Donna writes in: It’s been 7 months since my beautiful little boy was tragically run over by his father’s pickup truck.  I have been to a therapist since, I’m in EMDR therapy since witnessing the trauma that followed, I take medication to ease my emotions.  But yet, there is no friend, family or therapist who can help me ease my anger and stop blaming my husband for this accident.

My husband is a mess over this and is very fragile so we have only spoken briefly about my feelings, as I don’t want to kick him when he’s down.  My therapist agrees.  He really is a wonderful man.  But he’s “spacey” in general. And to have a 4-year-old little boy in the driveway, and tell him to stand in a spot so he could pull his truck in is something incomprensible to me.  He said he trusted him. And in a second’s time my world came crashing down.  He was gone instantly.  A little boy who loved everybody and loved life and is my heart and soul is gone.  My family dynamics have changed.  I have my beautiful 7 year old daughter who lost her best friend and brother, and I focus heavily on keeping her well adjusted, and she is.

I am not recovering from this at all and moving through.  I still cry hysterically every day.  I read spiritual books, grieving books and articles, I’ve tried yoga and meditation, and yet I can’t get beyond the hopeless feeling I have that the rest of my life is “ruined”. Forgiveness is such an easy word to say, but I can’t find it deep inside to stop feeling these negative feelings and “forgive”?   Any response would be greatly appreciated.

Fred Luskin, author of Forgive for Good, responds: You forgive because you have no other choice.  You forgive because you will never understand why your son is gone and so the only thing you can do is choose to live and love.  No explanation will be enough….the only hope is to open your heart back up… You have already lost your son and do not want to lose your husband.  That said, it will take time and know that forgiveness only is natural when grief has started to subside.

There is good research that suggests that grief is natural for a couple of years.  Until then, have some compassion for both yourself and your husband…..his loss is as great as yours and he also has the almost impossible task of forgiving himself. When it is time to consider forgiveness, my book Forgive for Good may be of help to you….

best wishes,

Fred Luskin

Tags: ,

Fred Luskin

Dr. Fred Luskin holds a Ph.D. in Counseling and Health Psychology from Stanford University. He is the Co-Director of the Stanford-Northern Ireland HOPE Project, an ongoing series of workshops and research projects that investigate the effectiveness of his forgiveness methods on the victims of political violence. He served as the Director of the Stanford Forgiveness Project, the largest research project to date on the training and measurement of a forgiveness intervention. He currently works as a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation. Dr. Luskin presents lectures, workshops, seminars and trainings throughout the United States on the importance, health benefits and training of forgiveness. He offers classes and presentations that range from one hour to five weeks. Dr Luskin is on the Board of Directors of the Open to Hope Foundation. He is the bereaved parent of Anna, 20. Dr. Luskin appeared on the radio show Healing the Grieving Heart to discuss Loss, Forgiveness, and the Military. To hear his interview with Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley, go to the following link:

More Articles Written by Fred