I don’t even know how to begin processing the event I attended this past Wednesday…
It was an experience that was so beautiful and moving yet tragic and devastating all at once…
The event was called Mothers With a Message where mothers who have lost loved ones to murders come share their story with inmates, most of whom are convicted murders.
One Mother shared her story so vividly, I imagined I was there.
I imagined I was there as she watched her husband bleeding out on her kitchen floor after a teenager under the influence of gang-life had shot him and ran off.
This same woman then lost her twin brother to gang violence not too long after that. Her brother was just walking home from college when he was shot and killed.
“I may be free but my mind and my heart are in Prison…”
The woman said as she stood in front of a crowd of people who are currently serving their sentence in prison…
So there I was in a room where Mother’s had lost their children to the hands of a convicted murderer, talking to a group of men of who are serving time in prison because they are convicted murderers… yet the Mothers are saying they are in prison too… oh what sad irony this was.
During the stories and pauses between speakers you could practically feel the heavy atmosphere. It was a concept almost to heavy to process, and I can imagine for both Mothers and Inmates almost too unbearable to face.
For the Mothers to love on, share their stories, even be in the same room with convicted murders after losing loved ones to killers is an act of love so moving, a lot of the inmates were at a loss for words and moved to tears.
For the Inmates to face the consequence of their actions beyond serving their sentence might of been the biggest reality check they have had yet. To see how murdering someone doesn’t just kill one person, it can kill everyone that person is connected to.
As the Lady who started this movement wrapped up the event she said
Though you physically are in prison, your heart is not locked up, and your mind is not in chains.
Her goal for this event was to encourage these guys to make a difference for any future Mothers that might lose their kids. To give an opportunity for inmates to write letters to the youth, to hopefully encourage them to make better choices than they did.
How amazing is that.
Then she said the most heart breaking part of her speech… When her son’s killer got out of prison for serving his sentence (he was convicted as a juvenile so his sentence was not too long) she went to her son’s grave site and knocked on his tombstone…
Okay you can come out now! You’re killer has served his sentence so you should be done with yours. Come on out now.
I. Was. Hit. Hard. These women were truly some of the strongest I had ever seen.
I had to leave to go run group, but at the end of the day one of the inmates who helped organize this event came to the RT office. This inmate in particular is a convicted killer himself.
He came because he wanted to share how moved he was at the end of the event. Apparently he was talking to a pastor that helped run the event and who was also among the group that had lost a child due to murder.
I forgive you. I can’t speak for the family you effected by I can speak for myself. You are forgiven.
After telling him that he began to pray for him. He was moved to tears, and could not believe that someone who had lost a loved one by the hands of a murderer was forgiving and praying for him, someone who had once upon a time taken peoples lives.
This event definitely was a special one, and I hope they continue. I think this event allows such a huge and important doorway to healing for both the mothers and the inmates (at least the ones that are truly remorseful), and I am so glad I got to witness it.