'Letting go of poison': In wake of grief, families offer astonishing acts of forgiveness

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  • Sarah B SLC, UT
    Sept. 6, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    to caravan, i agree with lds 2. ceran called a press conference just a day or so after the deaths to announce to everyone he forgave this man. Why the press conference? IMO it was grandstanding and no surprise he's now writing a book. Quiet, humble forgiveness seems far more sincere to me. Frankly, I don't believe a mere mortal could sincerely, completely and permanently forgive a total stranger whose criminal actions killed multiple members of your family quite that quickly. Perhaps if it was somone he knew, or someone who was mentally ill. I'm far more impressed with honest people like the poster screwdriver who daily do the work it takes to sincerely forgive and then be healed. I value honesty and humility, not public, prideful displays of self righteousness.

  • Big 'D' San Mateo, CA
    Sept. 6, 2011 1:25 p.m.

    The article stated:
    [By telling someone that they forgive them, Salt Lake defense attorney Greg Skordas said a victim isn't telling them that what they did was OK. "They're saying, 'I don't love you, I don't have any respect for you, but I forgive you,'" he said. "They've moved on. They're above it. It shows a lot of thought. A willingness to move on."]

    Mr. Skordas' view of forgiveness may be true in some cases, but I think he's really missed the boat on the type of forgiveness offered by Ceran and Williams. Their forgiveness was born out of genuine love and respect for the perpetrators that killed their families. They understood the value of the two criminals as children of God and wanted THEM, the criminals, to be able to let go and move on and eventually regain their standing as contributing members of society. They treated the criminals more like brothers than like enemies.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Sept. 5, 2011 10:33 p.m.

    @ "I M LDS 2 | 3:47 p.m. Sept. 5, 2011"

    This article was not written by the one doing the forgiving. Quit being such a cynic.

  • RivertonCoug Herriman, UT
    Sept. 5, 2011 7:06 p.m.

    I remember a book I read a few years back called "Becoming". In it were some wonderful stories of forgiveness. But none could outshine some of the stories in this article. Touching stuff.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Sept. 5, 2011 3:47 p.m.

    I have heard the Ceran story too many times. It seems someone is more interested in becoming famous for being a "forgiver" than they are about genuine forgiveness.

  • Sarah B SLC, UT
    Sept. 5, 2011 12:21 a.m.

    to screwdriver First of all, I am so sorry for you loss. I hope you are healing and that your forgivness will soon be complete. I know it takes and and that is nothing to be ashamed of. I really appreciate your candor and honesty. I also appreciate that you are not grandstanding and proclaiming to all the world how amazing you are by instantly forgiving a heinous crime. I also appreciate those who quietly and sincerely forgive without trying to profit off of it.

  • happy2BGrandma Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 4, 2011 11:02 p.m.

    Excellent article! Not just straight news, but well-written with the ability to make one think. Thank you....

  • holly56 LOVELAND, CO
    Sept. 4, 2011 8:38 p.m.


  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Sept. 4, 2011 1:20 p.m.

    My wife died from someone else's actions. I can tell you it would have just depended hour by hour my attitude of forgiveness. Someone may have caught me at a good hour and I say I forgave them but the next hour I'd be scathing. I guess if you had me on camera saying I forgave them it would keep me from changing my mind in public.

    It's all part of the grieving process. Shock and denial, Pain and Guilt, Anger and Bargaining with God, Depression and Reflection, the upward turn, Acceptance and Hope. I didn't know anyone had that all figured out when I went through it. Too bad, it would have helped. I went to see a counselor that wasn't very good apparently and never explained greif to someone grieving.

    The steps vary for each individual and can be felt out of order and all at once I think. But forgiving the person before they even are repentant or ask for it seems like barganing with God to me. I bet there were times they wanted to take it back. I think it's ok to take a while in serious circumstances.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Sept. 4, 2011 12:00 p.m.

    I have been listening to the link the article posted of the interview with Gary Ceran, it is well worth listening to and very inspiring. I just sent the link to someone who's little daughter just died of cancer.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Sept. 4, 2011 11:18 a.m.

    What an inspiring story, I totally agree with the concept of this article. When we don't forgive, then we ourselves remain the victim day after day. The person that commits the infraction is accountable for that one act, but when we don't forgive and we dwell on it day after day, we end up paying the price for the rest of the time, so if it takes a year to finally forgive, then we end up owning the feelings 364 days, it is not worth holding on to anger and hate.

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    Sept. 4, 2011 10:48 a.m.

    It's called "letting go". Some call it forgiveness, but it's really the peace that comes from accepting the uncontrollable situation and doing the right thing: moving on in life, for the sake of everyone you love.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 4, 2011 10:48 a.m.

    I lived next to Gary Ceran at the time of the accident and knew him and his family. I have never seen anything more heart wrenching and at the same time the level of forgiveness that Gary was able to show was incredible. It takes an incredible human being to have the self control , integrity and compassion that Gary had then and has to this day. I couldn't have handled things like Gary has.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Sept. 4, 2011 9:42 a.m.

    Forgiveness takes time and I have found that I can forgive for hurtful things people have done to me. It is more difficult, much more difficult to forgive those that have hurt those I love, especially my children. I don't think this is an uncommone feeling. The Lord forgives but he has some of his harshest criticism for those that lead others astray.

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    Sept. 4, 2011 9:39 a.m.

    How about a follow-up, on what happened to the people who were forgiven?

    Did that forgiveness cause them to straighten out their lives?
    Or...have they had further problems/DUIs?

  • JF Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2011 8:43 a.m.

    They're saying, I don't love you, I don't have any respect for you, but I forgive you. If thats what they are saying, then they arent practicing Christian forgiveness, the kind of forgiveness that Jesus offered at his execution. Forgiveness is about the other person, not about me. It will have its good effects on me, but those effects are not themselves forgiveness.

  • uncommonsense CENTERVILLE, UT
    Sept. 4, 2011 8:10 a.m.

    When a victim forgives someone of the crime committed against them it is about the victim letting go of the anger that is within. That forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator of his crime. It does not suggest that punishment should not be meted out. Forgiveness can only be offered by the victim as well. I've noted in other places where someone has noted that they "forgive" the criminal, when he did nothing to them personally and it is not their place to forgive.
    It takes great strength to forgive. The peace it can bring is worth the effort though.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2011 7:32 a.m.

    So much depends on one's definition of the meaning of "forgiveness".

  • Susan in VA Alexandria, VA
    Sept. 4, 2011 5:30 a.m.

    Forgiveness is not always easy... but, until you forgive someone, you are tied to that person and he/she has control over you. Forgiving someone can cut that tie... and free you.