Friday, March 11, 2011
5. Let's Get Personal cont.....
Every victim feels differently. This is why I rail so often against victim's campaign groups, which attempt to speak for everyone. Some victims fall into a pit of hate and continue to fuel it, their loss becoming the only point of meaning in their lives. Some victims attempt to find the common humanity in their attacker, and find a route to forgiveness. Between these two points, there are a thousand way-stations, a different one for each victim. There is no one way those victims "should" feel.
I know that I travelled along a continuum of feelings when my sister was killed. For many months afterwards I found some small solace in contemplating imaginative ways of destroying my sister’s killer.
And I realised that I found nothing of meaning in that, it was a temporary satisfaction, a distraction from the obvious - my sister was gone, forever. Over the years I have had to think just what it is I would demand of her killer, and I find myself adrift. Ultimately, I want her to accept responsibility for what she did, to bear that burden of conscience, and to live a more responsible life.
Of course, I could tap into a reservoir of anger and possibly hate and fuel it until it corrodes my own spirit. I chose not to, because the inescapable truth is that my sister is gone forever. No matter what I inflict upon her killer, it wouldn't alter that.
What would I hope for from my victim’s family? Nothing. But I do hope that they too have avoided being tormented by bitterness and hate; not for my sake - I can expect nothing less from them - but because it would destroy them. Perhaps, just a little, they might allow that I can get a glimpse of their feelings because of my own loss.