Forgiving Murder

by Sarah Salter Kelly  ~

Thirteen years after my mother, Sheila Salter, was murdered in a parkade in Edmonton, I wrote an article in Mosaic Magazine about my journey in forgiving her murder.

The article focused on my belief that we co-create (with Great Spirit) everything in our lives and within that co-creation is the choice to use our power to manifest healing on any level, including profound, tragic loss.

In the article I explained that I was in awe of having unexpectedly found deep compassion and forgiveness for the man who had killed my mother and a yearning to share my experience and process with the world.  Mosaic Magazine published that article in its Summer 2008 issue.

On the day of Mosaic’s publication of that first article, I rushed to pick up a copy.  I read my article with tears of release and joy.  I knew I had to visit the nearby parkade where my Mom had been murdered and leave a copy there for her.

Once there in the parkade, I felt guided to pull the article out of the magazine, roll it up , tie it with a large chunk of my hair and place it in the brick wall with a rock to secure it.  I performed a ceremony, said a prayer and left.

Sarah Salter Kelly and Sheila Salter

Eight months later, I received the following email…

“Dear Sarah,

My name is Amber.  I am writing you in regards to an article you wrote.  Eight months ago while my Auntie Becky and I were driving to her apartment, we saw what we thought was a wallet on the side of the road.  After we parked, we walked over and it turned out to be a leather biker’s cap.

During Easter of 2003 I tragically lost my mother; Becky lost her sister.  I am convinced that she was murdered by the men she lived with, who were bikers.  I have a lot of anger towards these men.  My life has been consumed with fear, anger and hate.  I was obsessed with not knowing the whole truth of how she died.  I told Becky to throw the hat away, as it reminded me of my loss.

I feel the angels were at work, as Becky instead carried it with her, towards her apartment.  There was a parkade with a brick wall on the main level of the building facing the street.  As I turned my head towards it, I saw a piece of paper rolled up and tucked into the wall.  I picked it up, slightly hesitant as it was wrapped in hair.  As I began to unwrap it, a rock fell to the ground.  Becky and I looked at each other like we were meant to read it.

We slowly unraveled it and read aloud your story of healing over the murder of your mother.  I went through waves of emotions as we read it – I was sad, I cried and then I got angry.  I did not want to hear it all, particularly the part about choosing our deaths (even murder) and finding forgiveness for a murdered. 

Becky looked at the biker’s cap in her hand, then at me.  “You know what I think this means,” she said.  “I think this means we have to forgive him.”  At the time I was mad at her for even considering that.

In the last few months I now see that this is the only way I may truly heal.  Your story has given me so much.  I am deeply grateful to have been the one to come across it.  It was meant to be.  God bless, Amber.”

There is a divine plan.  Oftentimes we get so wrapped up in our lives that we forget – we are not in this alone.  Each moment holds a miracle that may offer us inspiration and healing. 

Sometimes, what we are guided to do may seem irrational – like wrapping an article in a rope of hair and sticking it in a brick wall. 

However, our intuition is our energetic conduit to Great Spirit.  When we trust it, give it voice, we bring sacredness to the world.  We amplify the possibilities of healing the world around us and within it, ourselves.

AUTHOR: For over 25 years,  SARAH SALTER KELLY has studied spiritual healing and personal growth in the context of animistic traditions such as paganism and shamanism, as well as energy healing and restorative justice.   Since 2007, she has taught a variety of healing workshops and retreats in Alberta & B.C.,  took groups to Peru to work with Indigenous healers,  and holds a private practice now in Kelowna, B.C.  http://www.sarahsalterkelly.com/

ARTIST: Detail of A Fearless Heart, © AARON PAQUETTE is one of Canada’s premiere First Nations artists known for his bright colours, strong lines and for sharing new ways of looking at age-old experiences and beliefs. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Aaron has been creating art for the past 20 years. He apprenticed and has become both a Cathedral Stained Glass artist and a Goldsmith, influences of which can be seen in the line and structure of his paintings – displayed in various galleries throughout the country. https://www.facebook.com/AaronPaquetteOrders/

NOTE: This article was first published in Winter 2010 in © Mosaic Mind, Body and Spirit Magazine. This information is for educational purposes only and is intended to supplement your current health program, not to replace the care of a licensed medical doctor.

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