An Open Letter to the Man Who Killed My Brother

Subject: An Open Letter to the Man Who Killed My Brother
From: Claire
Date: 30 Oct 2015

We never met in person, but I've heard a lot about you and the mistakes you made on February 26th, 2009. You took the life of my best friend and older brother, Jay. He was only 21 years old then; I was 11. If he had lived, he would be 27. He would have graduated college, and possibly married and had children.

From the moment I heard the news, up until a few months ago, I hated you. I hated the person who took my brother away from me. I hated that you were alive, and he wasn't. I hated how unfair it was. When you were released from prison this past summer, I realized what I needed to do - forgive you.

I'm 18 years old now, and my brother has been gone for some of the most important years of my life. The closure I was never allowed when I was younger, is now one of the things I feel I need the most. My parents shielded me from the trials, the case developments, and shielded me from you. I always thought of you as a monster; an inhuman thing. However, as I've grown, I've realized that you are human. You made a mistake, and you have to live with it every day of your life. And for that, I feel sorry for you.

I forgive you. I forgive you for taking him away from me. I forgive you for the pain that you've caused my family and I. I forgive you for all the moments with Jay that I never got to experience. It's taken me over 6 years, but I've finally found it in my heart to do so. I know it could've been easier to keep my forgiveness to myself, but I needed you to know.

Claire Meyer