The morning after Candace's body was found, we were tasked with making funeral arrangement. We were raw. Blame was crouching waiting for a target.
Cliff was targeted first. As we were choosing the casket, the director told us that we had an option to buy a cement box to protect the casket. That was when we discovered that Cliff had blamed himself for not being able to protect Candace and wanted to protect her body. We said yes to the cement box - even though we couldn't afford it.
Then driving home, we started to quarrel over the program for the funeral. It was over ridiculous details but as the temperatures rose and the words became stronger and more vehement, we both realized that we were fighting because our hearts were aching and we just wanted to fight. There was no one else around so we were blaming each. We caught ourselves and said really? A brochure about a program? Who gives a hoot. And then once we identified the blame game we could agree very easily about the program.
The following day, we had agreed to talk to the press who had been waiting for a statement from us - through them we wanted to thank Winnipeg for their support in looking for Candace. The journalists listened politely and then ambushed us with the question, "What are you going to do about the murderer?"
This is where our red hot blame should have come out full force - they were waiting.
But because we had already spent a life time very consciously fighting the "blame game" in our marriage, we had already confronted the presence of fear on our bed and decided we would 'let it go' - and because we had already chosen the overarching word of 'forgiveness' in our faith, we instinctively applied it to this new great unknown. We didn't know who had murdered our daughter. All we knew was that we weren't going to play the blame game before we even knew.
With one word we deflated that big red hot balloon of blame, we said we would forgive.
“An important decision I made was to resist playing the Blame Game. The day I realized that I am in charge of how I will approach problems in my life, that things will turn out better or worse because of me and nobody else, that was the day I knew I would be a happier and healthier person. And that was the day I knew I could truly build a life that matters.” - ― Steve Goodier