After Candace's body was found we held a press conference to thank Winnipeg for their wonderful support in the seven-week search. At the end, one of the reporters asked what we would do about the murder. We said we would "forgive."
in hind sight, I know it was more of a knee-jerk reaction to the trauma encounter that we had experienced. It was a wish. When we had felt the trauma presence on our bed that first night - we had said we would forgive and the presence left. It was a miracle word! We weren't about to let it go.
Our forgiveness response was not understood by most - the majority. The others who did understand - seemed to be intrigued. In any case, the questions started to come - and I've been trying to answer them ever since.
Interviews, invitations to speak, visits by the influential, Johann Hari, Malcolm Gladwell, opportunities like the Ted talk etc. etc. I even tried writing books along the way but never felt satisfied. I didn’t even come up with a good definition of what forgiveness was. - even though I was on the hunt.
All I knew was that forgiveness was very complicated - and became more complicated with time rather than less. Apparently the murder of a child with sexual intent is the hardest most difficult to forgive
The discovery of the quadrants was a milestone. It was a way of organizing life into four manageable parts that are simple and easily understood. Discovering the quadrants finally helped me understand the "body trauma" that we had gone through! The body has to forgive as well. Wow - that was a break through for me.
I was also driven by Cliff's dying wish for me to adapt the quadrants, and explore and describe our forgiveness experience in terms of a Forgiveness Centre - an impossible dream - or is it?
I might not be able to build it but I can imagine it. In my new apartment with the distant view of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights - I began to imagine a similar building with access to the unlimited budget of $100 Billion dollars.
To make it truly authentic to my experience, I tried to illustrate the quadrant journey with my own stories which is another exercise of remembering and learning. I started to blog it out - four quadrants, four forgiveness floors!
And now, I’ve just completed the fourth floor. I've done it! I have imagined a Forgiveness Centre that I think reflects the complicated journey needed to find the true freedom in forgiveness.
Let me assure you that I have no no inclination to build this imagined tower of hope - or to even start fundraising for it! It’s an impossible dream.
But I've realized by doing this - that there is a unique power in dreaming. I have built the Centre in my imagination and it lives and even functions there with a strange surreal reality.
I have a new appreciated of the power of the imagination and its ability to heal. When I was describing the last scenes - I was experiencing it as well. I was healing.
In any case - I have done it! I have built it and it was fun. I feel I have completely answered the questions about what it’s like to forgive to the best of my ability.
And thank you all for coming along this journey with me.
Your support, your observations, your responses meant more to me than you will ever know.
I thought there might be more criticism of my crazy way of thinking - my crazy theology - my crazy stories and my crazy first daft mistakes - but you’ve been kind and I just thank you.
I have no idea what I’m going to do now ....
Aim for the sky, but move slowly, enjoying every step along the way. It is all those little steps that make the journey complete. - Chanda Kochhar