorative Justice program. I have been part of the program at two different prisons and have seen first hand how restorative justice can work. Being a victim of crime, I share my experience of the long road to recovery, the financial and emotional burden on myself and the family, and the personal victory that came about through sheer hard work on my part.

The course runs once a week for 7 or 8 weeks, and involves a select group of 10 -15 prisoners and a group of around 7 victims of crime. Each week stories are shared and for all of the prisoners, this is the first time they have heard from the perspective of a victim.

As you can imagine, there are some heartbreaking stories on both sides, and tears have flowed from the most unexpected people. After I told my story one morning, one of the prisoners left the room in a bit of a hurry. Minutes later one of the other prisoners came to get the Chaplin who went and spoke with him. When they both came back, the prisoner asked to speak to the group. He said he was aware that many of the participants knew he was a bit upset outside, and he wanted it to be known that after hearing my story, it was the first time he’d ever wondered what his victim had gone through and thanked me for telling my story.

…a time to weep and a time to laugh… The emotional roller-coaster of this course is often peppered with laughter too. That’s what makes our stories so special.

DJ

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The letter that won’t be read.

IMG_0870I put the phone down and was immediately enveloped in a cloud of sadness and regret. My heart was breaking for my son-in-law, who had just been told that the woman he thought of as his mother had died.

The tears my daughter was struggling to hold back were evident over the phone. I knew they were in for a heartbreaking time. Hours later we were at the airport to pick up our son-in-law. He’d stepped from the heavy machinery he’d been driving at the mine site, onto a plane with only his phone and wallet. Once we had him at our home, we found clean clothes and toiletries so that he could shower and go to bed. The next morning he jumped in his car and headed south to where the family was gathering.

My feelings of regret came from the fact that this elderly woman had been ill for a long, long time and my daughter and I had often discussed what the outcome would be when she passed on. As it became obvious that she was probably not going to  leave hospital again, I thought about writing to her and complementing her on the way she had raised her grandson to be an exceptional young man, and the father of my grandchildren. I thought she would like to know that my husband and I were proud of him and loved him as if he was one of our own children.

I never wrote that letter. I wish I had. Maybe I will….

DJ

(c) DJ Stutley

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