A Man Visits The Man Who Killed His Family And Learns An Important Lesson

by Elyse Wanshel
Elyse is a Senior Writer at She enjoys tacos, kickboxing, and naming animals. In fact, she named two of her mother’s six cockatiels Mr. and Mrs. Featherbottom.

William Shakespeare once eloquently said in his play, Much Ado About Nothing: “Everyone can master a grief but he that has it.”

When someone you love passes, it always causes deep sorrow. Yet, if that person dies suddenly and before their time, one can easily become grief-stricken — especially if that person loses two people at once.

One man, who would like to stay anonymous, lost both his wife and his child to a drunk driver, which added confusion, rage, and a need for vengeance to the grief felt by his loss. The man was understandably devastated by the tragedy and had a hard time recovering emotionally for years.

That was, until one day someone gave him a radical piece of advice and, after wallowing in so much anguish for so long, he was desperate for relief.

We hear a lot of stories in our lives and very few of them actually stick. This particular story is one that has had an impact on me, personally. It has taught me that sometimes a tragedy can transform us into someone we never knew we were capable of being before…

“I lost my son and wife, 33 years ago to a horrible accident. They were hit head-on by a seven-time convicted drunk driver.

For three years, I was a complete mess. I couldn’t hold a job. I was not fit company to be with other people. I grieved tremendously. I still do.

But one day I was given advice that transformed me.”

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“But one day I was given advice that transformed me.

A prison priest told me to consider visiting the man in prison who had killed my wife and child. I thought it was a crazy idea, but I was desperate for some sort of hope of closure.

It took me a year to work up the courage to face the man. But I did it. And what I saw and felt in that interaction changed me forever.

The man begged me for my forgiveness. And after hearing his story, I did forgive him. What drove him to alcohol in the first place was the death of his own seven-year-old child to cancer. He vowed that if I could find it in my heart to forgive him for what he did, he would never drink another drop of alcohol in his life.

I’ve kept in touch with the man, and to this day, he has not touched alcohol again. He put his life back together, and he inspired me to do the same.

I can tell you … the minute that I offered my forgiveness, a weight was lifted on my shoulders that felt like ten tons.”

“I will miss my son and my wife until the day that I die. But I went on to marry again, a woman who stands beside me whenever I visit those graves. A woman who has delivered two daughters that did not replace my first child, but who have brought me endless joy, a joy so profound that it has helped ease my pain.

So, my advice for everyone who thinks that things can’t ever better, is to forgive. Forgive others, and forgive yourself. This is the only way to move on.”

Below is the author’s actual Facebook post:

Below is the author’s actual Facebook post:

Have you had a similar struggle with forgiveness? Let us know in the comments.

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