A Letter From The Main Defendant

God’s allowed me to have an unusual view of life from where I am. To look death in the face and go on to find blessing from suffering, healing out of pain takes daily trust. It ‘frees’ up my heart, energy to be above the constant anguish and the frivolous attitudes that used to identify me. The pursuits in life that most think are just fine.  I live with a lot of gratitude for being able to have the time to go thru the grieving process fully.

It’s been pretty bad missing Marc lately, and I’ve actually found myself almost asking, ‘this suffering is going on way too long, I don’t know if I can do it?’ I think that’s gotta be normal as I don’t really feel any compunction to go into it any more. Just being able to utter those feelings to myself quietly at times seems like enough, but at the time they seem crippling in strength. The enlightened person I am knows there’s a devil who’s alive and wants to hurt me in my most vulnerable spot if he can. But my soul understands the battle really wasn’t lost as Marc’s got a legacy thru my blog and healing with the defendants.

Last paragraph from Andrew’s letter –

The devil knows we’re made for love, and he tried to hurt me in the worst way by taking my best friend, son and comforter away! But, whenever the devil tries to cripple or destroy us we need to remember what God says, ‘look, I’m going to do a new thing! Don’t look back & despair. Trust me and watch what I’m going to do!’  And God’s led me in the most wonderful ways, cause I thought in the beginning my life might be over.

I can’t let Marc go, and I’m NOT ….. but God has led me to show ‘compassion’ on 2 unlikely young men …. the defendants in Marc’s case. As you may know my blog shares about the defendants, the main one being in a NE Oregon prison. The prison is along the beautiful Columbia River, which borders the state of Washington.

When I first read main defendant A’s letters I was in a daze, I was still reeling from the daily grind of dealing with lifelong loss. But I couldn’t believe what he wrote. In his first letter he accepted my forgiveness in such an open hearted yet articulate way, I instantly knew God had hold of his life. It was so strange to have a conversation with him, to find him so deeply remorseful and honest. I never dreamed a person like him could be behind the stabbing! That we could be part of such a horrible incident and yet share a commaraderie in pain was just another totally transcendent experience.

In class with my students –

Here’s an excerpt from A’s first letter above:

‘You, your family and all of Marc’s loved ones and all the friends are in my prayers. I want to keep Marc’s spirit alive and present in my life. Because I’m certain if I become more like his true self, I will keep improving. That is my promise. ‘ 

Regards, A—– M.

You just can’t make that stuff up! To hear your son’s killer say that takes your breath away! The letter was a full page, very direct and apologetic. You can’t hate with that type of heart turned towards you!

As a believer in God, I know A was truly feeling the impact of forgiveness, that his conscience was open and moved by my writing. After I discovered the unintended kind of crime it was, it weighed on me that he might be stuck in his own prison of sorts, never to recover. But after his letter I felt great hope for him. I knew both defendants past and didn’t want to see them suffer more than was necessary, as they had so much stacked against them as it was, before the crime.

I believe the voice mail I played at A’s sentencing helped to set the tone of the crime, that it was a terrible tragedy, not some grisly premeditated incident. I wanted to show Marc’s normal, strong and loving nature and not let the crime rest as some tainted altercation between people without a heart or hope in them.

I believe God loved Marc so much, He’s honored his passing in a unique way, cause that’s the kind of loving, sacrificial guy Marc was to others! I had planned to tell the court, ‘you don’t know how Marc loved, you don’t know the God we serve!’ I wasn’t so shocked by all the good coming from his going to heaven so soon, as continually painful as it is to be separated from him!

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