In Jan 2012 tragedy struck our family when my 72-year-old father was severely attacked in his home. It was almost 3 months before he regained consciousness and subsequently passed away a month later. The events during those four months and the months since rattled my thinking, challenged my beliefs and forced me to look at my life, challenged me to understand what forgiveness, gratitude and love really meant to living life.
The idea for this app started to come to me in a quite moment one day sitting beside my father whilst he was in a coma and I was thinking about the person that had done this to him and began wonder what had happened in his life that led him to carry out such a horrendous act to another human being. It dawned on me that he was also a human and I didn’t want revenge or hurt to come to him because then his family would be suffering the same way we were. I did, however, want justice and left it in the hands of our judicial system.
The accused was convicted of Murder in Aug 2013 and Sentenced in November 2013 to 24 years with a non-parole period of 18 years. He appealed the conviction and won the appeal in November 2017 on a legal technicality. The conviction was overturned and the charge was downgraded to manslaughter. He subsequently pleaded guilty and was sentenced again in April 2017. He is now serving 9 1/2 years with a non-parole period of 6 years. His earliest release date could be November 2018
What was left I realised was for me to be at peace with what had happened I had to find it in my heart to forgive him. And it wasn’t something I was ready to share openly with my family or friends because I still couldn’t make sense of it, so I began to write things down. I wrote whenever something came to me, even if it was a small thing – for example, “I forgive you for being a criminal”, “I forgive myself for harbouring thoughts of anger”.
However, there were times that things would come to me when I was out in the shops or with friends and I didn’t have my forgiveness book with me, so I started to note them in my phone and thought one day how cool would it be if I could send this to the ‘universe’ and be acknowledged for my progress. Hence the idea for the I forgive you app was born. The app is designed so that you can express your thoughts, feelings and words and be acknowledged for them or you may even choose to send them to the person. The app really is to help you express your feelings when you can’t openly do it with other people.
While what happened to our family has been traumatic I am determined to not let this define who I am or take away the hopes and dreams my father had for me, I am now on a mission to make some good from such a tragic time and to help others.
This app was made possible by all the inspiring and supportive people that helped me through what has been the most difficult time of my life. My desire is that this app can help you too, no matter what it is you need to express and that you can find peace in your life to live the way you really want too.