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What is Reconciliation?

Reconciliation means accepting that you cannot undo the murder but you can decide how you want to live afterwards.

Reconciliation has a variety of meanings in the context of our Members’ lives and experiences and in the scope of our work. Among our Members, the most widely shared view of ‘reconciliation’ is a desire to reconcile within themselves that a horrible, senseless tragedy has hit their family and come to terms with how they will live in the aftermath. For these family members, reconciliation means something like “accepting that you cannot undo the murder but you can decide how you want to live afterwards.”

For many of our members, choosing how to live afterwards includes finding concrete ways to transform the disempowering effect of victimization into actions that reclaim power and help make the world a better place.

In our work, Reconciliation also has the important meaning of working to reconcile the often-competing demands of justice and fairness, safety and compassion.

MVFR Members represent a wide spectrum of recovery after suffering a very personal and horrific tragedy. Our Members are diverse in terms of world views and perspectives. While we celebrate with Members for whom some experience of forgiveness is part of their process of healing, we recognize and honor our Members for whom forgiveness is not part of their journey.

Through reconciling their lives with the violent acts that took their loved ones and taking positive action, our Members claim their power to move past the tragedy and continue living their lives in a meaningful and purposeful way.